Florida man convicted of planning ISIS-inspired attack

Florida man convicted of plotting to set off a bomb at a public beach.

Ben Ariel,

ISIS flag
ISIS flag
Reuters

A Florida man was convicted on Tuesday of plotting to set off a bomb at a public beach in an act that prosecutors said was inspired by the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group, Reuters reports.

Harlem Suarez, 25, was found guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and providing material support to terrorists.

He faces up to life in prison at his sentencing.

Federal agents employed a paid informant to communicate with Suarez after he promoted ISIS on Facebook, according to court documents cited by Reuters. Suarez decided he wanted to build a nail-filled bomb that he would bury at a beach in Key West and detonate remotely, prosecutors said.

He gave the informant components, including nails, and was arrested after he took possession of what he believed was an explosive device from the informant in July 2015, authorities said.

Suarez’s defense lawyer argued that his client was goaded into the plot by the informant, and Suarez took the stand to tell jurors he was merely playing along, according to local media reports.

The United States continues to deal with the problem of radicalization, and prosecutors have charged more than 100 individuals since 2013 with ISIS-related crimes, according to Reuters.

Last October, a former California college student was sentenced to 30 years in prison for trying to aid ISIS.

Other examples include a 16-year-old accused of planning to join the group and who was found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm in South Carolina.

In Arizona, a local man was charged in 2015 with supporting ISIS by helping a New York college student get terror training in Syria.


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