Florida man tried to enlist ISIS to attack colleges that suspended, expelled him

Court documents say Salman Rashid targeted two deans after he was suspended for sending threatening text messages to a female student.
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The Wolfson Campus of Miami Dade College in downtown Miami on Sept. 24, 2015.Angel Valentin / for NBC News

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By Tim Stelloh

A Florida man was arrested for trying to enlist ISIS to carry out attacks against the deans of two schools where he’d been suspended or expelled from, authorities said Monday.

Salman Rashid, 23, of North Miami Beach, faces charges of soliciting someone to bomb Miami-Dade and Broward colleges, court documents say.

The documents, filed in United States District Court of Southern Florida, say that Rashid allegedly stalked a fellow student at Miami-Dade College and was suspended last December after he sent her threatening text messages.

In one, Rashid allegedly told her that “the creator” had “decided our destiny and chosen separate paths for us.”

In the “hereafter, will meet once again,” he allegedly wrote. “But things will be a little different :). You will not have excuses, will not be given a choice and will have to come closer to me.”

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Earlier this year, Rashid was expelled from Broward College for not telling the school about what had happened at Miami-Dade, the documents say.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation began monitoring Rashid’s Facebook posts in April 2018, after he displayed a “growing hatred for America, non-Muslims” and others, and professed a belief in the “violent overthrow” of the “democratic system,” the documents say.

Roughly a year later, after the FBI had secretly struck up a friendship with Rashid, he told an undercover agency source that he “wanted to leave this world because there is nothing for him,” according to the documents.

In May, a couple of weeks after the source encouraged him to attend counseling that was required by Miami-Dade, he asked the source to help recruit ISIS “brothers” to “avenge perceived attacks on Muslims,” the documents say.

After a supposedly successful recruitment effort, the source and Rashid later agreed on the method of attack — a bombing — and the targets: the deans of Miami-Dade and Broward, the documents say.

“These two people, they need to die,” Rashid told the source in a recorded conversation, the documents say.

Rashid, who was arrested Monday, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. It wasn’t clear if he has a lawyer. The public defender listed in court records did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement Monday, Miami Dade College said it had been notified by the FBI had “eliminated” a threat from a former student at one of campuses.

“At this time, the FBI has advised us that there is no additional threat or need for heightened security,” the statement said.