FLORIDA, USA (AP) — A 25-year-old man from the former Yugoslavia was charged with an alleged plot to attack crowded locations in the Tampa area, including nightclubs, with a car bomb, assault rifle and other explosives, federal authorities said today.
The US Department of Justice announced the arrest of Sami Osmakac, whose first appearance in federal court was scheduled for 2:00 pm today.
Authorities say Osmakac, from Pinellas County, is a naturalised US citizen who was born in the former Yugoslavia. He has been charged with one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction.
FBI agents arrested Osmakac on Saturday after he allegedly bought explosive devices and firearms from an undercover agent. The firearms and explosives were rendered inoperable by law enforcement. The federal complaint says that shortly before his arrest, Osmakac made a video of himself explaining his motives for carrying out the planned violent attack.
Federal officials say a confidential source told them in September 2011 that Osmakac wanted al-Qaida flags. Two months later, the federal complaint said, Osmakac and the confidential source "discussed and identified potential targets in Tampa" that Osmakac wanted to attack.
Osmakac allegedly asked the source for help getting the firearms and explosives for the attacks, and the source put him in touch with an undercover FBI employee.
On December 21, Osmakac met with the undercover agent and allegedly told the agent that he wanted to buy an AK-47-style machine gun, Uzi submachine guns, high capacity magazines, grenades and explosive belt. During a later meeting, Osmakac gave the agent a $500 down payment for the items.
"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," the press release said.