Sami Osmakac: Tampa federal jury finds man guilty on both counts in terrorism plot

TAMPA - Jurors in the trial of a Pinellas County man accused of plotting a terrorist attack in the Tampa Bay area have found him guilty on both counts.

Prosecutors said Sami Osmakac was acting on his extreme religious beliefs when he tried to launch a terrorist attack in Tampa. He was arrested in January 2012.

The jury found Osmakac guilty of having an unregistered automatic weapon and trying to use a weapon of mass destruction.

The panel took less than seven hours to reach a decision.

Osmakac faces a possible life term.

Osmakac's attorneys said their client is mentally ill. They also contend Osmakac wanted to fight American and NATO troops overseas, and was manipulated by the FBI and a paid informant to try to attack people on U.S. soil.

Osmakac is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Kosovo.

Agents said possible targets included night clubs in the Ybor City area, the Operations Center of the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Ybor City and a business in the South Tampa area.

Osmakac was placed under surveillance after an informant told authorities he had asked for al-Qaeda flags.  In November 2011, Osmakac and the informant discussed potential targets, according to authorities.

The informant ultimately introduced Osmakac to an undercover FBI agent.

The trial lasted three weeks.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7. Osmakac lawyers plan to appeal.

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