Florida police arrested a Filipino green card holder for planning a mass shooting at an Islamic center to give Muslims “a taste of their own medicine.”
Police arrested Bernandino Bolatete on Dec. 1 for possessing a suppressor that is not registered to him and said that he planned to shoot up the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida, according to NBC on Monday. Authorities said Bolatete has “strong anti-Islam sentiment” and planned to be killed by police after shooting mosque attendees from a nearby tower.
“I just want to give these freaking people a taste of their own medicine, you know? They are the ones who are always doing these shootings, the killings” Bolatete told an undercover detective according to First Coast News (FCN).
Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams told NBC that an anonymous source alerted authorities in November that Bolatete planned to carry out a mass shooting at a mosque. An undercover detective subsequently formed a relationship with Bolatete, during which Bolatete repeatedly stated his hatred for Muslims and his plan to shoot Muslims on Friday, according to an FBI criminal complaint.
“So we’ll try … we will try a Christian doing uh, terroristic [sic] act this time, hum, to the Muslims the, they [laughing] they doing it all the time. You know,” Bolatete said according to the FBI complaint.
The detective offered to arrange for the Bolatete to have a suppressor that was not registered to him delivered to his house. Bolatete accepted the undercover detective’s offer and a SWAT unit raided Bolatete’s house during the delivery and arrested him, according to First Coast News.
The FBI complaint said that Bolatete claimed he had worked as a “Rangemaster” at a shooting range in the Philippines but that he lost one of his kidneys after someone shot him in the back. Bolatete’s remaining kidney is failing. He also claimed that he shot and killed a drunken police officer in the Philippines who also shot him after they argued about a parking spot.
Bolatete claimed he had an AR-15 and four other firearms, and told the undercover detective that while a suppressor is not quiet, he wanted one because it could “blend in with the sound of fireworks.”
An FBI spokesperson told NBC that Bolatete is now in FBI custody and that the investigation is ongoing.
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