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 cellphone explosive devices "in the style of the Afghans," according to prosecutors.
He 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 to the investigator how to build a bomb that could be triggered by calling a cellphone.
"Be very careful with the fully armed device," he allegedly warned the investigator, according to the release.
Smith faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted.
This article was written by Robert A. Cronkleton from The Kansas City Star and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.