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Saturday, 24 August, 2002, 15:41 GMT 16:41 UK
US doctor 'planned to destroy mosques'
Police outside Goldstein's home
Police retrieved various weapons from Goldstein's home
Authorities in America say a doctor arrested after police found explosives at his Florida home planned to blow up mosques and an Islamic education centre.

Investigators recovered dozens of weapons and explosive devices at a house in St Petersburg belonging to 37-year-old chiropodist Robert Goldstein.


He knew his stuff. It was just like a James Bond thing

Detective Cal Dennie
They also found details of intended targets.

Mr Goldstein was taken into custody and charged with possessing a non-registered destructive device and attempting to use an explosive to destroy Islamic institutions.

Police say Mr Goldstein planned to conceal the explosives in video cassettes and walkie-talkies.

"He was just a smart guy," said Detective Cal Dennie. "He knew his stuff. It was just like a James Bond thing."

House booby-trapped

Police were called to Mr Goldstein's home by his mother, who said her son was going through marital problems.

Robert Goldstein
Police have not given Goldstein's alleged motives
There they found up to 40 weapons and 30 explosives, including hand grenades and a five-gallon (19 litre) gasoline bomb with a timer attached.

The house was also booby-trapped and rigged with surveillance cameras.

"If one of those bombs had were to have gone off, that townhouse would have been destroyed," said Carlos Baixauli, from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency.

Residents were evacuated from complex overnight while police made the area safe.

Detailed instructions

Police also found at the house a list of about 50 Islamic centres in Florida and plans to use the explosives.

Court documents detail an outline for an attack as reading: "Set timers for approximately 15-20 minutes to allow for enough time to get out of area, but to confirm explosives has (sic) been successful.

"The amount of explosives should be ample to take down the building (s)."

The court papers say plans included details of what Mr Goldstein would wear, how he would remove fingerprints and how he would engage in hand-to-hand combat if he was tackled.

The documents say there were also traces of the name of an accomplice, named as Val, which had been written over with name Mike.

Police have not given a motive for the planned attacks.

See also:

26 Jun 02 | Americas
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11 Oct 01 | Americas
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