A Fort Riley soldier is facing a federal charge for sending instructions for making bombs over social media, according to U.S. Attorney for Kansas Stephen McAllister.
The federal court Monday charged 24-year-old Jarrett William Smith with one count of distributing information related to explosives and weapons of mass destruction. Smith, a private first class infantry soldier joined the Army in June 2017 and was transferred to Fort Riley on July 8, 2019. 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.
Smith, during a Facebook chat, offered to teach other Facebook users to make cell phone explosive devices, “in the style of the Afghans.” On August 19, Smith told an undercover investigator he was looking for “radicals” like himself. He talked about killing members of Antifa and destroying nearby cell towers or a local news station.
Two days later, Smith also 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.
If convicted, Smith faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000.