Florida man negotiating plea deal in plot to bomb Miami-area synagogue


(JTA) — A South Florida man charged with plotting to bomb a Miami-area synagogue and Jewish school is negotiating a plea agreement, his defense attorney said.

James Medina, 41, has been negotiating with prosecutors on a proposed guilty plea, The Associated Press reported, citing court papers filed last week. He originally had pleaded not guilty.

The FBI arrested Medina, a convert to Islam from Hollywood, on April 29, 2016, while he was approaching the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center with what he believed was a bomb. An FBI informant had furnished Medina with the real looking but fake bomb.

Medina’s family and attorney have said he is mentally ill and has previously been committed to a psychiatric hospital.

According to prosecutors, Medina initially planned to attack the 800-member Conservative synagogue and its school with assault rifles on Yom Kippur and was hoping to inspire other Muslims to commit terrorist attacks.

He reportedly told an undercover FBI informant that he was prepared to kill innocent women and children. Medina also allegedly made several videos before the planned attack on the synagogue, including one in which he said goodbye to his family, the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time of the attack.

Recommended from JTA