Salman Rashid, a 23-year-old resident of North Miami Beach, Florida, was recently arrested and charged with soliciting another person to commit a crime of violence on Monday, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Court documents revealed the FBI first began investigating Rashid online in April 2018, following a series of public Facebook posts in which he “advocated for the violent overthrow of democracy and the establishment of Islamic law” in the US. The 23-year-old then allegedly “solicited a confidential human source” - an FBI informant - in May 2019 for the purpose of initiating contact with Daesh members who would carry out a terrorist attack on his behalf.
Authorities stated that Rashid kept in contact with the source throughout the summer and fall, and first floated the idea of carrying out an attack on a nightclub or religious building. However, “on or about November 8-9,” the Florida man ultimately requested the source organize explosive attacks targeting two deans: one from Miami-Dade College (MDC) and the other belonging to Broward College.
The criminal complaint filed against Rashid noted that he was suspended from MDC in December 2018 after campus authorities were alerted by a woman who said she was being stalked by him and had received “threatening text messages,” such as one which said, “You will not have excuses, will not be given a choice and will have to come close to me.” He then enrolled at Broward College, but was expelled soon after for not disclosing what occurred at MDC.
“These two people, they need to die,” Rashid said in a recorded conversation with the source, reported NBC News, citing court documents.
In a statement obtained by the Miami Herald, MDC disclosed that the FBI notified the school that “they had eliminated a threat involving a former student at the Padrón Campus” and advised “that there is no additional threat or need for heightened security.”
Rashid is scheduled to appear in court for his pretrial detention hearing on Wednesday, and his arraignment is slated for December 9. The 23-year-old faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.