TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The federal trial of a Florida man accused of plotting terror attacks opened Wednesday with the showing of a "martyr" video of the defendant in the coutroom.
Prosecutors said Sami Osmakac, 27, had 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 elsewhere and demand the release of Muslim prisoners before detonating himself with a suicide belt. The defendant was arrested in 2012 after a series of meetings with an undercover FBI agent.
Osmakac is charged with possessing an unregistered AK-47 and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
In a Jan. 7, 2012 recording, Osmakac, a naturalized citizen from Kosovo, sat cross-legged on a floor, holding a .45 caliber pistol in one hand and wearing a belt carrying assault rifle magazine clips. In the video, an AK-47 is visible behind him as he spoke in German, Albanian and English while outlining reasons for his plotting.
"This is a call to the truth. It is the call to help and aid in the party of Allah," he said in the more than eight-minute video. "It is that we are a people that love to drink blood and we've heard that you Kuffar (infidels) Americans and Romans have the sweetest blood on the earth and we're coming for your blood ..."
The video was recorded by the undercover FBI agent, who prosecutors say had sold guns and explosives to Osmakac.
The FBI agent, whose identity was obscured in videos, met with Osmakac four times in person and spoke another time over the phone with him, authorities said. Each meeting was recorded. The two met through a confidential source who owned a store that sold Middle Eastern food and other items.
Osmakac was arrested after a Jan. 7, 2012 meeting. Prosecutors said it was there that Osmakac asked the agent to record the martyr video.
Osmakac canceled a first in-person meeting Dec. 5, 2011, because he thought he was being followed, the court heard. The FBI was conducting surveillance of Osmakac, the agent told the court.
"He was looking out for my interest. That's why we didn't meet," the agent said.
The two finally met on Dec. 21, 2011. Prosecutors said that at that meeting, Osmakac asked the agent for an AK-47, other weapons, at least 10 grenades and a suicide belt.