Florida man arrested for planning ISIS-inspired terrorist attack on Key West beach

A South Florida man inspired by the terrorist group ISIS is behind bars after allegedly planning to use a “backpack bomb” in a plot to attack a Key West beach.

The Department of Justice said Harlem Suarez, 23, of Key West was arrested Monday and appeared in court Tuesday after describing his plans for a terrorist attack and trying to purchase explosives from undercover federal agents, according to CBS Miami.

Harlem Suarez was arrested for plotting a terrorist attack on a Key West beach.
Harlem Suarez was arrested for plotting a terrorist attack in south Florida.

Suarez had gained the attention of the FBI in April when authorities were alerted to a series of Facebook posts in which he praised the murderous terrorist organization in the Middle East known as the Islamic State.

“Be a warrior, learn how to cut your enemies head and then burn down the body, learn how to be the new future of the world Caliphate,” he allegedly wrote in a post from an account titled Almlak Benitez, reported the Daily Mail.

According to investigators, Suarez met with undercover agents in an attempt to purchase a bomb to plant at a beach for a possible July 4th attack. In that meeting he described his plot, discussed possible targets, and even filmed an ISIS recruitment video.

“If one day…I get a day off… I can go to the beach at the night time, put the [bomb] in the sand, cover it up, so the next day I just call and the thing is gonna, is gonna make, a real hard noise from nowhere,” Suarez allegedly told the informant.

Suarez also described plans to recruit Muslims at a local mosque, and allegedly had ordered – but never received – two AK-47 rifles for use in other attacks.

His lawyer told CBS Miami that Suarez may be “a confused young man, but he is certainly not a terrorist.”

Suarez’s ex-girlfriend argued that he’s “not a terrorist,” saying he’s just “dumb and stupid.”

Unfortunately for Suarez, even dumb and stupid people – if they try to buy an explosive device from undercover federal agents and plot to blow up innocent people in the name of the Islamic State – are still expected to be held accountable for their actions.

His bond hearing is scheduled for Monday.

Michael Schaus


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