Trial begins in Tampa bomb plot

TAMPA, Florida (AP) - Opening statements were given in the trial of a man accused of plotting a terrorist attack in Tampa.

The trial of 27-year-old Sami Osmakac began in federal court in Tampa on Wednesday.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney said Osmakac planned to wreak havoc in Tampa by blowing up a car bomb outside an Irish pub and then using grenades and an AK-47 to take hostages at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and demand the release of Muslim prisoners.

But defense attorney George Tragos said Osmakac never intended to hurt anyone on American soil. Osmakac espoused "radical" beliefs, Tragos said, but he wanted to go overseas and fight against NATO troops. Tragos said Osmakac couldn't afford to buy a sandwich, never mind weapons and explosives.

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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