A “lone wolf” inspired by ISIS is under arrest in Miami, accused of plotting to detonate a bomb in a popular Miami mall.
The FBI arrested the suspect late Friday as part of an undercover sting operation targeting suspected ISIS sympathizers. Authorities were reportedly tipped off by an informant, which led them to investigate Vicente Solano, a Miami resident. Not much more is known about Solano or what led him to become radicalized.
A confidential informant learned of Solano’s intent to carry out a domestic terror attack on behalf of ISIS, and alerted the FBI. They, in turn, set up a sting operation, providing Solano with a fake bomb, which he said he planned to detonate at the Dolphin Mall in the Miami/Sweetwater area. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force says he acted alone.
Before the planned bombing attack, Solano made pro-Islamic State videos, authorities said. But there is no indication he was directed by ISIS terrorists.
When he was arrested, Solano planned to detonate the WMD, which was a sham bomb that he acquired from FBI undercover agents — a strategy deployed in previous counter-terrorism probes in South Florida.
Solano will have his first appearance in Miami federal court on Monday, when a criminal complaint and affidavit will be filed that charge him with attempting to blow up a WMD.
The FBI’s undercover operations have become textbook procedures in the post-9/11 era. Agents rely on confidential informants to bring them suspicious information, so they can engage a suspect plotting to use a WMD and thwart the plan before it happens. Informants routinely work with undercover agents while recording conversations with the suspect.
No other details on the suspect are available, and he is due to be arraigned on Monday.
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