First Look

How FBI foiled 9/11 anniversary terror plot

A Florida man has been charged with distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction.


 A Florida man faces up to 20 years in federal prison for allegedly plotting an attack on a 9/11 memorial in Kansas City, Mo.

The US Attorney’s Office announced Thursday that 20-year-old Joshua Ryne Goldberg was arrested and charged with distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction.

In July, Mr. Goldberg began distributing information to an FBI informant on how to build a bomb with a pressure cooker, rat poison, and nails, according to a criminal complaint. The complaint says he instructed the informant to place the bomb at an upcoming memorial in Kansas City that was commemorating the anniversary of 9/11: The Kansas City Stair Climb.

Investigators originally thought the suspect was recruiting people to carry out attacks from a location in Australia. The complaint details numerous conversations from a Twitter account of someone who presented himself as a Muslim living in Australia who supported the Islamic State group.

Authorities say that was Goldberg, who was allegedly known for Internet hoaxes and taking over the identities of other people online. A witness from Australia called Goldberg an “online troll” who had used multiple identities, according to the complaint.

The complaint says Goldberg sent guidelines to the informant on how to make bombs and suggested an attack in Kansas City through the Twitter account.

He allegedly wrote, "Put as much sharp stuff as you can in there" and "use shards of metal and nails."

The conversations were enough to make the arrest. Authorities took him into custody at his home in Orange Park, about 15 miles south of Jacksonville, Fla., that he shares with his parents. He had planned the attacks on his mother’s computer.

Friday marks the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed in the terror strike on the World Trade Center in New York.

This report includes material from the Associated Press and Reuters.

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