MIAMI (AP) – A man convicted of plotting to set off a backpack bomb on a Florida Keys beach in solidarity with the Islamic State extremist group is facing a potential life prison sentence.
The sentence will be determined at a hearing Tuesday in Key West federal court for 25-year-old Harlem Suarez. He was convicted in January of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and providing material support to a terrorist organization.
Testimony showed Suarez was arrested in 2015 after accepting an inert explosive device from an FBI employee posing as an extremist. Authorities say Suarez also attempted to recruit others to join the Islamic State, researched bomb-making online and amassed numerous other weapons.
Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence. Suarez’s lawyer is seeking a more lenient sentence.