Over the past five years, we've been swamped with stories of ISIS recruiting Americans, but leave it to Florida Man to flip the script by personally attempting to recruit ISIS fighters to assassinate two local college deans who'd suspended or expelled him.
Emphasis on “attempting”: both of the supposed ISIS members to whom 23-year-old Salman Rashid reached out were actually confidential FBI sources who were already keeping an eye on him.
Rashid, a native of North Miami Beach, was arrested Monday based on a criminal complaint charging him with soliciting another person to commit a crime of violence, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.
The press release said the FBI first started investigating Rashid in the spring of 2018 due to his history of radical Facebook posts, where he called for the violent overthrow of democracy and the establishment of Islamic law.
Then, in May this year, Rashid started scheming with a confidential human source to contact members of ISIS and have them conduct a terrorist attack on Rashid's behalf.
According to the press release, Rashid and the source tossed around the idea of attacking a religious building or a nightclub. Eventually, the FBI produced another human source who posed as an ISIS member willing to carry out the attack.
Then, Rashid's scheme got personal: Around November 8 or 9, the release said, Rashid dropped the nightclub or religious building idea and instead chose to target a dean at Miami-Dade College and a dean at Broward College, two colleges from which he had been suspended or expelled.
Rashid asked the sources to use explosive devices to kill the deans and to make the devices “as big as possible,” the release said.
Rashid suggested places to put the bombs, and he even scoped out the security presence there. But alas, his quest for vengeance was foiled, and now he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Rashid's pretrial detention hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, November 27, and his arraignment is scheduled for December 9.