Pinellas man convicted of terrorism charges

Tampa, Florida -- A Pinellas County man has been convicted of plotting a terrorist attack in the Tampa Bay area.

A federal jury on Tuesday found 27-year-old Sami Osmakac guilty of attempting to use weapons of mass destruction. It took jurors five hours to reach their verdict.

Prosecutors say Sami Osmakac was acting on his extreme religious beliefs when he tried to launch a terrorist attack in Tampa. Federal agents say he wanted to blow up highly populated areas around the city of Tampa, such as in Ybor City and Hyde Park.

He was arrested in January 2012 after authorities say he tried to buy weapons -- including a car bomb and an AK-47 -- from a man he thought was an arms dealer.

During the three-week trial, jurors heard from psychiatrists who said Osmakac is mentally ill. Prosecutors also played videos recorded by a confidential informant.

In one of the recordings with the informant, Osmakac referred to blowing up bridges over Tampa Bay. Defense lawyers said he was manipulated by the FBI and a paid informant to try to attack people on U.S. soil.

Osmakac faces life in prison at an October 7 sentencing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Previous Stories:

Pinellas Park man accused of bomb plot

Potential targets find terror arrest "disturbing"

Sami Osmakac's criminal complaint (PDF)

Brother says allegations are lies

Thwarted bomb suspect previously arrested

Official: Suspect met with Kosovo radicals

Suspect: "You cannot escape death"

Islamic community grateful for foiled terror plot


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