Florida man pleads guilty in bomb plot at Kansas City 9/11 memor - KCTV5 News

Florida man pleads guilty in bomb plot at Kansas City 9/11 memorial

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ORANGE COUNTY (CBS47) Joshua Goldberg, the Orange Park man accused of trying to coordinate a terror attack at a Sept. 11 memorial, pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday. 

Wednesday's court appearance was listed as a status hearing, which had been delayed from Dec. 13. Goldberg was observed waving to his father in court. 

Goldberg was charged in Sept. 2015 with giving out information on explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction.

According to the plea agreement, the FBI and law enforcement officers from Australia began investigating the online name “AusWitness” in the summer of 2015 and determined that it was Goldberg.

He got law enforcement's attention in part because of his postings concerning the May 3, 2015, attack by two gunman at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas.

Before the attack, Goldberg posted a map of the location of the contest and urged anyone in the area to attack the event.

Goldberg’s post was copied by gunman Elton Simpson, one of the two individuals killed during the attack.

The FBI later located an online posting in which Goldberg took responsibility for inspiring the Garland attack as well as two other planned attacks. 

In late July 2015, an FBI confidential human source began messaging Goldberg on social media.

Between July and mid-August 2015, Goldberg discussed getting an individual in Melbourne, Australia to carry out a terrorist attack and to having the FBI source commit a bombing in the United States.

During those conversations, Goldberg sent the FBI source five website links containing instructions for making an explosive device, including pipe bombs and other incendiary devices.

On August 20, 2015, Goldberg stated that he was thinking of pipe bombs at a large public event and later said that a pressure cooker bomb may be better.

Later that month, Goldberg told the FBI source that he had found the “perfect place” to target on September 11, 2015.

Officials say he sent the FBI source a link to a Kansas City, Missouri firefighter’s event that memorialized first responders who were killed in the Sept. 11 attacks. In the event, 343 firefighters climbed 110 stories to honor those lost in the 2011 terror attacks. 

On August 27, 2015, Goldberg instructed the FBI source to place the bomb near the crowd at the memorial event and to ensure it was very well hidden. 

The next day, Goldberg provided the FBI source with a list of items to use in the pressure cooker bomb, including shards of metal, nails, and broken glass.

He instructed the FBI source to dip screws and other shrapnel in rat poison before putting them in the pressure cooker bomb in order to inflict more casualties.

Goldberg stated he would post a video of the bombing.

A forensic analysis of the bomb making information determined that it could have been used to make explosives that would cause property damage, personal injury, and/or death.  

Goldberg's guilty plea recommends he serves eight years in prison, followed by probation. 

A sentencing date was not set. Goldberg will be required to serve any sentence handed down. He will not be eligible for parole until the sentence is completed. 

Goldberg, who lived with his parents, was found incompetent to stand trial three times.  He’s been undergoing treatment at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C. for autism spectrum disorder and major depressive disorder.

The Orange Park home where Goldberg lived was searched. The police activity surprised neighbors in the quiet, tree-lined street where he lived. 

Copyright 2017 CBS 47. All rights reserved.

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