Aventura Turnberry synagogue bomb plot foiled: James Gonzalo Medina arrested

May 4, 2016 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Aventura Turnberry synagogue was almost hit with a terrorist attack from James Gonzalo Medina, a Florida man, who recently converted to Islam. Medina was arrested after he had shared plans to blow up the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center with an FBI agent/informant he believed was another terrorist.

Aventura Turnberry synagogue

Aventura Turnberry synagogue, also known as the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, was the target of a terrorist by the name of James Gonzalo Medina, aka James Mohammed.

On Friday, Mr. Medina was arrested as he was approaching the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center & Tauber Academy located at 20400 NE 30th Ave, Miami, Florida with an inert explosive or dummy bomb to perpetrate a September 11 like attack.

The arrest came after several months of investigation by the FBI into Medina’s disturbing activities. According to a 17-page affidavit released on Monday, which details the case against Medina, on March 27, undercover agents, who had been monitoring the suspect, made contact with a close source that revealed that he was planning to attack a synagogue.

The authorities explained that Medina was hoping to blow up the Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center during Passover, which he mistakenly referred to as Yom Kippur several times. Prosecutor Marc Anton told the judge that Medina talked about “obtaining a bomb he could either place under a car or throw it over the wall.”

Medina also recorded farewell videos for his loved ones in which he confessed:

“I am a Muslim and I don’t like what is going on in this world. I’m going to handle business here in America. Aventura, watch your back. ISIS is in the house.”

The affidavit detailed the events that took place on April 29, 2016, which was Passover – the day of the attack:

MEDINA took possession of what was described as, and what he believed to be, an explosive device. Unbeknownst to MEDINA, the device was inert and posed no danger to the public. At this time, MEDINA was briefed on the operation of the device and given instructions regarding its use. Thereafter, MEDINA and the UCE drove toward the target location in Aventura, Florida. After MEDINA exited the vehicle with what he believed to be an explosive device in hand, with the intention of placing and detonating it near the Jewish center/synagogue, he was taken into custody as he approached the target location.

Prior to his meeting with the undercover FBI employee or UCE, MEDINA made three videos on the FBI Confidential Human Source or CHS’ cellular telephone. In one, he stated: “I am a Muslim and I don’t like what is going on in this world. I’m going to handle business here in America. Aventura, watch your back. ISIS is in the house.” In another, he stated: “Today is gonna be a day where Muslims attack America. I’m going to set a bomb in Aventura.” In the third, he said his goodbyes to his family.

After the undercover informant had provided Medina with the fake bomb, the FBI arrested Medina on his way to the synagogue. Medina is currently being held at the Federal Detention Center in Miami and will remain there until Thursday – the day of his arraignment and bond hearing.

In 2012, Medina was arrested in Coral Springs, accused of stalking for sending texts threatening gun and bomb violence against a family. The Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center issued a statement that read:

“We are assured…that the synagogue and school were never at risk at any time during the investigation and arrest, and that there are no credible threats directed against us at the present time.”

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