TAMPA, Fla. — Federal authorities say a 25-year-old man described as an Islamic extremist was arrested in a plot to attack sites around Tampa, Fla., after taking possession of disabled guns and bombs in a case that the FBI says was closely monitored for months.
Sami Osmakac was arrested Saturday night, when he was told he could buy explosives, which were actually dummy bombs prepared by the FBI. Osmakac made a video explaining his motives for carrying out a planned violent attack not long before his arrest, according to a federal complaint.
Osmakac was charged with one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. His first appearance in federal court was set for Monday afternoon.
FBI agents said they got a tip four months ago that Osmakac — a naturalized U.S. citizen born in the former Yugoslavia — was asking for "al-Qaida flags," talking about attacking targets in Tampa, and wondering how he could get guns and explosives. The FBI sent an undercover agent to meet him.
The federal complaint alleges that Osmakac met with the agent on Dec. 21 and asked for an AK-47, Uzi submachine guns, high-capacity magazines, grenades and an explosive belt so he could attack various locations in Tampa. He later gave the agent a $500 down payment.
"According to the complaint, Osmakac also asked the undercover employee whether he/she could build bombs that could be placed in three different vehicles and detonated remotely, near where Osmakac would conduct a follow-up attack using the other weapons he requested," a press release said. "The undercover employee said he/she could possibly provide explosives for one vehicle. Osmakac also allegedly said that he wanted an explosive belt constructed to kill people."
On New Year's Day, Osmakac allegedly sketched out a plan to attack nightclubs, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Ybor City and a business in South Tampa, according to court documents. He also is accused of talking about taking hostages and using them to get prisoners released.
During that meeting, the agent told Osmakac he could always change his mind about the plot.
"According to the complaint, Osmakac immediately shook his head in the negative and stated, 'We all have to die, so why not die the Islamic way?'" the press release stated.
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