Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

U.S. wants Tampa terrorism case evidence under wraps

TAMPA — Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to keep evidence in the case of a man accused of plotting terror attacks in Tampa out of the hands of everyone but those directly involved in the upcoming trial.

Sami Osmakac, a Pinellas resident being held without bail, is charged with attempting to use weapons of mass destruction and possessing an unregistered machine gun.

Osmakac's trial had been scheduled for next month. But on Wednesday, a judge agreed to continue it until August.

Evidence in the case is declassified, government lawyers said. But in a motion filed on Wednesday, they said, "These materials, while declassified, are still sensitive."

Osmakac's lawyers, who will have unrestricted access to evidence, do not object and said it will not impact their defense.

Prosecutors in the office of U.S. Attorney Robert O'Neill declined to comment. They do not describe in their motion in detail the evidence they plan to present at trial. They did note they want to protect the identity of a confidential source. It also is expected that some evidence includes telephone surveillance and secretly recorded conversations of Osmakac.

"Unrestricted disclosure" of evidence gathered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which includes recordings, "could adversely impact ongoing investigations to which those recordings pertain," prosecutors said.

Any protective order will not affect evidence presented at trial, which is open to the public. Osmakac, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in present-day Kosovo, faces life in prison if convicted.

Osmakac is accused of trying to buy guns and explosives, including a car bomb, to destroy targets in Tampa, including a Hillsborough Sheriff's Office operations center. His plans were thwarted when an acquittance reported him to the FBI. He said he wanted to instill terror in his victims' hearts, calling it "payback" for wrongs done to Muslims, an arrest affidavit said.

U.S. wants Tampa terrorism case evidence under wraps 04/25/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 11:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. UF president Kent Fuchs: 'Charlottesville changed everything'

    K12

    GAINESVILLE — Wednesday evening, hazy rumors of an impending Neo-Nazi march reached some wary protesters. A few quickly rallied to denounce the marchers in downtown Gainesville, only to find plazas empty but for police.

    University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs talks with reporters Wednesday about white nationalist Richard Spencer's planned speech on Thursday. He said of Spencer: "In a small way, he is causing us to redouble our focus on supporting actions that are the opposite of what he wants." [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. Kenya vote chief says 'difficult' to have credible election

    World

    NAIROBI, Kenya — It is "difficult to guarantee a free, fair and credible election" in Kenya's fresh presidential vote just eight days away despite "full technical preparedness," the head of the election commission said Wednesday as another wave of uncertainty swept through East Africa's largest economy.

  3. International array of artists chosen as finalists for Pier project

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — A diverse group of six artists will compete for a chance to install their work at the city's multimillion-dollar Pier District, expected to open in early 2019.

  4. Former Jabil executive's fate in hands of murder trial jury

    Criminal

    LARGO — For a second time, Patrick Evans' future is in the hands of a jury.

    Patrick Evans talks with Allison Miller, one of his three public defenders, before jury selection this w eek. Evans, a former Jabil executive charged with killing his estranged wife and her friend almost 10 years ago, is back in court for a second trial after his original death sentence conviction was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  5. Hillsborough designates $17 million for Irma debris removal and repairs

    News

    TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Commission voted Wednesday to spend $17 million from the county's Catastrophic Disaster Recovery Fund to remove debris left by Hurricane Irma and to fix damaged facilities.