December 21, 2017 / 12:16 AM / 10 months ago

Florida man pleads guilty to Kansas City 9/11 memorial bomb plot

(Reuters) - A Florida man faces up to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty of trying to enlist a person to bomb a Kansas City, Missouri, memorial for first responders killed in the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Joshua Goldberg waived his right to an indictment and pleaded guilty to attempted malicious damage and destruction by an explosive of a building. No date has been set for sentencing, the office of the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Florida said in a statement.

A lawyer for Goldberg was not immediately available for comment.

Law enforcement became aware of Goldberg in 2015 when he used social media to encourage an attack on an exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in the Dallas suburb of Garland, Texas, prosecutors said.

Shortly after that, Goldberg exchanged messages with a Federal Bureau of Investigation informant and presented the informant with instructions for making explosive devices.

Goldberg tried to have the informant make a pressure-cooker bomb and fill it with nails, metal and other items dipped in rat poison, which would be detonated at the Kansas City memorial, prosecutors said.

“A forensic analysis of the bomb making information determined that it could have been used to make explosives that would cause property damage, personal injury, and/or death,” prosecutors said in a statement. 

He was arrested shortly afterward and no bomb was ever built.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Peter Cooney

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