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FBI arrest Army soldier for allegedly planning to be a domestic terrorist

He was also instructing people online about how to build bombs

YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images

A U.S. soldier stationed out of Fort Riley, Kansas, reportedly planned to commit domestic terrorism.

What happened?

According to NBC News, when an undercover FBI agent suggested to 24-year-old Pfc. Jarrett William Smith that he wanted to bomb a "liberal Texas mayor," Smith quipped back "Outside of Beto?" He did not try to discourage the agent from targeting a mayor, but instead said that he didn't "know enough people that would be relevant enough to cause a change if they died."

He also talked with the agent about building a "large vehicle bomb" to attack the headquarters of an unnamed American news outlet.

The BBC reported that Smith also wanted to go to Ukraine and join a far-right paramilitary group, or kill members of Antifa. He also talked about carrying out attacks in the United States and was telling multiple people online how to build bombs.

"Oh yeah, I got knowledge of IEDs for days," Smith reportedly said in a Facebook chat according to NBC News. "We can make cell phone IEDs in the style of the Afghans. I can teach you that." This chat was allegedly with Craig Lang, an American who had joined a nationalist paramilitary group in Ukraine.

He instructed the FBI agent through this process, and then warned him to "be careful with the fully armed device."

"There have been cases where Middle Eastern insurgents built these bombs only for them to detonate prematurely because telemarketers or people with wrong numbers who unwittingly called the devices," he warned, according to the BBC.

He was arrested on Sept. 21 and charged with distributing information relating to weapons of mass destruction. The penalty for this charge can be up to 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

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