South Florida man accused of sympathizing with ISIS, posting bomb making videos

PEMBROKE PINES, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida man is behind bars, suspected of distributing information on how to build a bomb and sympathizing with ISIS.

FBI agents took 33-year-old Tayyab Tahir Ismail into custody after they raided his parents’ Pembroke Pines home along Southwest 64th Street and 191st Avenue, Friday afternoon.

Ismail also lived at the home with his wife and two children.

Investigators said Ismail first became known to them in 2010 when he made terrorist threats to a homeless shelter.

Ismail befriended James Medina who, in 2016 was arrested for targeting an Aventura synagogue. Medina was sentenced to 25 years in prison for those threats.

As agents investigated Medina at the time, they discovered Ismail discussed his disdain for the United States and his desire to travel to the Caliphate with a confidential FBI source.

“Ismail and Medina engaged in a number of conversations about radicalization and other related topics,” an FBI report said. “Ismail also described Jihad as an Islamic duty, stating that ‘hypocrisy is when one refuses to go to Jihad.'”

Ismail was born in Pakistan but is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

He made travels back to his home country in December 2017 and reportedly returned with several copies of ISIS propaganda.

Authorities said Ismail often referenced lectures given by ISIS leader Anwar al-Aulaqi. He allegedly knew about Medina’s plot but didn’t notify law enforcement.

At one point in the Medina investigation, agents made contact with Ismail, and he voluntarily surrendered his weapons, officials said. He also provided his phone number to agents.

Ismail allegedly ran a website where he posted thousands of messages about violent jihad, and even looked up ways to mask his online activities.

Among the alarming posts he’s accused of uploading three months ago, one reads, “You are surrounded by methods to hit them … kill them devil’s soldiers without hesitation. Make them bleed even in their own homes.”

He allegedly further encouraged violence, saying, “There are plenty of methods to attack my brother – take poison in injections and enter malls and inject products with poison – at night come out and cause the fire of houses.”

One of the instructions on the site, officials said, was a step-by-step video on how to build a suicide vest.

“On at least five occasions in or around July, August and September 2018, Ismail posted bomb making instructions on a mobile messaging platform,” an FBI report stated.

FBI specialists examined the video and confirmed that some of the techniques could in fact make a bomb.

Israel was also arrested in 2015 on a domestic violence case.

Neighbors in the community where he lived were stunned to hear about the allegations.

“It’s literally right down the street from my house,” one neighbor said. “It’s alarming to say the least, but it shows you never know who you’re living with no matter where you live.”

“I live there, so that’s kind of shocking actually,” another neighbor echoed. “I had no clue that was what it was about.”

Ismail faces decades behind bars on charges of distributing information on how to make explosives.

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