FBI arrests Fort Riley soldier over alleged plans to bomb US news network

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(DoD photo)

A 24-year-old soldier based at Fort Riley has been charged in federal court in Topeka with sending over social media instructions on how to make bombs triggered by cellphones, according to federal prosecutors in Kansas.


Pfc. Jarrett William Smith of Fort Riley has been charged with one count of distributing information related to explosives and weapons of mass destruction, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas announced in a news release Monday.

Smith, an infantry soldier, joined the army in June 2017 and was transferred to Fort Riley in July. Smith allegedly said he was interested in traveling to Ukraine to fight with a paramilitary group called the Azov Battalion, according to an FBI investigator's affidavit.

Smith allegedly offered during a Facebook chat to teach other Facebook users to make cell phone explosive devices "in the style of the Afghans," according to prosecutors.

Smith allegedly told an undercover investigator on Aug. 19 that he was looking for radicals like himself. Smith allegedly talked about killing Antifa members and destroying nearby cell towers or a local news station, according to the release.

Two days later, Smith allegedly told an undercover investigator how to make a vehicle bomb. When the investigator commented that most of the components were household items, Smith allegedly said, "Making AK47s out of expensive parts is cool, but imagine if you will if you were going to Walmart instead of a gun store to buy weapons."

Smith also allegedly described in detail how to the investigator how to build a bomb that could be triggered by calling a cellphone.

"Be very careful with the fully armed device," Smith allegedly warned the investigator, according to the release.

Smith faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 if convicted.

Read the full indictment below:

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©2019 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

(Department of Defense)

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