Mar 22, 2024 - Technology

FBI: Air Force intel analyst shared classified info on Discord

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, as seen from Arctic Valley.

Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska, as seen from Arctic Valley. Photo: Ash Adams via Getty Images

An Air Force intelligence analyst allegedly shared classified U.S. intelligence with members of the far-right Boogaloo movement on the platform Discord, according to a newly unsealed FBI affidavit.

The big picture: Investigators allege the now-former airman Jason Gray, 28, shared an image that "appeared to be classified" that he "likely obtained" from his access to National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence while he was stationed in Alaska.

Members of the "boogaloo boys" join other gun rights advocates in front of the State House as pro-gun supporters gather on January 18, 2021 in Richmond, Virginia.
Members of the Boogaloo bois, who typically wear Hawaiian shirts and body armor, join other gun rights supporters in Richmond, Virginia, in 2021. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Context: Gray was assigned to the 301st Intelligence Squadron with duty at an NSA facility at Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson and was "upset and disgruntled" at his move to the base, per the affidavit, which is dated November 2022 and is accompanied by a search warrant.

Details: Investigators say Gray admitted to them that he created a Facebook page for supporters of the Boogaloo movement, which the affidavit notes is a "loosely organized anti-government/anti-authority movement" whose adherents claim to be "planning for, or seek to incite, a second American Civil War or second American Revolution which they call the 'Boogaloo.'"

  • The private Facebook group was called "CNN Journalist Support Group," which investigators said Gray created "in part to his dissatisfaction with the government."
  • The Defense Department and the NSA immediately restricted Gray's access when the allegations came to light.

Zoom out: Gray's case came months before the arrest of Jack Teixeira, who was arrested on suspicion of leaking highly classified Pentagon documents while working as an air national guardsman.

Zoom in: Gray did not face any charges in relation to the leaking of classified documents and the image he posted was not believed to be as widely circulated, with investigators noting it was shared with seven others, not all of whom investigators had identified at the time of the affidavit.

  • But investigators found hundreds of images on his personal devices featuring the sexual abuse of children and he later pleaded guilty to the distribution of child pornography, the Daily Beast first reported.
  • He was sentenced for this crime to 60 months in prison and 25 years supervised release last November.

What they're saying: A U.S. Air Force spokesperson said they had no additional information to provide "beyond what was released by the FBI," but confirmed that Gray was "no longer in the Air Force."

  • A spokesperson for Discord said in a statement to the Washington Post that the firm had "cooperated with the law enforcement investigation once notified, including by producing data that was lawfully requested."
  • The spokesperson noted that "currently, there is no structured process for the government to communicate their determinations to online platforms."
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