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My lady Kari called me from club med behind bars last night, to ask me what, if anything, I knew about the capture of a man who intended to set of a bomb in Key West? She had seen something about it on the TV news in the jail. I said it was the first I’d heard of it; if I want to know crime stuff pronto, I get it from inmates. I said it would be splashed all over the Key West Citizen today. I saw former Key West Chief of Police Gordon “Buz” Dillon in one of my dreams last night. He was a good friend of mine.
In today’s Key West Citizen, my interjected thoughts in bold italics, followed by the Keynoter’s report:
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Key West man faces charge in beach terror plan
FBI thwarts plan to bomb Keys with WMD
BY ADAM LINHARDT Citizen Staff
A 23-year-old Stock Island man who claimed to be a member of the Islamic State terror network planned on detonating a nail-filled backpack bomb on a Key West beach and hoped to bring a fundamentalist holy war to the Florida Keys, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Stock Island is the next key (island) up US 1 from Key West. Club med behind bars also is on Stock Island.
Federal agents on Monday arrested Harlem Suarez, also known as Almlak Benitez, and charged him with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction against a person or property within the United States. The charge is punishable by a maximum of life in prison. Suarez lives with his parents in an apartment on Shrimp Road in Stock Island.
Where was Suarez arrested? Stock Island? Key West? The mainland?
Monroe County Airports Director Don DeGraw confirmed Tuesday that Suarez was employed at one time at Key West International Airport but was unsure when he left or whether he was fired, or of what position he held. The airport is not mentioned in the government’s complaint and none of the allegations against Suarez involve an airport, despite an area close to the airport being used to process materials Monday by FBI agents.
The case began on Facebook earlier this year when Suarez reportedly praised the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) in multiple posts that included his desire to behead Christians, kill police officers and extend the caliphate (a fundamentalist Islamic government) to the U.S.
Suarez reportedly considered himself a member of ISIS, but the complaint does not state whether the government believes he was acting as a lone wolf operator or if he was under the direction of ISIS leaders overseas. FBI-monitored telephone conversations stated that he “had been trying to contact someone from Syria,” court records state, but he “never received an answer from them.”
“Be a warrior,” Suarez wrote in April under the alias Almlak Benitez. “Learn how to cut your enemies head and then burn down the body learn how to be the new future of the world Caliphate.”
Suarez, who created a pro-jihad profile on Facebook under the alias Almlak Benitez, listed his likes on the social media website as “jihadist,” “extraordinary prayer for ISIS” and “prayers for ISIS: Weapons of our warfare.”
In other posts he reached out to “any brother” for information on how to build a bomb.
Later in the investigation, the FBI alleges Suarez stated he wanted to bury a bomb at a Key West beach and detonate it remotely using a cellphone. “I can go to the beach at the night time, put the thing in the sand, cover it up, so the next day I just call and the thing is gonna, is gonna make, a real hard noise from nowhere,” Suarez reportedly told the informant in a recorded call.
Assuming everything reported by the Citizen is reasonably accurate, I have no reason to think otherwise, Suarez strikes me as (1) really stupid; (2) seriously mentally ill; or (3) dumb like a fox, as in, is he a plant? Is he a diversion? Is an attack coming elsewhere, where nobody is looking because they are looking at Suarez? Kari said it could be a diversion, when I visited her in the jail this morning. She said maybe Suarez is tied into the two recent fake 911 calls, which galvanized KWPD officers to alleged hostage scenes, for nothing.
The case culminated on Monday when Suarez took an inert bomb, which he believed to be explosive, from the informant, according to the 14-page criminal complaint released Tuesday. He was then arrested. Suarez previously provided nails, a cellphone to be used as a detonator and a backpack among other suspected bomb supplies.
Where did the arrest happen?
The FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s complaint against Suarez states he tried to buy two AK-47 assault rifles, and that he claimed to own two Glock pistols while chatting with the informant on Facebook, on the phone and during face-to-face conversations.
The rifles were to be delivered to a Key West pawn shop and were bought legally by Suarez, but the complaint states he incorrectly filled out paperwork and the rifles were returned.
In another instance, Suarez reportedly told the informant that he wanted to conduct a “terrorist-style attack on or about July 4, possibly in Marathon or on South Beach in Miami Beach or both.”
He also discussed creating a car bomb, targeting police officers by placing bombs underneath police vehicles and possibly targeting hotels, according to the complaint.
“One day I will cook Americans … in cages … flaming,” he allegedly told the informant.
FBI agents had Suarez under surveillance for months and although he solicited a ready-made bomb, there are no indications he ever made one.
It Suarez never made a bomb, and if the bomb he purchased from the undercover FBI agent was a fake bomb, a criminal defense lawyer might argue there was no actual attempt, as there was no real bomb. Attempt is different from intent. Maybe the federal law nails that down?
