Man Arrested for Sharing Info on 3D-Printed Weapons

  • European and US law enforcers have teamed up to arrest an individual on suspicion of spreading hate speech and information on how to build home-made weapons.

    The unnamed man is said to be a member of the far-right extremist movement known as Siege, which operates both on- and offline.

    As well as spreading hate speech, the man is suspected of engaging in terrorist activities.

    “The suspect allegedly published instructions and diagrams for manufacturing improvised cold weapons, home-produced automatic firearms, explosives and mines, and instructions for sabotage attacks,” explained Europol.

    “The instructions include the domestic production of automatic firearms manufactured in combination with 3D-printable parts and home-made metal parts.”

    The suspect was arrested after an investigation by the Slovak National Crime Agency and the Slovak Military Intelligence Service, supported by the Czech National Organized Crime Agency.

    Europol helped with information exchange, operational analysis and technical support for the analysis of seized electronic devices. The FBI is also said to have supported the operation.

    Raids took place on May 11 in Slovakia and May 23 in the Czech Republic, during which time police seized a “highly sophisticated” 3D printer and electronic devices, both of which are currently being examined as part of the investigation.

    A Europol Referral Action Day at the start of the year resulted in 563 pieces of terrorist content being flagged to service providers. Although takedowns of such content are currently voluntary and considered by platform providers on a case-by-case basis, new European laws will soon give authorities the power to demand their removal.

    Also, at the beginning of the year, a 19-year-old London man was sentenced to 42 months in jail for sharing a bomb-making manual on social media.

    At the time, Richard Smith, head of the Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism Command, warned that young people, in particular, are being drawn into extremist ideologies online, with some going on to commit serious terrorist offenses.