Cuban-American gets life sentence for terrorism in USA
April 18, 2017
Translation by Walter Lippmann.
Harlem Suarez, Cuban-born citizen, was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of attempting to blow up a bomb on a Florida beach and providing material support to the Islamic State group, the US Public Prosecutor’s Office reported today.
Judge José Martínez Suárez stated today that Suárez, 25, must spend the rest of his life in prison, as requested by the prosecution, who had considered Monday that this would be a “totally fair and reasonable” punishment for his crimes.
Suarez was sentenced to life in prison for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, and to an additional 20 years in prison for trying to provide support to a terrorist group, the prosecutor said.
The prosecution presented the recordings of the defendant’s conversations with the FBI undercover officers, in which they spoke of the explosive device.
Suarez, found guilty last January in a Florida Keys court, said during the trial that he had no real intention of blowing up a bomb, that he felt scared and intimidated by the police and that his interest was only to know, out of curiosity, the way in which the EI operates.
From the outset, defense lawyers tried to evade terrorism charges by arguing that their client has mental problems.
Suarez was arrested in mid-2015 by the FBI after being monitored by this entity since April of that year, when they detected that he had made comments of support to the Islamic State on his Facebook account.
According to the complaint, the Cuban met with an undercover FBI informant on multiple occasions with the intention of carrying out an attack in the country on behalf of the IS after publishing a series of violent messages in favor of the terrorist group on Facebook, under the name “Almlak Benítez”
(With information from EFE)