At one point, Suarez made a video in a Homestead hotel room, dressed in military-style clothing, while he was being monitored by the FBI in which he states, “American soil is the past, we will destroy America and divide it in two, we will raise our black flag on top of your white house and president on duty (cut head),” he reportedly says on the video, according to the complaint.
Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay knew of the investigation and said Tuesday he grew more concerned as he learned about the case.
“As I learned more and more information, the more convinced I became that he was serious and was really trying to become a player and set himself out to get noticed by ISIS,” Ramsay said. “He wanted to be the real deal. I’m convinced if he had the ability he would have.”
Again, without the ability, can there be an attempt?
Ramsay continued, “I was very concerned and obviously my concern was for public safety and that he didn’t hurt anyone while this investigation was ongoing. That was my top concern from day one. It is shocking that this happened in such a safe, little community, but it just goes to show that we have to be vigilant and that this can happen anywhere.”
Now Rick, you know there are people living on Stock Island and Key West, who do not view this as a safe little community. You know there are people who view this as the wild west, actually, and the most dangerous people living here are law enforcement officers.
FBI Miami Division Special Agent Michael Leverock declined to comment on the case, but FBI Miami Field Office Special Agent in Charge George Piro stated in a press release, “There is no room for failure when it comes to investigating the potential use of a weapon of mass destruction.”
I agree. Kudos to the FBI for tracking and capturing Suarez before anyone was hurt.
“The FBI and our local, state and federal partners work around the clock to prevent such catastrophic weapons from being used against our citizens,” Piro said in the release. “Even so, we ask the public to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
Multiple government agencies would not confirm The Citizen’s requests concerning if a picture on Suarez’s Facebook profile is of the alleged bomber.
Suarez’s first appearance in court occurred Tuesday in Miami. He is being held without bail.
The head monitor at KOTS last night, whose main job is with Monroe County Public Works, a friend of mine, said Suarez was arraigned in federal court yesterday, same day as his arrest.
His temporary attorney, Richard Della Fera, told the Associated Press that Suarez “may be a troubled and confused young man but he is certainly not a terrorist.”
“He comes from a very good, hard-working family that arrived here from Cuba in 2004 because they yearned for freedom. They raised their son to love this country,” Della Fera told the AP.
I wonder if the temp Fera is willing to wager his law license, his worldly assets, his life and his soul that his client is not a terrorist? Just doing what he did, whether he had the bomb or not, made Suarez a terrorist. The state of mind of a terrorist is just what Suarez presented, except, I told Kari in the jail this morning, I seriously doubt a real terrorist would go public with his plans, unless he was a decoy, a diversion.
The Keynoter report:
Keys man arrested on terror charges. Alleged ISIS sympathizer wanted to bomb events in Marathon
BY DAVID GOODHUE
July 28, 2015 Updated 21 hours ago
Harlem Suarez, aka Almlak Benitez, is shown taking a selfie on his Facebook page. The FBI arrested him this week on a terrorism charge.
Federal authorities arrested a Stock Island man Tuesday on terrorism charges, accusing him of planning to attack Fourth of July events in either Marathon or Miami Beach, or both, using a bomb.
Harlem Suarez, 23, who also goes by the name Almlak Benitez, faces life in prison on a charge of knowingly attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Suarez reportedly told undercover FBI informants on July 3 that he wanted to attack police by either detonating a car bomb or by placing bombs underneath police cruisers.
Suarez allegedly came to the attention of authorities after Facebook friends noticed Islamist extremist posts, according to the criminal complaint.
He told the informants that he considered himself a member of the Islamic State and that “one day I will cook American” … “in cages” … “flaming.”
One of the informants, posing as a member of Islamic State, told Suarez at a meeting in a Homestead hotel room that he would get back to him with prices for grenades and other explosive material needed to make a backpack bomb.
The July 4 attacks never happened, but Suarez continued to discuss buying the grenades and backpack bomb materials, authorities say.
During a recorded phone call with one of the informants, Suarez said he needed to learn to make a timer for the bombs. Suarez and the FBI informants also filmed a video aimed at recruiting local Muslims to join Islamic State.
He legally purchased an AK-47 assault rifle online but when he went to pick it up from a Key West pawn shop, which is not named in the arrest report, he filled out the paperwork wrong and the pawn shop clerk would not give him the weapon.
Suarez told one of the informants he planned to test the bomb by burying it in the sand on a Key West beach and detonating it using a cell phone timer.
“I can go to the beach at night time … put the thing in the sand … cover it up so the next day I just call and the thing is gonna, is gonna make a real hard noise from nowhere, and like people are gonna be like what, where is this [expletive] came from,” Suarez told the informant, according to the arrest report.
