FBI says Australian IS jihadist is a Jewish American

A Jewish American man has been arrested for pretending to be an Australian-based Islamic State jihadist. The arrest was the result of a joint investigation by the FBI and Australian Federal Police, based on information they received from Fairfax Media.

Joshua Ryne Goldberg, a 20-year old living with his parents in Florida, was accused of using the alias “Australi Witness” online and pretending to be an ISIS supporter. As Australi Witness, Goldberg publicly called for a series of attacks against individuals and events in western countries.

Image source: Facebook.
Image source: Facebook.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australi Witness recently claimed to be working with other jihadists to plan attacks in the United States and Australia. To make his claims legitimate, he posted pictures of a bomb he was working on and said it had two pounds of explosives inside.

Image source: Twitter.
Image source: Twitter.

On Friday, Goldberg, who isn’t a Muslim and has no real ties to extremism, was arrested at his home by Florida police officers. He was charged with distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices, and weapons of mass destruction.

At this time, the Australian Federal Police do not intend to file for Goldberg’s extradition, but they said he faces a 20-year sentence if he is convicted.

In the statement, the AFP said, “Investigations by the AFP in June 2015 established no initial threat to the Australian community. When investigations determined it was likely the person responsible for these threats was based in the United States, the investigation became the jurisdiction of the FBI, with the AFP in a support role.”

A sworn affidavit at the time of Goldberg’s arrest says that between August 19 and 28, Goldberg “distributed information pertaining to the manufacturing of explosives, destructive devices, or weapons of mass destruction in furtherance of an activity that constitutes a Federal crime of violence.”

Image source: Twitter.
Image source: Twitter.

United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, Lee Bentley III, said that Goldberg instructed a confidential source on how to make bombs similar to those that were used in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.

Goldberg initially denied having any involvement in distributing information on how to make a bomb, but later admitted that he did. However, he claimed that he provided the person with the information because he hoped he would kill himself while making it.

Goldberg is also suspected in a number of online hoaxes, which include the impersonation of a prominent Australian attorney.

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