The US Department of Justice confirmed that a Florida man was sentenced to life in prison for attempts to use weapons of mass destruction and provide material support to ISIS.
23-year-old Harlem Suarez, also known as Almlak Benitez was planning to detonate a bomb hidden in a backpack and loaded with galvanized nails at a public beach in Key West using a cell phone.
According to the evidence, Suarez started posting pro-ISIS videos and statements on his Facebook page back in 2015 and was even trying to recruit followers of the terrorist group. He has also researched sites for bomb making. That alerted FBI and they had informants contact him. In front of these informants, Suarez revealed his plot about the bomb at the Florida beach. He also bought a number of weapons, including two handguns, magazines, bulletproof vests, an AR-15 rifle and had attempted to buy an AK-47 assault weapon.
Suarez was sentenced to life in prison for the attempt to use weapons for mass destruction and got an additional 20-year term for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State.
“The government was extremely fortunate in this case that (agents) were able to ferret out the defendant’s true intentions and monitor his every move,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Gilbert said in court papers. “This crime is as serious as it gets.”