A man who believed he was giving instructions to the Islamic State on how to create a bomb-making video and then posted it online pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge Thursday, federal prosecutors said.
Romeo Xavier Langhorne, 31, of St. Augustine, Florida, and then Roanoke, Virginia, pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida said.
A plea agreement does not spell out a recommended prison term, but the charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison. A request for comment from his attorney was not immediately returned Thursday evening.
The charge centers around videos about how to use TATP, an explosive, in bombs.
Langhorne admitted pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS, and then in late 2018 expressing an interest in Internet chat rooms on making a video to help people make bombs out of TATP.
He then gave instructions to someone he thought was working with the Islamic State — but who was actually with the FBI — about what should be in the videos and how to word it to avoid having them taken down, according to court documents.
The FBI produced the videos, but Langhorne posted two versions to BitChute, which is a video uploading site that, according to the FBI, is more decentralized and permissive than a place like YouTube, the plea agreement says. The explosives recipe was changed so it wouldn't have worked.
TATP is a type of explosive that can be homemade. It was involved in the improvised explosives that "shoe bomber" Richard Reid tried to use on a plane in 2001. It was also used in explosive vests in the Nov. 13, 2015, shooting and bomb attacks in Paris.
The Islamic State lost its once-large territory in Iraq and Syria, and in 2019, U.S.-backed fighters declared victory over the terror organization in Syria. Its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, was killed in a 2019 U.S. raid in Syria.
But a United Nations report released in January says that despite the territorial losses it still poses a threat, and an estimated 10,000 Islamic State fighters are believed to remain in Iraq and Syria.