A Florida man who posed online as an Islamic State supporter was arrested Thursday and accused of providing instructions on how to make a bomb to a person he believed would detonate a device at a September 11 memorial event being held in Kansas City this weekend.
The arrest of 20-year-old Joshua Ryne Goldberg at his Orange Park, Florida, home came after authorities said Mr. Goldberg communicated for nearly two months with a confidential law enforcement informant, whom he encouraged to plan an attack to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
He provided instructions to the informant on how to make a bomb out of a pressure cooker, noting it should be filled with nails and other metal items dipped in rat poison. After the informant said he lived near Kansas City, Mr. Goldberg suggested detonating the bomb at the Kansas City Stair Climb, a memorial event scheduled for Sunday in which firefighters honor fallen New York first responders who were killed in the Sept. 11 terror attack.
Mr. Goldberg is charged with distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction and could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted.
According to a criminal complaint filed in the case, Mr. Goldberg was described by one person as an “online troll” who pretended to be an Islamic State sympathizer from Australia.
An Australian informant who interacted with a person believed to be Mr. Goldberg online also previously contacted Australian police previously to share information about him.
“Are you not all at concerned by the way that some of these jihardi [sic] nutcases might actually kill someone at your behest?” the informant wrote.
“These guys are [expletive] keyboard warriors,” Mr. Goldberg allegedly replied.
In a later conversation, Mr. Goldberg also allegedly asked how the Australian informant figured out he was a “troll” and whether he would turn him into authorities for pretending to be an Islamic State supporter.
The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Mr. Goldberg at his home Thursday. According to a criminal complaint filed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Special Agent William Berry, Mr. Goldberg admitted to sharing information about how to manufacture bombs and stated that he “believed the information would create a genuine bomb.”
However, Mr. Goldberg also told authorities following his arrest that he “intended for the individual to either kill himself creating the bomb or, if not, that he intended to alert law enforcement just prior to the individual detonating the bomb” resulting in him receiving credit for stopping the attack.