United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announced the arrest of Joshua Ryne Goldberg (20, Orange Park, Florida) for distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.
In the criminal complaint, the suspect said he had found the “perfect place” to target and included a link to the Kansas City event. The conversation included details about placing the bomb near the crowd in a backpack for maximum impact. It detailed putting shards of metal, nails, glass and other damaging elements in the pressure cooker. The suspect had been talking to an FBI informant, not someone who was actually likely to carry out or assist in carrying out the plot. The suspect did suggest the Stair Climb as the optimum “9/11” related target in the Kansas City area where the informant told the suspect he was near.
There was no evidence listed in the criminal complaint that any actual real threat existed at the weekend event.
After a search warrant was executed at his home, Goldberg waived his rights and initially denied involvement but later admitted he was the individual with the online pesona in question, accordinvg to the criminal complaint.
Goldberg said he previously called for the attack on the Garland, Texas Muhammad exhibit. Goldberg told FBI agents he believed the person he was talking to online (the informant) would carry out the attack. He claimed that he intended for the individual to either kill himself trying to build the bomb or, if not, that he intended to alert law enforcement prior to the attack so he could get credit for stopping it.
According to the criminal complaint, Goldberg was in contact, through on-line communications, with an individual who law enforcement knew to be a Confidential Human Source (CHS), the press release stated. Between the months of July and September 2015, Goldberg distributed information to the CHS on how to manufacture a bomb. He instructed the CHS to make a pressure cooker bomb and fill it with nails, metal, and other items dipped in rat poison. Goldberg instructed the CHS to place the bomb at an upcoming memorial in Kansas City, Missouri that was commemorating the September 11, 2001 attacks.
• Download the Criminal Complaint Here (PDF via KMBC.com)
An complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty, the statement said.
This case is being investigated by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) and the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Members of the Jacksonville JTTF include the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Florida Highway Patrol, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin C. Frein of the Middle District of Florida, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney Mara Kohn of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section.