ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (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 night clubs, with a car bomb, assault rifle and other explosives, federal authorities said Monday.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced the arrest of Sami Osmakac, whose first appearance in federal court was scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday.
Authorities say Osmakac, from Pinellas County, is a naturalized U.S. 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 Sept. 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 Dec. 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. "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 Jan. 1, Osmakac told the agent that he wanted to bomb night clubs, the Operations Center of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and a business in Tampa, Florida.
Osmakac told the undercover FBI agent that he wanted to detonate a car bomb and use the explosive belt to "get in somewhere where there's a lot of people" and take hostages. During that meeting, the agent told Osmakac he could always change his mind about his 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.
Tamara Lush can be reached on Twitter at http://twitter.com/tamaralush
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.
Thieves broke into a Mountain View family’s home and took their car, Christmas presents, family documents and money – all while the father fights stage four testicular cancer and his wife is eight months pregnant.
As the nation marked the sixth anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, San Diego clergy and community members on Friday came together to remember more than half-a-million Americans killed or injured by guns since the deadly shooting.
There is new information in one of the most notorious, unsolved murders in San Diego county. A new book written by the victim’s first cousin details the 1985 murder of Donna Gentile.
High clouds hovered over the county on Friday as subtropical moisture moved in ahead of a weak trough of low pressure. The return of high pressure over Southern California will bring a sunnier setup by the weekend.
California's lawsuit against a Trump administration plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census moved closer to trial after a U.S. judge refused to throw out the challenge Friday.
San Diego Border Patrol on Friday announced agents arrested a group of undocumented immigrants after they jumped over a section of temporary barrier as photographers and media outlets filmed.
How many times a day do you pass a co-worker, say ‘hello,’ but not take the time to ask how they are feeling?
The "Top Nine" pictures you are seeing on Instagram is done through a website that scans your posts and profiles, but is this fun flashback safe? Eric Alvarez verifies where your information is going and why you might to think twice!
The city of San Diego will close Children's Pool beach Saturday in preparation of harbor seal pupping season, city officials announced Friday.
Your home's garage is probably filled with all types of things, but did you know some of the most common items found in garages should not be in there?