FLORIDA: A man with anti-Islamic sentiments was arrested after he planned to carry out a mass shooting at a mosque in Florida, reports First Coast News.
Bernardino Bolatete, a 69-year-old Green Card holder from the Philippines, is charged with knowingly possessing a silencer not registered to him — a federal offence — in connection with the alleged plot.
The investigation began when a source alerted authorities in October about Bolatete’s scheme to shoot up the Islamic Center of Northeast Florida in Jacksonville, Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said at a press conference.
An undercover detective who made contact with Bolatete recorded conversations they had that confirmed Bolatete’s intentions to carry out the shooting, the sheriff said.
The department’s SWAT team arrested him on Dec. 1 after he expressed interest in a prohibited possession of an accessory to one of his firearms.
Authorities also raided Bolatete’s home to investigate if he had other illegal weapons, FBI special agent Charles Spencer said.
The raid came days after President Trump retweeted Islamophobic videos from a British far-right group, which received condemnation from critics in the US and around the world.
The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation, and Bolatete could face more charges.