Islamic convert pleads guilty to attempting to bomb Florida Jewish center

James Gonzalo Medina, a resident of Hollywood, Florida, pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime for attempting to attack an Aventura, Florida synagogue, and to a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, announced Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

While most of the media outlets reporting on the story ignored Medina’s link to terrorism, the FBI discovered that he is a U.S. citizen who was raised a Christian but had converted to Islam after a difficult divorce some years ago.

“Once again, we find that in covering this story, news people either ignored the perpetrator’s religion — Muslim — or they ignored his motive,” said former counter-terrorism police task force member Kevin McDermott.

During the plea negotiations, Medina confessed that in March and April 2016, he was planning to conduct a firearms ambush or an explosives attack on the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center. Medina began preparations for this attack on Jews, which included a surveillance operation of the unsuspecting Jewish Center.

On April 29, 2016, Medina received what he believed was an improvised explosive device (IED) obtained from an undercover Southern Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force agent posing as a jihadist.

The suspect then approached the Jewish Center on foot carrying the IED, and he displayed his intent to launch his terrorist attack.

FBI agents said he confessed and told them he believed “the Jews are the cause of the present state of the world and all the wars that are taking place.”

“Acts of bigotry and hatred are evil and have no place in our society,” Attorney General Sessions said. “One of the top priorities of this Department of Justice is reducing violent crime, and you can be sure that this includes hate crime.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions must fight crime at the same time he’s draining the FBI swamp.

The Attorney General added, “We will not tolerate this repugnant lawlessness, and we will be vigilant in prosecuting hate crime offenders to the fullest extent of the law. I want to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Southern Florida Joint Terrorism Task Force, and all of the Department of Justice attorneys and staff who worked to bring this criminal to justice, and I assure every American that the Department of Justice is committed to protecting their rights.”

“Prosecuting terrorism and violent crimes inspired by a victim’s race, religion, ethnicity, sexual preference, or gender identity remains a top priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida and our dedicated partners at the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” he noted.

A sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.


Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, a columnist, and a contributor to the nationally syndicated talk-radio program, the Chuck Wilder Show.. He's former chief of police at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at St. Peter's University and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *