October 24, 2017 / 12:56 AM / 2 years ago

Honduras man living in Miami charged with trying to bomb a mall

(Reuters) - A Honduras citizen with sympathies to ISIS and residing in Miami appeared in federal court on Monday on a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in a planned attack on a crowded Miami shopping mall, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Vicente Solano, 53, planned to detonate an explosive in a crowded area of the Dolphin Mall and if convicted, he could face up to life in prison, it said.

Solano discussed his plot with a confidential source and two Federal Bureau of Investigation undercover employees. Solano provided three videos to the source, in which he makes pro-ISIS statements and expresses anti-U.S. sentiments, the department said.

At his court appearance, a judge appointed an attorney, who has not spoken to media about the case.

As a part of a federal sting operation, Solano took possession of what he thought was an explosive device, tried to arm it and walked toward a mall entrance to launch his attack. He was arrested, the department said.

The device was inert and did not pose a risk to the public, it said.

Solano is scheduled to have a pre-trial detention hearing on Thursday.

Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Sandra Maler

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