Federal law enforcement officials stopped a South American foreign national who was inspired by ISIS from blowing up a shopping mall in Miami, Florida.
On Friday night, authorities arrested 53-year-old Vicente Adolfo Solano, a citizen of Honduras residing in Miami, and charged him with “attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in a planned attack at a shopping mall in Miami,” the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) announced in a statement.
Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente, Acting U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg for the Southern District of Florida, and Acting Special Agent in Charge Timothy R. Langan of the FBI’s Miami Field Office made the announcement.
A confidential informant tipped the FBI off regarding Solano’s intentions and helped authorities collect the evidence they needed to make the arrest.
To prove that he was serious about wanting to bomb a crowded Miami shopping mall on Black Friday, Solano provided multiple videos to the confidential informant in which he made pro-ISIS statements and expressed anti-U.S. sentiments.
Undercover FBI agents sold Solano a fake bomb which he attempted to arm as he walked into the mall to carry out his attack. Solano was arrested shortly after.
In one of the videos he made, Solano cited his hatred for the United States as one of the main reasons he wanted to carry out a terrorist attack:
I am here because I like the way that ISIS confronts the United States and the countries of the coalition. They’re strong. It’s a group that is growing in social media. I love that there is going to be a holy war. … The United States is the most terrorist country of them all. It invades when it wants to and when it’s convenient for them. That is why I am joining the Islamic group, the holy war, in the name of Allah, of our leader Abu.
Central and South America is considered by experts to be the most dangerous and violent region of the world. An assessment from a risk analysis firm ranked Guatemala (2nd), Mexico (3rd), Honduras (6th), Venezuela (7th), El Salvador (8th) and Colombia (12th) as “extreme risk” countries — the most dangerous countries in the world.