Miami Man Inspired by ISIS Accused of Trying to Bomb Dolphin Mall

Marissa Bagg et al., NBC Miami

A Miami man accused of trying to bomb the Dolphin Mall after allegedly being inspired by Islamic extremists made his first appearance in federal court Monday.

Vicente Adolfo Solano, 53, appeared before a judge to face a federal charge of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.

The judge appointed an attorney for Solano, who works as a painter and doesn’t own property or have any assets.

Solano was arrested outside the mall on Friday following an undercover operation by an FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force, according to a criminal complaint released Monday.

The investigation began in late September after an informant said Solano had “become increasingly upset with the policies of the United States government and its activities throughout the world,” the complaint said.

Solano was planning to strike at the mall on Black Friday, Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving and one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the complaint said.

Authorities said Solano made pro-Islamic State videos before planning the attack, which included detonating a weapon of mass destruction, the complaint said.

In the videos that Solano sent to the informant, he spoke in Spanish and wore a black mask while standing in front of an ISIS flag, the complaint said.


“I am going to plant a bomb like in-like in Boston, in the name of Allah,” Solano said, according to the complaint. “Like in Boston, like Suarez wanted to do in the Keys, that’s how they’re going to get it, and even worse.”

Solano later met with undercover agents and “described his feeling of exclusion that stems from his temporary immigration status,” the complaint said.

He also said he had gone to the mall to look for a spot to plant the bomb, and said he was considering the food court or an area where people sing.


On Friday, Solano met with the undercover agents at a hotel, where they put the device together. Solano practiced arming the device, which was inert and could never actually explode, the complaint said.

Solano and one of the agents drove to the mall, where Solano took steps that he believed would arm the device, and the timer began to count down, the complaint said.


{snip} Neighbors said he is from Honduras and rented a room at a townhouse for years.

Records showed he has a long list of minor crimes in his background, including 47 traffic citations, a misdemeanor assault arrest, and a failure to appear in court for driving with a suspended license.