Florida 'Troll' Accused of 9/11 Bomb Plot

FBI says Joshua Goldberg posed as ISIS supporter
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2015 1:46 AM CDT

(Newser) – Posing as an ISIS supporter online could get Florida man Joshua Ryne Goldberg up to 20 years in prison. The FBI says the 20-year-old encouraged an informant to plant a pressure-cooker bomb at a 9/11 memorial event in Kansas City, Mo., this weekend, instructing them to coat nails in rat poison to cause maximum damage, USA Today reports. According to court documents, Goldberg, who lives with his parents, claimed to have a "vast network of mujahideen around the world" and to have inspired the May attack on a Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, in which two suspects were shot dead. The FBI informant started communicating with him the month after the Texas attack.

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Goldberg, who allegedly used the online alias Australi Witness and claimed to be in Australia, fooled journalists and intelligence analysts, one of whom described him as holding a "prestige" position among jihadists online, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. He has been charged with distributing information relating to explosives and weapons of mass destruction, although he has told investigators his plan was for the informant to kill himself while trying to make the bomb, BuzzFeed reports. In the Jacksonville suburb of Orange Park, neighbors tell News4Jax they're stunned by the allegations against Goldberg, who rarely left his parents' home. "It's crazy. Obviously the guy's not right in the head," says a neighbor whose grandson plays with children at the home. (Read more domestic terrorism stories.)

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