Joshua Ryne Goldberg of Orange Park was arrested earlier this week on Thursday and was charged with distribution of information relating to explosive, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction.
Goldberg offered online advice about how to make a pipe bomb. He allegedly told the person he was writing to how to make the bomb, how to make the bomb- by adding shrapnel dipped in rat poison, and he even told the person online where to have the bomb go off- at a 9/11 commemorative event in Kansas City, Missouri. But, what Goldberg did not know when he was telling all of this information to this online person, is that the person receiving all of the information was actually an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Officials tied Goldberg to a fake online identity known as “”Australi Witness” and “AusWitness” who claimed to be a Muslim living in Perth, Australia promoting jihad around the world.
The FBI became aware of Goldberg before May when he used the Twitter handle Australi Witness to encourage attacks with weapons, bombs, and knives at the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas. Two men, Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi – both of Phoenix, tried to attack the Art Exhibit in Garland later in May, but were unsuccessful after being shot to death by police before getting into the building.
Goldberg then posted in June that he inspired the attacks in Garland, Texas, and also said he encouraged and helped plan out attacks by two different people- one in LA, and the other in Melbourne, Australia- to carry out jihad in their respective cities and shot up local synagogues when the maximum amount of Jews were praying.
The FBI then contacted Goldberg in July through an informant and by Mid August, Goldberg was helping the informant plan an attack at the Kansas City Stair Climb, a 9/11 commemoration event held in Kansas City.
Australi Witness’ IP address was finally tied to Goldbergs home in Orange Park, Florida. FBI officials went to his house with a search warrant on September 9th and Goldberg denied he had any role in a terror plot. But then Goldberg changed his story and said he called for an attack in Garland, Texas, but he intended for the individual he was talking to online to either kill himself while making the bomb, or Goldberg was going to alert the police prior to the detonation of the bomb so he would receive the credit and be a hero.