Jacksonville Man Arrested in 9/11 Bomb Plot

| September 12, 2015

Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE — Authorities report they foiled a Jacksonville-area man’s plot to bomb an event being held to honor those killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

A document released Thursday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office details an area man’s role in a plot to detonate a pressure cooker bomb at a memorial event Sunday in Kansas City.

Joshua Ryne Goldberg, 20 of Orange Park, was arrested at his home in the 3100 block of Pine Road after a search warrant was issued Wednesday morning. He faces a charge of distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Goldberg has denied the charges, but the affidavit shows an informer was in contact with Goldberg since July and was given instructions over the Internet to fill a pressure cooker with nails, metal and other items dipped in rat poison to be detonated at the event, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The FBI informer posed as a college student living about an hour away from Kansas City who expressed an interest in making a bomb but did not know how to do so, according to the affidavit.

The two used a direct messaging application to communicate using Twitter accounts.

Goldberg was questioned after his arrest and denied involvement in a plot to make a bomb and detonate it at an event, according to the affidavit.

But he did indicate the Twitter handles used to communicate with the FBI informer were his, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said Goldberg told authorities he provided information on how to create a bomb but he only hoped the informer would kill himself trying to make it.

Goldberg also told investigators if the informer successfully created the bomb he would have alerted authorities before the attack was carried out, thinking he would be looked at as a hero.

A narrative in the affidavit outlines the conversations between Goldberg and the informer and shows the two initially talked about making a pipe bomb but later settled on a pressure cooker bomb.

The informer asked the best place to detonate the bomb in Kansas City and was sent a link to an event in that city in honor of New York first responders who were killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to the affidavit.

The informer was to place the pressure cooker bomb near the crowd at the Kansas City Stair Climb event.

Property records show he owns the home on Pine Road where the FBI took his son into custody after the issuance of the warrant Wednesday.

FBI agents had recently monitored the home and determined the IPN address associated with the Twitter handles in use at the residence, according to the affidavit.

There is no indication in the affidavit whether Joshua Goldberg became radicalized or if he had any affiliation with an Islamic terror organization. But the document did say one of the Twitter accounts Goldberg admitted to using called for the attack at a Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas.

At that event on May 3, two men wearing body armor opened fire with assault rifles on a police officer and security guard.

Both men were shot and killed by police. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Joshua Goldberg faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if he is convicted on the federal charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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