Key West ISIS Soldier Harlem Suarez Gets Life in Prison For Beach Bomb Plot I Profiled This “Mook” on WFLA in 2015.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
MIAMI HERALD…Harlem Suarez, the 25-year-old convicted of buying a bomb and plotting to blow up a Florida Keys beach in allegiance to the Islamic State, deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison, a federal judge ruled. “The offense is such a serious offense that people need to know that you can’t do that,” Judge Jose Martinez said in U.S. District Court in Key West after an hour-long sentencing hearing. I Profiled This “Mook” on WFLA Tampa in 2015.
Harlem Suarez, “He was talking the talk. He was walking the walk and was in possession of what he thought was a weapon of mass destruction.” Suarez has the right to appeal but the federal system has no option of parole. Suarez was sentenced to life for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and an additional 20 years, to be served at the same time, for “providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.” “Suarez discussed wanting to conduct a terrorist-style attack on or about July 4th, possibly in Marathon, Florida, or on South Beach in Miami Beach, Florida, or both,”
In July 2015, Suarez, who lived with his parents in a Stock Island apartment just north of Key West, met with undercover federal agents he believed were ISIS sympathizers and purchased a backpack bomb. The bomb was inert but Suarez didn’t know that, prosecutors pointed out. A jury took 47 minutes to find him guilty as charged earlier this year. “He posted a ton of pro-ISIS propaganda including graphic videos and photographs,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Marc Anton said during the hearing. “When told the shrapnel would rip through people faster than bullets, he smiled and said, ‘Great, great.’ This defendant has shown no remorse. He has demonstrated no sense of responsibility.”
Sarasota private investigator Bill Warner has worked on terrorism cases in the past. Suarez’ appearance makes Warner uneasy. “With the tattoos and short haircut, no beard, no mustache, clean cut and he goes to the beach,” Warner said. “Who would suspect he’s a terrorist?” PI Bill Warner said ISIL uses the Internet to spread its message and recruit members, and unlike terror groups before it who chose big, populous targets, the Islamic State is different. “These ‘Mooks’ are going after the low-key little soft targets” Bill Warner said. “They go to the mall and shoot people, go to the beach and shoot people. How do you stop this?” see http://wfla.com/2015/07/28/key-west-isil-supporter-planned-to-detonate-backpack-bomb-says-fbi/