Muhammed Momtaz Al-Azhari said he wanted to kill more people than Pulse nightclub jihad mass shooter.
Tampa Man Indicted On Charges Of Planning ISIS Terrorist Attack
Muhammed Momtaz Al-Azhari said he wanted to kill more people than Pulse nightclub mass shooter Omar Mateen: FBI
By D’Ann Lawrence White, Patch, Jun 26, 2020:
TAMPA, FL — A federal grand jury has indicted a 23-year-old Tampa man accused of purchasing guns and bomb-making materials and planning terrorist attacks at various locations in Tampa Bay on behalf of ISIS.
United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced the return of the indictment against Muhammed Momtaz Al-Azhari in the U.S. Courthouse in Tampa Friday.
On May 27, Al-Azhari was charged with attempting to provide material support or resources to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and violations of the National Firearms Act.
The charges were handed down after the FBI, Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies concluded an extensive investigation in which they discovered chat room conversations and emails in which Al-Azhari discussed carrying out mass shootings and bombings. The U.S. Justice Department said Al-Azhari researched and scouted such targets as Honeymoon Island in Dunedin, the Tampa FBI field office, Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa and the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Tampa where he told one informant he hoped to kill more people than Omar Mateen did at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando June 12, 2016.
Two days after the charges were announced, Al-Azhari’s 22-year-old sister, Heba Momtaz Al-Azhari, was shot to death after she attacked a Temple Terrace Police officer with a knife.
According to family members, she was distraught after learning about the charges against her brother.
According to the FBI, Al-Azhari is a U.S. citizen who grew up in Brea and Garden Grove, California.
He and his father, Momtaz, visited Saudi Arabia in 2015. During that time, they were both convicted of planning to travel to Syria to participate in a jihad and join the terrorist group, Jaysh al Case, to fight the Syrian government.
He served three years in a Saudi Arabian prison before he was deported back to the United States in December 2018. He lived with his grandmother in California for more than a year, then relocated with family members to Florida in June 2019.
FBI agents arrested Al-Azhari on May 24 after he took possession of weapons, including a Glock handgun and silencer, that he purchased from a Texas gun dealer on eBay.
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