Jurors deliberated for five hours Tuesday before returning a guilty verdict against terror suspect Sami Osmakac. The 27-year-old Pinellas County, Fla. man faced federal charges related to his initiation of a plot to bomb a number of locations near Tampa chosen to inflict the maximum amount of death and destruction.
While his defense team presented psychiatric experts who claimed he suffers from mental illness, the federal jury agreed with prosecutors who provided evidence he intended to purchase weaponry such as rifles and a car bomb. He reportedly met with an undercover FBI agent he believed to be a dealer.
The prosecution also refuted claims Osmakac was mentally ill with the testimony of a Walter Reed Army Medical Center psychologist.
Dr. Paul Montalbano, who interviewed the defendant five times following his arrest, said he showed no signs of such distress.
“It’s important to differentiate between a mental disorder and a cultural belief,” he explained.
In meeting with the undercover agent, Osmakac claimed he planned to take hostages at a nearby hotel, killing one each half hour until the U.S. government agreed to his demand that they free prisoners of his choosing. He also expressed a desire to set off a car bomb at a Tampa area bar.
Another recorded conversation between Osmakac and an FBI informant indicated he wanted to blow up Tampa Bay bridges.
Ultimately, he said he would kill himself in a bomb blast.
Though his attorney, George Tragos, put forward a theory that the FBI manipulated his client in an effort to elicit these murderous plots, even he admitted to the jury that it “will be extremely difficult to acquit Sami Osmakac.”
His assertion proved accurate as the jury came back this week with a guilty verdict.
He could face life behind bars following a sentencing hearing set for October 7.
Photo Credit: YouTube/ABC Action News
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom