South Florida

Broward man pleads guilty to distributing bomb-making instructions over the web

Tayyab Tahir Ismail
Tayyab Tahir Ismail Broward Sheriff's Office

A South Florida man who posted bomb-making instructions on the internet while expressing his support for Islamic extremism pleaded guilty Thursday to a terrorism-related charge in Miami federal court.

Tayyab Tahir Ismail, 34, of Pembroke Pines admitted he used a mobile messaging platform to distribute information on making weapons of mass destruction at least four times over the past summer, according to a statement filed with his plea agreement.

Ismail now faces up to 20 years in prison at his sentencing May 23 before U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore.

“Ismail was a member of various rooms within the platform and each of these rooms contained members who support violent jihad,” according to an FBI arrest affidavit filed by federal prosecutor Karen Gilbert. Among them: supporters of ISIS, the notorious Middle Eastern terrorist group known for videotaping the killings of Western hostages.

No live explosives were linked to the bomb-making designs he distributed on the internet.

Ismail, who was born in Pakistan and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, had been on the FBI’s radar for a number of years. The affidavit says he was a “close associate” of James Gonzalo Medina, a Hollywood man who pleaded guilty in 2017 to trying to blow up an Aventura synagogue and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Ismail’s arrest follows a similar indictment filed in August against Samuel Baptiste, who posted online documents on how to make explosives. Baptiste, who is currently in prison on a firearms conviction, was charged with distributing the unlawful bomb designs as well as with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, ISIS.

Jay Weaver writes about bad guys who specialize in con jobs, rip-offs and squirreling away millions. Since joining the Miami Herald in 1999, he’s covered the federal courts nonstop, from Elian’s custody battle to A-Rod’s steroid abuse. He was on the Herald team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 2001. He and three Herald colleagues were Pulitzer Prize finalists for explanatory reporting in 2019 for a series on gold smuggled from South America to Miami.