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Sami Osmakac, 25, was charged with a terrorist plot to attack busy areas in Tampa with an assault rifle, a car bomb, and other explosives, according to federal authorities. Osmakac, who is a U.S. citizen, hailing from the former Yugoslavia, was arrested on Saturday by FBI agents and tried in federal court on Monday, January 9, at two in the afternoon. Authorities said that Osmakac will be prosecuted with an attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Osmakac allegedly purchased explosives and guns from an undercover agent, which led to his arrest. According to the federal complaint, he recorded himself on video talking about his motives and plans. He seemed to be interested in al Qaeda since federal officials cited a source that told them Osmakac wanted al Qaeda flags in September 2011.
Two months after this, Osmakac and their source “discussed and identified potential targets in Tampa” for terrorist attacks, stated the federal complaint. He allegedly inquired where he could get some firearms and explosives to carry out his attack, so the source contacted an undercover FBI employee. Osmakac had a meeting with the undercover agent on December 21 and allegedly said that he wanted to buy an AK-47 type of machine gun, Uzis, and other explosives. He put down a $500 payment on the items at a later meeting with the agent.
“According to the complaint, Osmakac also asked the undercover employee whether he/she could build bombs that could be placed in three different vehicles and detonated remotely, near where Osmakac would conduct a follow-up attack using the other weapons he requested,” the press release stated.
“The undercover employee said he/she could possibly provide explosives for one vehicle. Osmakac also allegedly said that he wanted an explosive belt constructed to kill people.”
Osmakac informed the undercover agent that he wanted to bomb the Operation Center of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, a Tampa business, and night clubs. He also said he wanted to use a car bomb and an explosive belt to “get in somewhere where there’s a lot of people”, so he could take hostages.
The agent reminded Osmakac during the meeting that he did not have to follow through with his plans and could change his mind any time he wanted. “According to the complaint, Osmakac immediately shook his head in the negative and stated, ‘We all have to die, so why not die the Islamic way?’” the press release said.