FBI foils IS-inspired plot to bomb Florida mall on Black Friday

By Daniel Uria  |  Oct. 23, 2017 at 4:59 PM
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Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Undercover FBI agents foiled a plot by a man who was inspired by the Islamic State to plant a bomb in a South Florida mall on Black Friday, federal authorities said.

Agents arrested Vicente A. Solano, 53, on Friday after he told an FBI informant of his plans to plant a bomb in a Miami-area mall on the busy shopping day after Thanksgiving and sent a series of three videos of himself expressing his allegiance to IS, the Miami Herald reported.

"I am here because I like the way that ISIS confronts the United States and the countries of the coalition. They're strong. It's a group that is growing in social media. I love that there is going to be a holy war," Solano said, referring to another acronym used to describe the terror group.

He dressed in all black in the videos and stood in front of a black flag identical to the one used by IS as he declared the United States is "the most terrorist country of them all."

The FBI agent promised to help Solano with the plan if he could prove his intentions, but the device they planed to build together was inert.

He planned to target the Dolphin Mall in order to "send a message" and met with two FBI undercover employees at a hotel to assemble the bomb before making their way to the mall.

"When they arrived at the mall, Solano took the steps that he believed would arm the device and the timer began to count down," an affidavit said. "Solano exited [the undercover employee's] vehicle and began to walk toward the previously determined mall entrance."

Agents apprehended Solano prior to entering the mall; he was expected be charged with an offense related to use of a weapon of mass destruction.

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