Tampa, Fl. (Florida News Network) The Department of Justice today announced the filing of a criminal complaint charging 23 year old Muhammed Momtaz Al-Azhari of Tampa with attempting to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, namely, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS).
According to the complaint, Al-Azhari was an ISIS supporter who planned and attempted to carry out an attack on behalf of that terrorist organization.
Al-Azhari, who has a criminal history that includes prior terrorism charges in Saudi Arabia, attempted to purchase multiple firearms over the course of the investigation, before acquiring a Glock pistol and a silencer.
He also expressed admiration for Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen and spoke of his desire to carry out a similar mass casualty shooting. Additionally, Al-Azhari researched and scouted potential targets in the Tampa area, including Honeymoon Island. He also rehearsed portions of an attack and the statements that he would make during or in connection with such an attack.
If convicted, Al-Azhari faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison.