US soldier from Conway charged with sending bomb-making instructions on social media

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FILE – In this Feb. 9 2015 file photo, vehicles park around a water tower at Fort Riley, Kan. Prosecutors say a U.S. Army soldier shared bomb-making instructions online and also discussed killing activists and bombing a news network. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner, File)

TOPEKA, KAN – A soldier from Conway who is stationed at Fort Riley was charged in federal court today with sending instructions for making bombs over social media.

Jarrett William Smith, 24, was charged with one count of distributing information related to explosives and weapons of mass destruction. Smith is from Conway, according to a report in USA Today. He is an active-duty Soldier assigned to Fort Riley.  

According to an FBI investigator’s affidavit, Smith said on Facebook he was interested in traveling to the Ukraine to fight with a paramilitary group called the Azov Batallion.

During a Facebook chat, Smith offered to teach other Facebook users to make cell phone explosive devices “in the style of the Afghans.” On Aug. 19, 2019, Smith told an undercover investigator he was looking for “radicals” like himself.

Smith talked about killing members of Antifa and destroying nearby cell towers or a local news station. On Aug. 21, Smith told an undercover investigator about how to make a vehicle bomb. When the investigator commented that most of the components were household items, Smith 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 described in detail to the undercover investigator how to build a bomb that could be triggered by calling a cell phone.

“Be very careful with the fully armed device,” Smith warned the investigator.

If convicted, Smith could face up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000. The FBI investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Tony Mattivi is prosecuting.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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