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Man pleads guilty in suspected 9/11 memorial ceremony bombing plot

Man pleads guilty in suspected 9/11 memorial ceremony bombing plot
Posted at 12:46 PM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 08:45:14-05

JACKSONVILLE, FL (WJXT/CNN) - A man has pleaded guilty to charges connected to his role in a suspected terror plot.

Joshua Ryne Goldberg, 22,  pleaded guilty Wednesday to a count of attempted malicious damage and destruction by an explosive of a building.

Authorities said the target was a Sept. 11 memorial ceremony in Kansas City, MO, in 2015.

Goldberg was accused of providing a co-conspirator with detailed instructions to produce a bomb for the attack.

The bomb was supposed to be similar to the pressure cooker-based devices used in the Boston Marathon bombings.

"Goldberg provided the (FBI confidential human source) with a list of items to use in the pressure cooker bomb, including shards of metal, nails, and broken glass. He then instructed the CHS 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," the U.S. Attorney's Office for Florida's middle district stated.

When asked if Goldberg said why he did it, Goldberg's attorney Paul Shorstein said, "I mean, there's a lot of background information that explains the context of what was happening and why. It's certainly related to his mental health situation and things he was doing on the Internet completely unrelated to what you have seen. That's a complicated answer, probably more information available as we go."

Goldberg came to the attention of authorities in the midst of their investigation into the 2015 Muhammad art contest attack in Garland, TX, in which two gunmen died and a security officer was wounded.

Before the attack, Goldberg posted a map of contest location and urged people in the area to attack it. Gunman Elton Simpson, one of the two individuals killed in the attack, copied the posting, and Goldberg "took responsibility for inspiring the Garland attack, as well as two other planned attacks," the U.S. Attorney's Office stated.

Wednesday's plea was part of a deal reached with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Goldberg faces up to 20 years in a federal institution, but the recommended punishment is eight years.

A sentencing date hasn't been set.

Copyright 2017 WJXT via CNN. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.