Man Pleads Guilty in 2016 Aventura Jewish Center Bomb Plot

A Florida man has pleaded guilty to plotting to bomb a Jewish center during Passover.

A U.S. Department of Justice statement said 41-year-old James Gonzalo Medina of Hollywood pleaded guilty Wednesday in Miami federal court to a federal hate crime and a charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

"Acts of bigotry and hatred are evil and have no place in our society," Attorney General Sessions said in a statement. "One of the top priorities of this Department of Justice is reducing violent crime, and you can be sure that this includes hate crime. We will not tolerate this repugnant lawlessness, and we will be vigilant in prosecuting hate crime offenders to the fullest extent of the law."

Authorities said Medina admitted to planning to attack the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center. Medina was arrested in April 2016 after approaching the center with a fake bomb provided by an undercover FBI informant.

FBI recordings showed Medina allegedly supported the Islamic State terrorist group and claimed an obligation to attack Jews in the U.S.

The Sun Sentinel reports that Medina told U.S. District Judge Robert Scola Jr. he was manipulated in the undercover sting but also said he committed the crime.

A sentencing hearing hasn't been set.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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