Lawyer: backpack bomb suspect may be mentally incompetent

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MIAMI (AP) – The attorney for a Florida Keys man says he may be mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges of plotting to detonate a backpack bomb in support of the Islamic State terror organization.

Lawyer Richard Della Fera says in court papers that Harlem Suarez’s mental problems prevent him from understanding court proceedings and assisting in his defense. Della Fera is asking a judge to order a mental evaluation of Suarez.

Suarez is accused of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and of a terrorism support charge.

The FBI says Suarez told an informant he wanted to detonate a backpack bomb on a Key West beach. He was arrested in July after officials say he took an inert device from an FBI employee posing as an Islamic State member.

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