(Updates with attack plan in sixth paragraph.)
Jan. 9 (Bloomberg) -- A 25-year-old Florida man was charged in connection with an alleged plot to bomb nightclubs, a sheriff’s office and businesses in the Tampa area, the U.S. Justice Department said.
Sami Osmakac, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in the former Yugoslavia, was arrested Jan. 7 and charged with one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, the department said today in a statement. If convicted, he faces life in prison and a $250,000 fine, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Osmakac got a job at the store of a paid Federal Bureau of Investigation informant, who recorded conversations with him discussing attacks on the U.S., according to court papers. The informant isn’t identified in an affidavit filed in support of the arrest warrant.
Osmakac asked the informant for help buying guns and explosives, according to the affidavit. He was arrested after getting an explosive belt, a pistol, grenades and an AK-47 assault rifle from an undercover FBI agent, according to court papers. The weapons had been rendered inoperable, the U.S. said.
Osmakac also made a video giving his reasons for the attacks, the U.S. said. In the video, Osmakac said that he thought Muslim blood was more valuable than that of non-Muslims and that he should “pay back” the injustices suffered by Muslims, according to the U.S.
The suspect planned to begin an attack at night and have another “terrifying” attack six hours later, according to court filings.
The FBI staged a similar sting operation using a secret informant to arrest four men who were convicted in 2010 of plotting to bomb New York synagogues and shoot heat-seeking missiles at military planes.
The case is U.S. v. Osmakac, 12-cr-1008, U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida (Tampa).
--With assistance from Will Daley in New York. Editors: Andrew Dunn, Mary Romano
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