"Suarez arrived in the U.S., in 2004 with his parents
as refugees from Cuba." Was given gift of legal permanent US residency
7/29/15, "Fla. terror suspect had been cleared for Key West airport job," USA Today, Kevin Johnson, via 10News, wtsp, Tampa Bay
"A Florida man charged earlier this week in an alleged Islamic
State-inspired plot to detonate a bomb on a crowded beach was once
cleared to work at the Key West International Airport, where his job
provided him direct access to secure areas, including baggage
compartments of commercial aircraft, an airline spokesman and co-workers
One of his co-workers, a former supervisor, said that
Harlem Suarez, 23, once asked how he could get a gun on a plane. The
former supervisor, who asked not to be identified out of fear of
possible retaliation by the supervisor's current employer, said that
Suarez's inquiry from last summer was reported to a manager. But the
supervisor was unaware whether any action was taken.
another former co-worker of Suarez's, said the supervisor also told him
about Suarez's reference to a gun. He also did not know whether there
was any response to the report....
American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein confirmed
Wednesday that Suarez was employed by Envoy Air Inc., a wholly owned
subsidiary of American, as a station agent at Key West, from December
2013 to March 2015.
Feinstein, who said Suarez's duties ranged
from passenger check-in to baggage handling, declined comment on what
prompted the agent's departure from the company in March, the month
before the FBI was alerted by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Department
of extremist rhetoric posted on a Facebook account allegedly traced to
Asked whether the company was aware of Suarez's reported query about a gun, Feinstein referred questions to federal authorities.
The FBI in Miami declined to comment.
prosecutors announced the case against Suarez on Tuesday, charging the
legal permanent resident from Cuba with attempting to use a weapon of
Court documents outlined his interactions with
an FBI informant and undercover agent in an alleged pursuit earlier this
month of bomb-making components, including grenades, a timing device
and nails that could be assembled in a backpack and buried in the sand.
can make it (bomb) with a phone ...,'' Suarez allegedly told an FBI
source in a July 16 telephone conversation that was recorded by
authorities. "I can go to the beach at night time ... put the thing in
the sand ... cover it up ... so the next day I just call and the thing
is gonna, is gonna make a real hard noise."
In a separate meeting
with the source three days later, according to court documents, Suarez
allegedly discussed "putting bombs under police cars, in front of police
officers' homes and possibly purchasing a vehicle and building a car
bomb.'' None of the potential plots outlined in court documents involved
an aviation-related target.
Suarez allegedly purchased two boxes
of nails July 19 at a Home Depot store and later turned over the nails, a
pre-paid cellular phone and backpack to the source for assembly by the
FBI undercover agent posing as an ISIL operative.
arrested Monday, after accepting the device that had been previously
rendered inert and posed no safety risk, according to court documents.
Richard Della Ferra, retained to represent Suarez, described his client
as a "kid with no prior criminal history who appears to be a troubled
and confused young man.''
"He is not a terrorist,'' Della Ferra
said, adding that Suarez arrived in the U.S., in 2004 with his parents
as refugees from Cuba. "He has no ties to the Middle East. The family is
as surprised and shocked at the allegations as anyone. He has never
been in trouble before.''
The attorney also said that he was unaware of his client's reported reference to getting a gun on a plane. "That's the first I'm hearing of this,'' he said.
Della Ferra said he will argue for his client's release on bond next week at a scheduled detention hearing. "We haven't heard the whole story on this,'' the attorney said....
Suarez had encountered
trouble earlier this year when he deployed the emergency slide while
working on an aircraft."...via Pamela Geller