A Florida man tried to direct a purported ISIS agent to bomb Miami Dade College, prosecutors say.
A man who had been suspended or expelled from two South Florida colleges asked an FBI informant he thought belonged to ISIS to bomb the schools, targeting specific deans, a federal prosecutor says.
Salman Rashid, 23, is charged with soliciting another person to commit a crime of violence.
He made an initial court appearance Monday in US district court in Miami, according to federal prosecutors. It was unclear if he had retained counsel. Sarah Schall, spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, told CNN she wouldn’t know if he had retained a lawyer until after a scheduled Wednesday morning pretrial detention hearing.
The North Miami Beach man became the subject of an FBI probe in spring 2018 after agents reviewed his Facebook posts and found that he advocated for the violent overthrow of democracy and the establishment of Islamic law, the US Justice Department alleges in court documents.
In May 2019, and without provocation, Rashid solicited a confidential human source to contact members of ISIS and instruct those ISIS members to conduct a terrorist attack on Rashid’s behalf, a Justice Department news release said.
Rashid also sought to bomb Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, authorities say.
Rashid continued his efforts for the next several months, initially indicating that a nightclub or religious building would be a suitable target, the federal government alleges.
The FBI then added another confidential human source claiming to be a member of ISIS who was willing to carry out Rashids desired attack, according to the Justice Department.
Earlier this month, Rashid allegedly directed the FBI informant to target unnamed deans at Miami Dade College and at Broward College — from which Rashid had been suspended or expelled — with bombs as big as possible, the government alleges. He also provided information about the security at the colleges and the placement of the explosive devices, federal prosecutors say.
Rashid faces up to a maximum sentence of 20 year in prison, if convicted. His arraignment is scheduled for December 9.
Miami Dade’s main campus is in downtown Miami, while Broward’s is in Fort Lauderdale. Both are public state colleges. Miami Dade boasts the most students in Florida.