Monday, May 02, 2016

FBI Nabs Muslim Convert James Medina aka James Muhammad who Planned to Blow Up Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center in Florida

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The man accused of trying to detonate an explosive at a Jewish center in Aventura faced a judge Monday. James Medina was charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, the Associated Press reports. He had planned to detonate an explosive device at the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, which is home to a synagogue, school and meeting halls for about 800 congregants. James Medina, 40, stood up in court and told the judge he’s also known as James Muhammad. He then tried to speak to the judge saying, “I have a few words of my own.” That’s when the judge warned him anything he said could be used against him. He never had a chance to talk. Medina was arrested Friday following an undercover operation by the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). He is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

According to the FBI, Medina caught their attention in March after having conversations about attacking a synagogue in South Florida. The FBI said Medina was working with an FBI informant, but had no idea. During the investigation, the FBI said they found out he wanted to use an explosive device to commit the attack and was studying the synagogue property to find its vulnerabilities. In the FBI documents, it sai d a friend of Medina’s told him, “he said he wanted to shoot it up and then die while shooting it up, like be a martyr.” He also allegedly discussed putting a bomb under car or getting a bomb he could throw over the fence.
On Friday, authorities arrested Medina while he was allegedly approaching the synagogue with what he thought was a bomb. This isn’t reportedly his first run-in with authorities. He was reportedly arrested in Coral Springs, accused of stalking by sending texts threatening gun and bomb violence against a family.  As for Friday’s arrest, the leadership of the congregation said they were contacted by law enforcement who “assured us that the synagogue and school were never at risk at any time during the investigation and arrest, and that there are no credible threats directed against us at the present time.” “Everybody need be more careful, more secure, more police around the area. Everybody need to take care about children,” said Cohen. “Jewish people only talk about Shalom, about peace. I don’t see one reason why this guy wants to kill Jewish people.”

“I am deeply grateful that the FBI arrested this individual before he was allegedly able to do harm to the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center and its congregants, so many of whom are my constituents, who were observing the end of Passover,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a statement. “As the month of May begins and we recognize Jewish American Heritage Month, this attempted attack is a harsh reminder that there are many in our community who are motivated by bigotry and violence,” Wasserman Schultz added. “As a community and a nation we must work together to confront this kind of hatred.” Medina’s next court hearing is scheduled for May 5th to set his bond. However, it is unlikely he will be allowed to bond out. If convicted, Medina could face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

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