The mastermind behind a potential terrorist attack that involved the bombing of a popular shopping mall in Miami, Florida, was given 210 months behind bars Friday.
Vicente Adolfo Solano, a 53-year-old Honduran national, pled guilty to “attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS)” for his attempted bomb plot.
“The efforts of the dedicated women and men of the FBI and the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force have kept the people of Miami safe from this ISIS supporter and ensured Solano will go to prison,” said Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers in a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.
According to the DOJ, Solano told a confidential informant about his desire to strike against America last year, as well as his “desire to join ISIS.” He also made several videos of himself proclaiming his allegiance to the Islamic State, as well as “anti-American” statements. The confidential informant, working with the FBI, provided Solano with an inert explosive device, which Solano believed was armed, and he was arrested as he was attempting to plant it at the mall.
Solano is just one of several citizens of Central, South American and Carribean countries who have been radicalized and now fight for ISIS. In March of this year, Admiral Kurt Tidd, Commander of the U.S. military’s Southern Command said that 100 Trinidadian citizens traveled to Iraq and Syria and have fought for ISIS. Other countries in the Hemisphere have reported similar instances.
“Extremist networks like ISIS reach deep into our hemisphere, inspire would-be terrorists to conduct attacks in the region, or to attempt entry into the United States to do our citizens harm,” Tidd said while briefing reporters.
Although Solano will only spend 17.5 years in prison, he will spend the rest of his life in “supervised release.”
“Solano dreamed of detonating an explosive device in a crowded Miami area mall, but he was denied his terroristic aspirations by the outstanding work and team effort of the South Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Lasky. “This is a job well done by a group of professionals who must remain eternally vigilant.”