Tampa Bay Online on January 9, 2012 released the following:
“Feds: Man planned terrorism attacks in Tampa
By ELAINE SILVESTRINI | The Tampa Tribune
Federal agents over the weekend arrested a Pinellas Park man described as having extremist jihadist beliefs who wanted to blow up a target in Tampa and create “terror” in victims’ hearts.
“I want to do something terrifying,” he said, according to a federal complaint, “like one day, one night, something’s going to happen. Then six hours later, something else.”
Sami Osmakac, 25, was taken into custody after an FBI sting operation in which he tried to buy explosives, at least 10 grenades, Uzis and an AK-47, authorities said.
Osmakac’s intended target shifted over the course of the investigation, which spanned several months, at times involving government buildings, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office operations center in Ybor City and, ultimately, a pub in South Tampa, apparently MacDinton’s, authorities said.
The arrest came about, in part, because of assistance from the Muslim community, said U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill, who expressed his thanks in a news release.
The sting culminated at a Tampa hotel Saturday night after Osmakac had the person from whom he was purchasing the explosives – unknown to him, an undercover agent – film him making a video explaining his reasoning for the planned attack, according to the complaint.
In the eight-minute video, Osmakac is seen cross-legged on the floor with a pistol in his hand and an AK-47 behind him. In it, according to the complaint, he states that Muslim blood is more valuable than that of people who do not believe in Islam. He says he wants “payback” for wrong that was done to Muslims.
Osmakac, who was born in the former Yugoslavia, came to authorities’ attention in September when he contacted a store owner and asked for flags representing al-Qaida, according to a federal complaint. Osmakac began working for the owner as a laborer. The store owner contacted the FBI, which initiated an undercover investigation.
Although the informant initially refused to allow agents to record conversations, he or she ultimately participated in recorded meetings with Osmakac, the complaint states.
In one recorded meeting in November, Osmakac drove around Tampa with the informant and talked about carrying out a violent attack, according to the complaint.
The informant told Osmakac he or she could introduce him to someone to provide Osmakac with firearms and explosives. The informant then introduced Osmakac to the undercover agent, according to a federal complaint.
In addition to a car loaded with explosives, Osmakac expressed an interest in a belt loaded with explosives, which he could set off if someone tried to arrest him, authorities said.”
Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
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