03:51 GMT +316 October 2019
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    US Arrests Soldier Who Plotted Attacks Against Major News Network, Candidate Beto O'Rourke

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    US authorities over the weekend arrested an infantry soldier, Private Jarrett William Smith, 24, who reportedly plotted an attack against a major news network while hinting that Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke could also be a target.

    Smith was charged with one count of distributing information related to explosives and weapons of mass destruction, according to the United States Attorney’s Office in Kansas, The New York Times reported.

    Smith joined the Army in June 2017, received training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, before transferring to Fort Riley, Kansas, in July, the US-based media reported.

    According to the media report, citing an FBI affidavit in the case, a year before enlisting, Smith chatted on social media about his wish to join a Ukraine  right-wing paramilitary group.

    Later, Smith shared certain instructions in conversations with a confidential source and an undercover FBI agent for how to make bombs over social media, The New York Times said, citing US authorities.

    In particular, Smith reportedly plotted an attack in the United States and was looking for other "radicals" like himself.

    Smith is also accused of discussing a plan to target the headquarters of a major news network with a vehicle full of explosive materials, the media report said.

    According to the affidavit, cited by The New York Times, Smith also suggested targeting O’Rourke, the former congressman from the Texas city of El Paso, who is running for US president. The US soldier reportedly wanted to cause "chaos".

    If convicted, Smith could face up to 20 years in jail, according to the media report.


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