Miami, FL–A Florida man was charged Monday with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against a person or property within the United States, according to Miami federal agents.
According to feds, 23 year-old Harlem Suarez, also known as Almlak Benitez, of Key West, is a self-professed ISIL adherent, who attempted to use a backpack bomb.
“Stopping attacks on our homeland by those inspired or directed by designated foreign terrorist organizations is the highest priority of the National Security Division,”said Assistant Attorney General John Carlin.
According to the complaint, in April, Suarez came to the attention of the FBI due to Facebook posts that contained extremist rhetoric and promoted the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a designated foreign terrorist organization.
The complaint further alleges that Suarez told the confidential source that he wanted to make a “timer bomb.” Suarez purchased components for this device, which was to contain galvanized nails, be concealed in a backpack and be remotely detonated by a cellphone. Suarez intended to bury the device at a public beach in Key West and then detonate it.
“There is no room for failure when it comes to investigating the potential use of a weapon of mass destruction,” said Special Agent in Charge Piro. “The FBI and our local, state and federal partners work around the clock to prevent such catastrophic weapons from being used against our citizens. Even so, we ask the public to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”