One of the sources told Suarez on a recorded phone call the bomb was ready and they could meet on July 27. When the men met inside a car, the informant showed Suarez how to detonate the bomb, which was a fake. Federal agents arrested him when he exited the car.
“There is no room for failure when it comes to investigating the potential use of a weapon of mass destruction,” George L. Piro, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Miami office, said in a statement. “The FBI and our local, state and federal partners work around the clock to prevent such catastrophic weapons from being used against our citizens. Even so, we ask the public to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to law enforcement.”
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
How about let’s look at a far worse terrorist than Suarez. Make that far worse terrorists. Who did not come from Cuba. Nor did their parents, grandparents and great grandparents.
Tom Johnson I have for years to anyone who will listen, that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and many others, should be in jail for treasonous acts against America. Until that happens, I will continue talking about it. We only invaded Iraq for the money that could be made for the rich….no other reason!
189 Replies · 2 hrs
Inspirational World and Stories We backed the Mujaheddin in the 70s and 80s because they were fighting Russia who was our enemy and is now our freind but kind of enemy. The Mujahideen became the Taliban who we built caves for and then they spun into Al Qaeda who was credited with attacking us in 9-11. This was led by a guy in Afghanistan who hid out in Pakistan. In response we bombed and attacked a guy in Iraq, 1000 miles away named Saddam who spoke a different language than Pakistan but not a different language from bin Laden who came from our ally Saudi Arabia, but Osama wasn’t an ally of our ally because he was mad that last time we invaded Iraq Saudi didn’t let him help defend them.
Now Saddam also used to be our freind and we gave him weapons to fight Iran who is Shia. Then Sadam became our enemy when he invaded Kuwait and threatened to invade Saudi Arabia who is our freind and who is Sunni. Because they are Sunni and supported the rebellion against Assad in Syria, who used to be our freind, we supported the rebels, then supported the government, then supported the rebels again and gave them weapons and arms. These guys used these weapons and arms and morphed into ISIS who we started to supoort and now don’t support. Meanwhile Hamas and Hezbolah also fought Sadam’s army with us but we’re also our enemy because they are allied with Iran who used to be our freind when we placed the Shah in power but who now isn’t our freind.
Moving laterally, to another brand of terrorism …
When I saw Kari in the jail last night, she said she felt the Seventh Day Adventist church on Fifth Avenue in Key West is the bad place, as opposed to Fifth Street Baptist not far away. Kari said she used to sleep outside on Fifth Street Baptist’s yard, and she never got bad vibes there. But whenever she bicycled by Seventh Day Adventist church, she felt like something bad was pinging her, telling her not to go in there. She said she had dealings in the jail with inmates who attended that church, or their boyfriends did, and they were bad people. She said a monitor at KOTS, when she did volunteer work there, cleaning linens, who attended that church, asked her to suck his dick.
When I visited Kari in the jail this morning, she said she dreamt of that church last night. There was all sorts of voodoo kind of stuff going on. Santeria. Killing chickens and other animals, and other awful things. The animals were being killed elsewhere, and the blood was being brought to the church. I said maybe the dream was representational, not literal. Kari said that might be so. I said, Jeremy Jerome told me the other day that he had been shown in a dream the night before that very bad sex stuff is going on in that church, which also is used by a Spanish congregation on Sundays. Seventh Day Adventists hold church services on Saturday.
Then, there is angel terrorism …
Not long after visiting with Kari in the jail this morning, I received a phone call and learned the hideyhole in Key West, where mostly I have been staying at night, is no longer available to me. So, I rushed there and packed up, loaded up my bicycle and pedaled to the home of friends and left most of my gear there, under a shed, for now. If they let me keep doing that, I can come by once or twice a day and swap out stuff I need, and sleep and shower at KOTS. I’ll be doing a lot more pedaling on my bicycle. Maybe I’ll end up in a triathlon, or on a cardiac ward.
I must have see it coming yesterday when I told the angels I saw what they were doing. They moved me out of the room I had in the home where I had stayed for over a year, in Key West. I then stayed 4 months with a friend in his home on Cudjoe Key, until the angels made that plainly was no longer where I should be. Then, I stayed in the place I lost today, because my friend who lived there was in the hosptial. I learned today that the landlord is going to change out the locks. My friend in the hospital is not getting better.
I told the angels yesterday, I saw what they were doing. They were going to put me back into KOTS, or sleeping outside at night. Not long after, I was up on Stock Island on my bicycle, and I pased Mike Tolbert and his wife Patti Jo going the other way on their motor scooter. Mike is the manager of KOTS. I had been hearing from a friend that Mike was asking were I was? Well, here I am, Mike. A regular at KOTS, it seems.
Kari doesn’t know yet about my becoming a full-time KOTS spend the nighter. Just a short walk from the jail.