An American al Qaida supporter has been arrested accused of planning to attack crowded Florida nightclubs with bombs and an assault rifle.
Sami Osmakac, a 25-year-old naturalised citizen originally from the former Yugoslavia, was held by the FBI on Saturday after he bought explosives and firearms from an undercover agent. The weapons had been secretly made useless by agents.
Shortly before his arrest, Osmakac made a video of himself explaining his motives for carrying out the planned violent attack.
Federal officials say a confidential source told them last September that Osmakac wanted al Qaida flags. Two months later Osmakac and the confidential source "discussed and identified potential targets in Tampa" that Osmakac wanted to attack.
Osmakac allegedly asked the source for help getting the firearms and explosives for the attacks, and the source put him in touch with an undercover FBI employee.
On December 21, Osmakac met the undercover agent and said he wanted to buy an AK-47-style machine gun, Uzi submachine guns, high capacity magazines, grenades and explosive belt.
Osmakac also asked the undercover employee whether they 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.
On January 1, Osmakac told the agent that he wanted to bomb night clubsand a business in Tampa.
Osmakac told the undercover FBI agent that he wanted to detonate a car bomb and use an explosive suicide belt to "get in somewhere where there's a lot of people" and take hostages. During that meeting, the agent told Osmakac he could always change his mind about his plot.
Osmakac immediately shook his head in the negative and stated, 'We all have to die, so why not die the Islamic way?' "