Documents: 9/11 bomb plot suspect had mental illness history

MGN Online

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – A Florida man accused of helping an undercover FBI agent posing as a terrorist plan a bombing at a 9/11 commemoration has a long history of mental illness, according to court documents unsealed Monday.

A mental competency evaluation performed by a federal prison psychologist shows Joshua Goldberg, 20, had been diagnosed previously with schizophrenia and anxiety disorder before his arrest last fall at his parents’ home by federal authorities.

The document was unsealed by a federal judge after The Associated Press, Florida Times-Union newspaper and other media challenged the judge’s ruling to seal it.

The FBI said Goldberg claimed to be a radical with ties to the Islamic State group and that he used online aliases including the moniker “Australi Witness.” The government has said Goldberg sent bomb-making plans to an undercover agent who claimed he wanted to attack a 9/11 commemoration in Kansas City, Missouri. No bomb was ever produced.

Goldberg, who lives in a Jacksonville suburb, initially caught the attention of authorities after online posts calling for an attack on the May 3 contest for drawings of the Prophet Muhammad in Garland, Texas, according to the complaint filed against him.

Goldberg is charged with distributing information relating to explosives and weapons of mass destruction.

In December, a federal judge ruled Goldberg mentally incompetent to stand trial, and ordered a second psychological evaluation to see if he could be treated.

Goldberg’s thinking “contained delusions of persecution, as well as delusions of grandeur,” wrote Dr. Lisa Feldman, a forensic psychologist with the Federal Detention Center in Miami. She added that he had an “exaggerated notion of his importance, power or identity.”

Feldman said at a hearing last month that Goldberg, while in the federal detention center in Miami, stopped bathing and was briefly put on suicide watch.

Goldman’s attorney, Paul Shorstein, has indicated to the court that he plans to argue an insanity defense should the case proceed to trial.

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