Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino among targets for ISIS supporter’s planned mass shooting: FBI
An American citizen who had boasted in front of an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to kill dozens of people and “infidels,” including his own father, allegedly planned to carry out a mass-casualty shooting at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) revealed that Muhammed AI-Azhari told an undercover agent if the law enforcement agency that he wanted to kill at least 50 people in the Tampa Bay area.
The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa was one of the many planned targets of the mass shooting suspect, the federal law enforcement agency said in a statement. The list of his other potential targets included Honeymoon Island, Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa as well as the law enforcement agency’s Tampa Field Office. The agency arrested AI-Azhari and revealed his potential shooting targets after collecting information from his mobile phone and personal computer.
The 23-year-old suspect was arrested by FBI agents on 24th of May. His arrested took place a couple of years after he was freed from a prison in Saudi Arabia, where he remained behind the bars for three years for terrorism offenses. The American citizen was taken under arrest by Saudi police in 2015 while he was trying to enter Syria to join notorious terrorist group ISIS. At the time, he was found to be in possession of plans for spreading terrorism. After being released from Saudi prison, he was deported to the United States.
In the United States, the federal law enforcement agency had been tracking the young terrorist for the last few months, but they started taking serious notice in April this year when they caught a package containing a firearm, predestined for the suspect.
An FBI agent contacted and questioned the firearm’s seller in Texas, who provided the agent with permission to take over his eBay profile and account in order to track the suspect. Then an undercover FBI agent posed as the seller communicated with the suspect regarding more purchases of firearms and gradually gained his trust. The agency came to know that the suspect had purchased multiple firearms in past few months, and all of those purchases were illegal. His illegal firearm purchases included a Glock pistol and silencer.
During his conversation with the agent, Al-Azhari admired Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen and said that Americans had received what they had really deserved on 9-11.
Al-Azhari has been charged with attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist group (ISIS). In case of conviction, he may face a penalty of up to 20 years in a federal prison.
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