Alleged Mosque Bombing Plot Thwarted
Florida Police Find Explosives, Manuals, Target List in Podiatrist's Home
By Rachel La Corte
The Associated Press
T A M P A, Fla., Aug. 23 — A podiatrist arrested after authorities found a stash of guns and explosives in his home was planning to destroy an Islamic education center and dozens of mosques, court records revealed today.
Dr. Robert J. Goldstein, 37, was charged with
possession of a non-registered destructive device and
attempting to use an explosive to damage and destroy
During a search of his Seminole home, deputies found
a typed list of approximately 50 Islamic worship centers
in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area and elsewhere in the
They also found detailed plans for destroying an Islamic
education center with the use of bombs. The location of
the Islamic education center targeted was not
"It looks like this guy was going to target some Islamic
mosques," Pinellas County Sheriff's Detective Cal
Dennie said. "He had a list of what he wanted to target
and the directions on how to get there."
Suspect’s Wife Notified Police
Residents were evacuated overnight from the townhome complex after Goldstein's wife, Kristi, had called police, saying her husband was acting unstable.
Kristi Goldstein said her husband had threatened to kill her, according to an affidavit by ATF Special Agent James Booth. After half an hour, police talked Robert Goldstein out of the home and he was placed in custody under the Baker Act, which allows involuntary commitment for analysis.
Detective Cal Dennie said today that police found a cache of up to 40 weapons, including .50-caliber machine guns and sniper rifles.
"You have to have a special license to get this stuff and he does," said Dennie, who said Goldstein had no criminal record.
House Full of Explosives, Manuals
But he also had more than 30 explosive devices, including hand grenades and a 5-gallon gasoline bomb with a timer and a wire attached, Dennie said.
"It's a number of destructive devices he had, pretty sophisticated stuff," he said. "He had an elaborate system, with video cameras and everything."
Deputies also found five or six rectangular packages with timers on them.
The Hillsborough County bomb squad from Tampa and federal bomb experts were called to the scene, and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms officially took over the case.
"He had books on how to make bombs and he was using VCR tapes and walkie-talkies as a means to explode bombs," Dennie said.
Townhouse Complex Could Have Been Destroyed
The 25 to 30 residents who were displaced were allowed back after police opened a safe thought to have contained explosives. There were only more guns in the safe, said Special Agent Carlos Baixauli with the ATF Tampa field division.
"If one of those bombs were to have gone off, that townhouse would have been destroyed," Baixauli said. "If the others exploded, we would have lost most of that townhouse complex."