A 23-year-old man has been charged with planning an Isis-inspired attack on a Florida beach.
Harlem Suarez of Key West, Florida was arrested on Monday after buying a phony bomb from an FBI agent. He was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in the US.
John Carlin, Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division, said in a press release that “Stopping attacks on our homeland by those inspired or directed by designated foreign terrorist organizations is the [Justice Department's] highest priority.”
Mr Suarez, also known as Almlak Benitez, is a self-proclaimed Isis supporter who was flagged by FBI agents when he began attempting to recruit Isis members on Facebook. FBI agents claimed that Mr Suarez declared: "We will destroy America and divide it into two. We will raise our black flag on top of your White House and any president on duty."
Mr Suarez was then monitored for months, exchanging messages with an FBI informant who sold him a fake bomb, he then planned on setting it off at a beach with a mobile device.
“I can go to the beach at the nighttime, put the thing in the sand, cover it up, so the next day I just call and the thing is gonna, is gonna make, a real hard noise from nowhere,” he allegedly told the informant, the Guardian reported.
Special Agent George L. Piro said in the news release that there was no evidence the man had links to Isis militants overseas but the alleged threats needed to be taken seriously.
“There is no room for failure when it comes to investigating the potential use of a weapon of mass destruction. The FBI and our local, state and federal partners work around the clock to prevent such catastrophic weapons from being used against our citizens. Even so, we ask the public to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to law enforcement."
The FBI arrested more than 10 people reportedly inspired by Isis who planned to carry out attacks across the US on the 4th of July.Reuse content