Former Yugoslav Citizen Implicated in Bomb Plot in Tampa
|Robert O'Neill, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, after the arraignment|
The FBI and the Department of Justice have arrested a naturalized citizen from the former Yugoslavia, Sami Osmakac, who lives in Pinellas Park.
Authorities say they've been watching Osmakac for several months and the Muslim community has been cooperating with them.
Osmakac met with an undercover FBI agent last month saying he wanted to get an AK-47, Uzi submachine guns with magazines that could hold a lot of bullets, grenades and an bomb belt. Osmakac also is accused of saying he wanted to plant a car bomb to target nightclubs and the Hillsborough Sheriff's office in Ybor City as well as a business in South Tampa.
Osmakac said few words after he was walked into the Tampa federal courthouse before a U.S. Magistrate, wearing a light blue prison jumpsuit and sporting a long goatee. Osmakac is being charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, after prosecutors say he bought machine guns and an explosive belt from an FBI informant.
Robert O'Neill is U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida. He says Osmakac represented a real threat.
"When a person's got an AK-47 - which he believes is operable - when he has explosives - which he believes are real - and when he has an explosive pack and a car bomb - which he believes he is going to utilize against Americans," says O'Neill, "that makes it a crime."
Osmakac was born in Serbian province of Kosovo and prosecutors say he told the informant he wanted to do "die in an Islamic way." O'Neill went out of his way to commend the local Muslim community for its cooperation on the case.
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