Sami Osmakac, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in the former Yugoslavia, was arrested and charged with one count of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. His first appearance in federal court is scheduled for today. He allegedly sought to attack Ybor City nightclubs, law enforcement, other assorted businesses, and even attacking Tampa area bridges and infrastructure.
Agents say his list of possible targets included night clubs in the Ybor City area, the Operations Center of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Ybor City, and a business in the South Tampa area.The affidavit is here. This appears to be another of the lone-wolf variety of al Qaeda wannabe terrorists who may have been inspired by al Qaeda but is not directly associated with the terror group.
Osmakac had been under surveillance since September after an informant told authorities he had asked for al-Qaeda flags. In November, Osmakac and the informant discussed potential targets.
The informant ultimately introduced Osmakac to an undercover FBI agent.
He met with the agent in December and stated that he wanted to acquire an AK-47-style machine gun, Uzi submachine guns, high capacity magazines, grenades and an explosive belt. In a subsequent meeting, Osmakac allegedly provided the undercover FBI employee with a $500 down payment for an AK-47, multiple homemade explosive grenades and an explosive belt.
Osmakac planned to build a car bomb and wanted to use the explosive belt to "get in somewhere where there's a lot of people" and take hostages, according to authorities. He allegedly stated that he would then make demands of the FBI to release some prisoners and then, "They can take me in five million pieces."
He is charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and faces a possible $250,000 fine and a maximum of life in prison.