MIAMI (WSVN) - Federal investigators have arrested a South Florida college student who, they said, threatened to use weapons of mass destruction against the deans of the Miami-Dade and Broward colleges that he was suspended from or expelled.
Salman Rashid appeared in federal court and was denied bond on Monday after the FBI arrested him. He has been charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence.
The FBI said they began investigating the 23-year-old in April 2018 based on his Facebook posts and conversations with undercover agents who he thought were members of ISIS.
According to court documents, investigators said Rashid “advocated for the violent overthrow of democracy and the establishment of Islamic law, and without provocation, Rashid solicited a confidential human source to contact members of ISIS and instruct those ISIS members to conduct a terrorist attack on Rashid’s behalf, indicating an attack on religious building or nightclub will be suitable.
“Ultimately, Rashid chose two targets — the deans of two local colleges from which Rashid had been suspended or expelled — and asked that the explosive devices to be placed by the [undercover] be as big as possible.”
One of the colleges involved is Miami-Dade College. The school confirmed that the FBI informed them of the investigation last week, and they eliminated a threat to the Padron Campus. Federal authorities said Rashid was targeting a dean of the campus after he was kicked out, and he was upset that he was kicked out of school.
Miami-Dade College officials said there is no additional threat, and there is no need for a heightened sense of security.
Broward College was also threatened, according to federal prosecutors.
Rashid was enrolled at Broward College, where he was also kicked out. Federal investigators said he was threatening and planning an attack against the dean at the school, provided the dean’s name and photograph to the person he thought was part of ISIS and said the dean was the enemy of Islam and Allah.
His family did not say much as they left court.
When asked if she knew if Rashid thought he was communicating with ISIS, a family member said, “No, no, no. It’s not true. No, no. I don’t know yet. This is not right.”
Agents also said Rashid showed violence towards women.
According to the federal complaint, Rashid wrote on Facebook, “Feminists are cancer on Earth. If I had authority, I would strip their skins from flesh and hang their bodies in the sun to rot.”
When Rashid was asked in court what he did for a living, he said he is a substitute teacher, but officials did not clarify which school or school district he worked for.
His next court date has not been scheduled.
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