3 Florida men charged with trying to join Islamic State

MIAMI (AP) – Authorities say three Florida men planned to travel to Syria and become fighters for the Islamic State.

Federal prosecutors said in a news release Friday that 52-year-old Gregory Hubbard, 31-year-old Dayne Christian and 50-year-old Darren Jackson of Palm Beach County are charged with conspiring to join the Islamic State. They were arrested Thursday.

An FBI report says the three told an informant last year about plans to go to Syria, and spoke approvingly of terror attacks in Orlando, San Bernardino, California, and elsewhere. It also says they talked about attacking the White House or Pentagon but took no specific steps.

The three are being held pending arraignment.

A woman who answered the phone at the Federal Public Defender’s office Friday said she had no record of the defendants.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, issued the following statement regarding the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) announcement that it has arrested three suspected ISIS sympathizers in Palm Beach County:

We have again been reminded that we have terrorists in our midst. While the details are still coming in, we know that we had three suspected ISIS terrorists here in our state, in South Florida, aspiring to kill in the name of this radical Islamic ideology.‎ There should be no doubt that there are more terrorists living among us, with hopes of joining jihad abroad or conducting attacks here on our homeland.

Vigilance among our people is essential, but so is equipping our law enforcement and intelligence agencies with all the tools they need to not only stop attacks but also track down all the people that were also involved.‎ I congratulate the FBI and other members of our law enforcement and intelligence agencies involved with this arrest.

President Obama has allowed ISIS to fester and miscalculated‎ the seriousness of the threat they pose by calling them the ‘JV team’. His failure to adequately address this threat and the limited time he has left to figure it out will go down in history as one of the biggest and most dangerous failures of his presidency.

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