Vicente Solano has been charged with plotting to blow up an unnamed Miami mall for ISIS.
The short videos were sent to an FBI agent by a confidential informant. In the clips, a man in a black mask stands in front of an ISIS flag and outlines a brutal plot: He wants to copy the Boston marathon terrorists and detonate a bomb in Miami in the name of ISIS. The man says his motivation is simple: Donald Trump’s policies have driven him to support the Islamist terrorists.
“The United States is the most terrorist country out there,” the man says in the clip before railing against “this racist president, white supremacist who does not like Hispanics, who does not like Muslims, Chinese, Blacks — just his race.”
NEW: Honduran citizen charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in a planned attack at a shopping mall in Miami, says DOJ pic.twitter.com/M13kl47E4R
— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 23, 2017
The feds say they eventually watched as the man in the video — a 53-year-old Honduran citizen named Vicente Solano who lived in Miami-Dade County — assembled bomb parts and crystallized a plan: to blow up the food court at a Miami mall during “Black Friday” sales at the end of November.
Instead, FBI agents swooped in and arrested Solano, who faces federal charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Solano’s case echoes that of Harlem Suarez, a young Cuban-American from Key West arrested in 2015 for plotting to bomb a beach on the island — and, in fact, the feds say Solano mentioned Suarez as an inspiration for his plans.
Undercover FBI agents supplied Solano with a hoax bomb, which he allegedly planned to detonate at the mall. The strategy has been used in previous counter-terrorism probes in South Florida, the Herald said, and is considered standard procedure in the post-9/11 world. Agents rely on informants to alert them to suspicious activity and then engage the suspect, recording their conversations, before thwarting the plan.
Two officials confirmed to CBS News that there was no actual explosive device and the public was never in any danger.
In 2015, federal agents arrested Harlem Suarez, 25, from Key West, who planned an explosive attack on July 4th. A year later, James Medina, 41, was convicted of trying to bomb an Aventura synagogue. Suarez was sentenced to life in prison. Medina faces up to 25 years in prison ahead of a November sentencing.
Solano will have his first appearance in Miami federal court on Monday.