Judge orders mental health evaluation for Florida man accused in 9/11 terror plot
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A federal judge on Tuesday ordered a Florida man accused in a 9/11 anniversary terror plot to undergo a mental health evaluation, concerned that he might not be competent for a court appearance. Agents said Joshua Goldberg, of Orange Park, wanted a bomb to be set off at a memorial in Kansas City, where firefighters were attending an event commemorating the Sept. 11 attacks.
Investigators added that Goldberg took credit for encouraging another attack via Twitter, which took place in Garland, Texas earlier this year outside a Prophet Mohammad Art Exhibit and Contest. According to the criminal complaint, Goldberg had been in contact online with an individual who was actually an informant. Investigators said Goldberg told the informant how to make a pressure cooker bomb and fill it with nails, metal and other shrapnel dipped in poison.
Goldberg, 20, appeared in court with his hair looking disheveled. His parents sat two rows behind him, holding hands while watching their son. During the hearing, Shorstein told the judge that Goldberg's parents were worried about their son's depression and that he needed the proper medication while in jail. Goldberg mouthed to his parents the words, "I love you," before being taken out of the courtroom.
Goldberg's attorney, Paul Shorstein, wouldn't talk about the case but focused on Tuesday's hearing. "There's some issues that everyone agrees that need to be explored, before anything moves forward. That's what happened today," he said. "Certainly his parents are concerned and that's part of the process."
The judge ordered Goldberg to undergo tests at a medical center in North Carolina. "They'll be a competency hearing, he'll be evaluated and we'll see what the results are," Shorstein added. "The rules are, if you're not competent to understand the procedure, then no decision can be made."
A competency hearing will take place in 45 to 60 days.