A US soldier has admitted he distributed bomb-making advice online “for the glory of his Satanist religion”.
Jarrett William Smith, 24, used social media to tell people how to build their own explosive devices while he was serving in the military, with the aim of creating “chaos” and overthrowing the government.
After joining the US Army in June 2017, Smith began telling online pals about his desire to move to Ukraine and fight with far-right paramilitary group the Azov Battalion.
In a Facebook group chat he bragged about his ability to build explosive devices and offered advice on how to do it.
After the FBI received a tip-off about the soldier’s online communications, an undercover agent struck up a social media friendship with Smith and was also given instructions for how to make a bomb, as well as a recipe for napalm.
These messages were sent while Smith was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas.
Smith said he wanted to join a violent far-right paramilitary group in Ukraine
In August 2019, he spoke of his plans to lead a violent attack in the US with the intention of overthrowing the government. Authorities say he asked for other “radicals” like himself to join him.
He discussed murdering members of the so-called anti-fascist movement ‘Antifa’ as well as bombing the headquarters of a “major news network”.
When the undercover FBI agent asked if he wanted to assassinate a Texas politician, he mentioned Beto O’Rourke, who at the time was running for the Democratic nomination for President.
He said his goal was to spread “chaos” using his knowledge of military weapons. The undercover agent says Smith told him he was doing so “for the glory of his Satanist religion”, and that Smith liked “black metal” music associated with Satanism.
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In September 2019, Smith was arrested and initially pleaded not guilty to charges associated with the dissemination of information on how to make explosive devices.
But he later changed his plea and in court on February 10 confessed his guilt and accepted a plea deal, avoiding a separate felony charge in relation to threatening to burn down the home of an Antifa member.
Sentencing is scheduled for May 18. Smith faces up to 25 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 (£192,000) for each count.