MIAMI (AP) – A Florida Keys man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of plotting to set off a backpack bomb in solidarity with the Islamic State terrorist group.
Attorney Richard Della Fera entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Miami for 23-year-old Harlem Suarez of Key West. Suarez faces life in prison if convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and providing material support to terrorists.
Della Fera says Suarez is no terrorist. Suarez didn’t speak in court. He’s jailed without bail.
The FBI says Suarez wanted to detonate a homemade bomb on a Key West beach. He was arrested in July after officials say he took possession of an inert explosive device from an FBI informant.
The investigation began after officials say Suarez posted pro-Islamic State rhetoric on Facebook.