A former Florida college student is accused of trying to get ISIS to launch a revenge attack against the deans of two local schools that suspended or expelled him.
Salman Rashid is now facing federal charges after attempting to make contact with Islamic State terrorists in order to bomb Miami-Dade and Broward colleges, according to court documents, The Washington Post reported.
The 23-year-old from North Miami Beach “solicited confidential human sources” who were actually working with the FBI to use explosives that were “as big as possible” in targeting the deans, after considering bombing a religious building or a nightclub, according to the 22-page criminal complaint.
Rashid, who was denied bond in court Monday, is scheduled to appear in court again on Wednesday and faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted. One of his family members denied that he was trying to communicate with ISIS when she was approached by a WSVN-TV reporter in Miami.
Facebook posts by Rashid that “advocated for the violent overthrow of democracy and the establishment of Islamic law” prompted an FBI investigation in April 2018, ultimately leading to a source reaching out to him to “establish an online friendship” and “build rapport.”
A fellow student at Miami-Dade College filed a complaint against him a short time later alleging he had sent her threatening text messages.
“In the hereafter, we will meet once again. But things will be a little different :). You will not have excuses, will not be given a choice and will have to come close to me …,” one of the messages allegedly read.
Though he was suspended in December of that year, Rashid allegedly continued to stalk the woman and send her messages, one time even reportedly following her to her car after class, according to the complaint. Meanwhile, the ongoing FBI investigation found that Rashid expressed a “growing hatred for America [and] non-Muslims,” and advocated for a “violent overthrow” of the “democratic system.”
He also posted an attack on feminists, calling them a “cancer on Earth.”
“If l had Authority, I would strip their skins from flesh and hang their bodies in the sun to rot,” he wrote in a February 2019 Facebook post, according to investigators.
The Washington Post reported:
In May 2019, Rashid met with the undercover source in person to say he “wanted to leave this world” — but first, wanted to finish business in the form of an attack.
The source introduced Rashid to another individual he believed to be a member of the Islamic State but who was in fact another FBI source.
Up until early November, Rashid carried out conversations and plans about attacks that mixed a raft of details, grievances and apparent guidelines: Target “sinners,” he said, according to investigators; make the explosions big to “strike fear,” don’t hurt children.
Finally settling on the Broward College and Miami Dade College deans, he allegedly gave the source he was in contact with the name and photo of the Broward dean as well as information about security o the campus.
“These two people, they need to die,” Rashid told the source in a conversation that was recorded.
Miami Dade College noted that it was notified by the FBI that a threat from a former student at one of the campuses had been “eliminated.”
“At this time, the FBI has advised us that there is no additional threat or need for heightened security,” the school said in a statement.
“We have informed the campus community and used the opportunity to again remind employees and students to always remain alert and vigilant, and if they see or hear something, to say something,” Juan Mendieta, a spokesman for Miami Dade College, said in a statement Tuesday.
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