KEY WEST (CBSMiami) — A federal jury convicted a Florida man who reportedly wanted to set off a bomb at a Key West beach.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Hot & Humid, Afternoon Showers Possible
Harlem Suarez, also known as “Almlak Benitez,” 23, intended to use a backpack bomb in an ISIL-inspired attack.
“Suarez wanted to kill innocent people by detonating a nail-laced explosive-filled backpack on a crowded Key West beach,” said Special Agent George Piro with FBI Miami. “He was denied his terroristic dreams by several hardworking, dedicated law enforcement organizations and professionals. This is a job well done.”
He was arrested in 2015 after accepting an inert device from an FBI employee posing as an extremist.READ MORE: One Dead, One Hospitalized After Shooting in Northwest Miami-Dade
Evidence introduced at his trial in 2015 claimed Suarez’s Facebook postings had extremist rhetoric and promoted ISIL. He reportedly told an FBI source that he wanted to make a “timer bomb.”
Other evidence showed Suarez bought items for the device which he planned to bury at the beach and detonate using a cell phone.
Suarez is convicted of knowingly attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and providing material support to a terrorist organization.MORE NEWS: Broward Schools Supt. Robert Runcie, Former General Counsel Barbara Myrick To Be Arraigned Wednesday
Suarez is scheduled to be sentenced by a federal judge in Key West on April 18th.