Florida man plotted mosque attacks, feds say

CNN, Aug. 24, 2002

SEMINOLE, Florida (CNN) –A Florida man arrested after police found more than 15 homemade explosive devices in his home allegedly drafted a detailed plan to blow up an Islamic educational center, according to court documents filed in the case Friday.

A search of Dr. Robert J. Goldstein’s residence also turned up a list of about 50 Islamic worship centers in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area and other locations in Florida, according to a court affidavit.

Goldstein is a podiatrist.

Goldstein, who was taken into custody after his wife called police Thursday night, has been charged with one count of possessing destructive devices and one count of attempting to damage and destroy buildings by means of explosive devices.

Attached to the criminal complaint against Goldstein was a three-page “mission template” for an attack on an unidentified “Islam education center,” which included a map of the center showing where bombs would be placed.

The document said the objective was to “Kill all ‘rags’ at this Islamic Education Center — ZERO residual presence — maximum effect.”

Deputies from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department were summoned to the Goldstein home Thursday night, after his wife, Kristi, called to report that he had threatened to kill her, according to the court affidavit. She authorized agents to search the premises, where they found more than 15 homemade bombs.

Goldstein surrendered to officers and was taken to a local hospital for psychiatric evaluation, the sheriff’s department said.

In addition to the 15 and 20 explosive devices that were found, there were also enough bomb components in the home to to make 30 to 40 more devices, Baixaulia said.

Authorities also recovered 30 to 40 weapons, including semi-automatic weapons and a .50-caliber sniper rifle, the sheriff’s department said.

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This post was last updated: Monday, November 30, -0001 at 12:00 AM, Central European Time (CET)