A naturalized U.S. citizen from Bangladesh was arrested Nov. 25 from South Florida for alleged attempt to recruit ISIS terrorists to bomb deans at two colleges from which he’d been kicked out, federal prosecutors said.
Salman Rashid, 23, of North Miami Beach, was arrested on charges that he solicited another person to commit a crime of violence. Rashid made his initial court appearance Nov. 25 and is expected to be arraigned in early December, according to news reports. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The North Miami Beach man, identified in a CNN report as a naturalized U.S. citizen from Bangladesh, became the subject of an FBI probe in spring 2018. According to the CNN and other media reports quoting a federal criminal complaint, after agents reviewed his Facebook posts they and found that they “exhibited a growing hatred for America, democracy, non-Muslims and secular Muslims while expressing his belief in the violent overthrow of the democratic system and the destruction of those who will not accept his version of Islam.”
Roughly a year later, after the FBI had secretly struck up a friendship with Rashid, he told an undercover agency source that he “wanted to leave this world because there is nothing for him,” according to the documents.
An NBC news report said that in May, a couple of weeks after the source encouraged him to attend counseling that was required by Miami-Dade, he asked the source to help recruit ISIS “brothers” to “avenge perceived attacks on Muslims,” the documents say.
An FBI review of Rashid’s accounts and electronics revealed Facebook posts promising to avenge violence against Muslims, and an internet search for “how to stalk someone’s house,” the complaint said.
Rashid was kicked out of Miami Dade College (MDC) and, subsequently, Broward College after a female classmate reported to school officials and authorities in November 2018 that he’d been harassing her, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in the Southern District of Florida.
“The first day since I have been observing you, I already knew something was different about you. I want you to know that, you were my only other half in this life…” Rashid allegedly wrote to the woman, adding that she would “not be given a choice” but to get close to him when they “meet once again,” according to a report in thedailybeast.com quoting the criminal complaint.
It said the female student alleged that Rashid continued to message her, and once followed her while she was walking to her vehicle. She also said his violent Facebook posts about women made her feel unsafe.
Rashid provided both undercover sources the deans’ first and last names, and even gave them the office room number and location of the MDC dean, the complaint said.
“These two people, they hate Islam more than everybody else out there… if these two people die, I can assure you that whoever kills these two people, their (afterlife) is guaranteed by Allah... these two people, they need to die," Rashid allegedly told the sources, adding that the deans were not only his foes but were “enemies of Islam, enemies of Allah,according to dailybeast.com
Rashid advised one of the FBI sources, who claimed to be a bomb maker, to place explosives on the campuses when security was low, prosecutors said. He allegedly told them there would be a “small gift“ for them if they completed the task.