Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Florida man jailed over synagogue bomb plot

James Medina had plotted to storm a Miami synagogue using assault weapons

    James Medina
    James Medina AP

    A Florida man who plotted to bomb a synagogue and Jewish school in Florida over Passover looks set to spend 25 years behind bars following a judge’s ruling.

    James Medina, 41, pleaded guilty to a religious hate crime and attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. Although this turned out to be a fake bomb provided by an FBI informant, his plan had been to blow up the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Centre in Miami in 2016.

    According to the FBI, the Muslim convert initially envisioned using AK-47-style weapons at the synagogue, which has about 800 families as members.

    Conversations about the plot were recorded by the unnamed informant, including one where Medina claimed allegiance to Islamic State and said he had an obligation to attack Jews in America.

    Representing Medina, Hector Dopico argued that his client had suffered from serious mental illness, as well as brain damage following a car accident ten years ago.

    In brief remarks to the judge, Medina said he needed help for his mental state and added: “I lost my mind. I lashed out.”

    The Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center in Miami
    The Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center in Miami AP

    Though he could have received a life sentence, Medina has now been hospitalised in federal custody after both sides reached an agreement that was accepted by US District Judge Robert Scola.

    Under the terms of the agreement, Medina will be required to return to court once his treatment is complete. A life term could still be imposed, though the judge indicated that it would probably be for 25 years.

    “This is a very, very serious offense. There has to be a significant sentence,” he said.

    In one of the recordings Medina can be heard saying: “It's a war, man, and it's like, it's time to strike back here in America.

    “When I am doing this, I feel that I'm doing it for a good cause for Allah.”

News Features

Special report: Trump's first 12 months

JC Reporter

15:37

Special report: Trump's first 12 months
World

Israel set to reopen embassy in Jordan

JC Reporter

09:36

Israel set to reopen embassy in Jordan
Israel

Lahav Shani named as Zubin Mehta's successor at Israel Philharmonic

Daniel Sugarman

Yesterday, 11:23

Lahav Shani named as Zubin Mehta's successor at Israel Philharmonic
UK News

Board calls for Hassell to be dismissed from coroner post

Daniel Sugarman

12:56

Board calls for Hassell to be dismissed from coroner post
Israel

Ryanair scraps Israel luggage charge

Simon Griver

Yesterday, 16:03

Ryanair scraps Israel luggage charge
Israel

Israeli air force appoints first female squadron commander

JC Reporter

Yesterday, 10:08

Israeli air force appoints first female squadron commander
UK News

Labour criticised in Commons HMD debate

Marcus Dysch

11:30

Labour criticised in Commons HMD debate
UK News

Hard-left power grab sparks new Labour fear

Marcus Dysch

Yesterday, 13:41

Hard-left power grab sparks new Labour fear
Community News

Joy for family as son aged 7 beats cancer

Rosa Doherty

Yesterday, 09:05

Joy for family as son aged 7 beats cancer