The suspect accused of leaking classified documents was under surveillance for at least a couple of days prior to his arrest by the FBI on Thursday, according to a US government source familiar with the case.
The 21-year-old, who is a member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was expected to go to work Thursday where the FBI intended to take him into custody under more controlled circumstances, according to the source.
When the suspect did not go to work, agents who were already positioned outside his mother’s house, waited for the suspect to come out, the source said. This search and arrest effort accelerated when reporters for The New York Times knocked on the house door and spoke to people inside.
The FBI is awaiting a search warrant for the mother’s residence as well as the father’s residence because the suspect spent time living at both locations, this source said.
Authorities expect to find numerous weapons in their search, based on photos posted on social media. The likely presence of weapons was one of the driving reasons the FBI did not want to make the arrest by raiding the house. Instead, agents waited for an opportunity to get him outside the house.