London: One of the Queen’s guards has sparked a terror alert after apparently trying to make a Taliban-style bomb in a British Army base less than a mile from Windsor Castle.
Trooper Danyal Davies, 28, was arrested by military police as Army bomb disposal experts wearing protective clothing stormed his accommodation block and searched it for explosive materials.
The raid came after the married Household Cavalry soldier sent a video of himself apparently making an improvised explosive device (IED) to a woman with whom he was having an affair.
He is also under investigation for allegedly creating illegal firearms, including a rocket propelled grenade launcher.
In one video posted on YouTube, and believed to have been filmed at Combermere Barracks, Windsor, Trooper Davies is seen using Army mess tins, cables and household batteries to replicate the electronic circuitry of a ‘pressure plate’ IED – a device used by the Taliban to kill British troops in Afghanistan.
He then demonstrates how the IED works by pressing down on the mess tin, an action mimicking how a UK soldier would activate an IED by stepping on it while on patrol.
The father-of-two also sent the woman a text message which read: ‘IED number one made… Found a place that delivers the explosives. They are actually movie pyrotechnics what are better quality.’
Military police are also studying photographs and videos of Tpr Davies testing what appears to be a Russian-made RPG-22 launcher and apparently posing with an AK-47 rifle, with sharp-shooter sight and grenade launcher attached.
In another video, Tpr Davies is shown testing the RPG launcher. When he pulls the trigger, smoke comes from the barrel, but it is not clear if this weapon was capable of firing live ammunition.
The woman was concerned Tpr Davies posed a terror threat and reported him to the Army.
The Royal Military Police then arrested Tpr Davies, an armoured personnel carrier driver, while he was on a combat exercise.
Police have also been given other text messages in which he discusses buying replica handguns and rifles.
The Ministry of Defence said it could not comment because the RMP probe is ongoing.
The arrest comes amid rising concern about criminals turning replica weapons into live guns. Tpr Davies met the woman while he was engaged to another woman, whom he has since married. He was allegedly involved in the affair from March to September 2015.
Subsequently, the woman is alleged to have sent sexual images of Tpr Davies to his then-fiancee. Last month, the woman was charged with a ‘revenge porn’ offence.
The raid on Tpr Davies’ accommodation took place in January. Last night, a friend said he should be cleared because he only intended to use replica weapons in a game of Airsoft – an activity similar to paintball in which players fire plastic pellets at each other.
He said: ‘The firearms were made out of plastic which fire rounds well within the legal limit.
‘I thought he was a bit of an idiot for posting the IED video. But there’s nothing illegal about making an electric circuit.’
The friend added: ‘There’s no [explosive] charge involved.’