National Security

FBI arrests Army soldier who allegedly discussed bombing news network

A U.S. Army soldier who allegedly discussed attacking a news station was charged in federal court Monday for sending instructions to build bombs over social media.

Jarrett William Smith, 24, was charged with one count of distributing information related to explosives and weapons of mass destruction.

{mosads}According to FBI investigators, Smith said on Facebook that he was interested in joining the Azov Battalion, a paramilitary group in Ukraine.

In Facebook chats, he offered to teach other users how to make cellphone explosive devices “in the style of the Afghans.”

Smith talked about killing members of loosely organized left-wing movement antifa and destroying a local news station. On Aug. 21, he told an undercover investigator about how to make a vehicle bomb. Smith also described how to build a bomb that could be triggered by calling a cellphone.

In a Sept. 20 Telegram conversation with an undercover FBI agent, Smith allegedly seemed to threaten former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D), according to ABC News.

O’Rourke’s presidential campaign said in a statement to ABC that they are in contact with the FBI over the threat.

“We’re grateful to the FBI for their diligence in handling this case and for their work to keep our country safe in the face of domestic terror threats,” they said. “We take any threat like this very seriously, and our team is in direct contact with the FBI regarding this case.”

Smith faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.



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