MiamiHerald / This fall, a Miami man was trashing the U.S. government and its anti-terrorist actions around the world while a confidential informant listened to his every word.
Vicente A. Solano told the informant that he wanted to carry out a terrorist attack at a crowded Miami-Dade mall on Black Friday, the big Christmas shopping day after Thanksgiving, according to federal authorities. The informant said he could introduce Solano to someone who could assist him but he needed proof that his intentions were for real.
Solano texted the informant three videos that featured a man wearing a black mask and shirt, standing in front of a black flag identical to one used by the Islamic State terrorist group, according to a federal criminal complaint.
And thus began an FBI undercover operation targeting Solano, who was arrested by agents at the Dolphin Mall on Friday night on a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in the food court at the sprawling shopping center in Sweetwater. Solano, 53, made his first appearance in Miami federal court on Monday afternoon, describing himself as a painter who makes $13 an hour and has no savings. Solano, a Honduran citizen, has a minor criminal history.