Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Bomb-Making Instructions
A man from Pembroke Pines, Florida, faces up to 20 years in prison after admitting he posted bomb-making instructions online. Tayyab Tahir Ismail (pictured), 33, pleaded guilty on February 28 to distributing information pertaining to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction. Court records noted that on at least four occasions between July and September, Ismail used a mobile messaging app to disseminate documents that included step-by-step instructions on how to make bombs and other explosives. Within the social media platform, he joined chats rooms with other members who expressed support for violent jihad. An FBI arrest affidavit filed by prosecutors indicated those members included ISIS supporters. Ismail also posted messages supporting ISIS and searched online for how to build bombs. Investigators did not discover any live explosives linked to the postings. Authorities said Ismail was an associate of James Medina, who is serving a 25-year prison term for plotting to blow up a synagogue and Jewish school in South Florida. Ismail could also receive up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced on May 23.
Texas Teen Accused of Vowing to ‘Commit Jihad’ on Abortion Clinic Faces Terrorism Charge
A 17-year-old from Waxahachie, Texas, was charged with making terroristic threats after authorities said he directed a threat on social media to “commit jihad” toward an abortion clinic. While arresting Garison Riggs Pate on February 26, authorities seized several firearms and other unspecified evidence from his residence. The Twitter post from February 17, which has since been deleted, showed an individual with his face covered and holding a gun with a caption that read, “I’m going to commit jihad on an abortion clinic.” Other posts made under the same username included photos and videos showing firearms, references to committing murder, and racist comments. One tweet said, “It’s not easy being a violent psychopath with access to multiple firearms,” and another referenced gun violence against political figures. Authorities have not determined if a particular abortion clinic was targeted, but the closest facilities are 30 miles away from where Pate lives. In accordance with Texas state law, 17-year-olds are automatically charged as adults for criminal offenses. Pate faces up to 180 days in jail if he is convicted.
New York Man Admits Threatening US Senators Over Support for Supreme Court Justice
A Long Island man pleaded guilty on February 28 to calling in threats against two US Senators in response to their support for a US Supreme Court justice. Ronald DeRisi, 74, left more than 10 voicemail messages with the lawmakers’ offices between September and October. The messages contained threats of assault and murder in retaliation for the Senators’ support during the nomination and confirmation process of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In one message, DeRisi stated he had a “present” for “the senator” and threatened to shoot him in the skull. Authorities arrested DeRisi on October 19, and they seized a prepaid cellphone used to make the calls and ammunition during a search of his residence. DeRisi faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced on May 2, and he will also forfeit two rifles as part of a plea agreement with the federal government.