A Florida man, and self-professed ISIS follower, has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction at a public beach in Key West. The crime is punishable by life in prison.
23-year-old Harlem Suarez, also known as Almlak Benitez, was arrested Monday after the feds claimed they uncovered a plot in which he planned to build a “timer bomb” in a backpack, plant it under the sands of a Key West beach and then detonate it through a cell phone.
After attacking the Keys, Suarez also wanted to plant bombs in South Beach.
Suarez came to the FBI’s attention this past April after making Facebook posts containing extremist rhetoric and promoting the Islamic State. Someone tipped off the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office after receiving a friend request from someone using the name “Almlak Benitez.”
Suarez wrote postings on Facebook such as, “We are the islamic state. We are isis Muslims” and “Be a warrior, learn how to cut your enemies head and then burn down the body learn how to be the new future of the world Caliphate.”
“I need some emest from any brother. How to make a bomb send me a video or something, and what do I need to make it,” Suarez wrote in another.
The police then tipped off the FBI, and the agency then tracked back the “Benitez” page to Suarez’s profile that he kept under his real name.
A confidential informant from West Palm Beach began chatting him up on Facebook, which led to the source and the ISIS-sympathizer talking on the phone, meeting in person to make a recruitment video, and then eventually arresting Suarez.
That other Facebook profile remains mostly private with little information available to the public other than that he liked some pages, including those of Waka Flocka Flame and the Poltergeist movies.
However, Heavy.com found that according to an update on a friend’s page, Suarez, who lived at home with his parents, was at Bare Assets strip club in Key West and wrote, “I’m ready to make it rain while I’m blowing up.”