A 25-year-old man believed he was on the verge of going on a bombing and shooting rampage in a popular Florida bar and at other crowded establishments Saturday night when he was arrested by federal agents in part of a sting operation, the Justice Department announced today.
According to federal officials, Sami Osmakac, a naturalized U.S. citizen from the former Yugoslavia, had been provided the guns and explosives -- all of which had been rendered harmless -- by an FBI agent.
The FBI first became alerted to Osmakac in late September 2011 from a confidential source who told them that Osmakac was seeking Al Qaeda flags. Osmakac allegedly worked for the individual who tipped off the FBI.
In a meeting with an undercover FBI agent last month, Osmakac said he wanted to obtain an AK-47 assault rifle, Uzi submachine guns and explosives for as many as three car bombs. Osmakac also allegedly told the agent that he wanted an explosive suicide belt to kill police and law enforcement that would try to stop him.
"Once I have this…they can take me in five million pieces," Osmakac allegedly told the agent during a meeting on Jan. 1, 2012.
The FBI said that during the meeting, Osmakac indicated that he wanted to carry out a series of attacks in the Tampa area and "get in somewhere where there's a lot of people" to take hostages.
"I want to do something terrifying, like one day, one night, something's going to happen, then six hours later something else," he allegedly told the FBI's undercover agent.
"They['re] like $200 trillion in debt, and after all this money they're spending for homeland security and all this, this is going to be crushing them. This is going to terrify them," Osmakac said after discussing his plans about the car bomb and how far away he should be from the blast, according to the FBI.
The criminal complaint and affidavit filed by an FBI agent in the case indicate that Osmakac had tried to spur other people to take action in carrying out attacks.
"I made many plans, but there's not enough people," Osmakac allegedly said. "I even wasted like my energy debating and talking and trying [to] inspire them."
"Honestly, I would love to go for the Army people, but their bases are so locked up, I have to do something else," Osmakac said, according to the court documents. "Whenever we can get this done I'm ready."
The FBI undercover agent allegedly offered Osmakac an opportunity to not go forward with the attack to which Osmakac stated, "We all have to die. So why not die the Islamic way?"
Osmakac told the FBI undercover agent that he did not want to meet again until the weapons and explosives were ready to be delivered, the court documents said.
A week later, on Jan. 7, the agent and Osmakac met at a Tampa area hotel and the agent showed Osmakac an item he believed was a 100 pound car-bomb. After viewing the device and receiving an AK-47 and a handgun, Osmakac asked the agent if he would tape a martyrdom video message for him.
Court documents note the tape lasted "approximately eight minutes."
"In the video, Osmakac stated his belief that Muslims' 'blood' was more valuable than that of people who do not believe in Islam. He also stated that he wanted 'pay back' for wrongs he felt were done to Muslims," the documents say.
After the video was recorded, Osmakac stashed a getaway vehicle near his intended targets which included an Irish pub and a Starbucks in South Tampa. When he returned to the hotel, the FBI undercover showed Osmakac how to arm the bomb.
Osmakac was arrested by FBI agents after he connected what he believed was a detonator for the bomb and prepared to drive off in his car.
A court appearance has been set for later today Tampa. An attorney for Osmakac has not been identified. A records search indicates that Osmakac has a previous arrest in the Tampa area for battery in September 2011.
The battery charge against Osmakac stemmed from an April 16, 2011 incident where he confronted a group of Christian protestors who were staged outside of a Lady Gaga concert. After Osmakac and several of the men exchanged words and the men insulted Islam, Osmakac head-butted one of the protestors, according to a Tampa Police Department report.
A man strongly resembling Osmakac also appears in more than a dozen rambling online videos in which he discusses Islam and his views on current events.
In one video, the man stands in front of what appears to be a church, which he calls the "house of the devil," and, in another, says Muslims do not accept democracy.
"Allah says whoever rules by a system other than the rule of Allah, he's a non-believer. So we don't accept democracy, we don't accept communism," he says. "Whether you think you're fighting terrorism, or whatever claims you make – false claims – you're fighting Allah. And Allah will never lose."
Osmakac has been ordered detained and has been assigned a federal defender to represent him.