An American soldier who allegedly planned to bomb an American news network, has been arrested by the FBI. As ABC News reports, Jarrett William Smith transferred to Fort Riley, Kansas in July after he joined the U.S. military with an interest in being deployed in Ukraine with the hope of working with far-right group Azov Battalion. He has been accused of distributing information on the internet on how to construct homemade bombs.
In August, Smith spoke with an undercover FBI informant online about a plan he had to attack an unnamed news network. He had reportedly been seeking more "radicals" to join him in his plans and had expressed interest in killing anyone who identified as Antifa. "A large vehicle bomb. Fill a vehicle full of [explosives] then fill a ping pong ball with [commonly available chemical] via drilling then injection. Put the ball in the tank of the vehicle and leave. 30 minutes later, BOOM," he wrote in the online chatroom.
"You got anyone down in Texas that would be a good fit for fire, destruction and death?" the FBI informant asked him in a Telegram conversation in September. "Outside of Beto? I don't know enough people that would be relevant enough to cause a change if they died," he replied, indicating his intent to target Democratic presidential nominee hopeful Beto O'Rourke.
Smith has been connected to Craig Lang, an American who traveled to Ukraine to fight with far-right group the Right Sector. They have been communicating since 2016, and in 2018, they spoke about how to build bombs. "Oh yeah, I got knowledge of IEDs for days," Smith allegedly said. "We can make cell phone IEDs in the style of the Afghans. I can teach you that."
He was arrested on Sept. 21 and admitted that he has told people online how to build bombs, although charging documents claim that a recent set of instructions of his would not have successfully built an explosive device.