The threat from “Hollywood man”

Late last month someone in the circle of “Hollywood [Florida] man” James Medina tipped the FBI to him. Working on the informer’s tip, the FBI conducted an operation to intercept Medina before he fulfilled his dream of blowing up a synagogue in Aventura, Florida. “I feel like it’s my calling,” Medina explained as he prepared to do his thing. “Whatever happens, it’s for the glory of Allah.”

In federal court on Monday Medina gave the judge two names — one real, the other an alias. “My name is James Medina, also known as ‘James Muhammad,’” Medina announced in court. Enough said, but the FBI informer adds, apparently based on a recorded conversation, that Medina claimed he converted to Islam about four years ago. It’s a claim I find highly plausible.

The Sun Sentinel notes that Medina also recorded a number of videos, saying goodbye to his family and making threats. “I am a Muslim and I don’t like what is going on in this world. I’m going to handle business here in America. Aventura, watch your back. ISIS is in the house,” agents reported he said in one of the videos. After his arrest, according to investigators, Medina confessed.

The Miami Herald reports the story here, the Orlando Sun Sentinel here. The Herald has posted the criminal complaint and underlying FBI affidavit here.

The stories don’t do justice to the concerns raised by the 16-page FBI affidavit. As always in these cases, the affidavit is full of illuminating details, among which are the quotes in the first paragraph above and this little nugget: “MEDINA felt the news of this attack conducted in this manner would go nationwide and inspire other Muslims to attack as well.”


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