(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