Man accused of threatening local mosque takes plea deal

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

A Florida man accused of threatening to firebomb a mosque last fall has accepted a plea agreement.

Federal court documents filed Monday show that 43-year-old Martin Alan Schnitzler of Seminole has agreed to plead guilty next month to one count of obstructing people in the free exercise of religious beliefs. He faces up to 20 years in prison, but sentencing guidelines will likely call for a significantly lighter punishment. A hearing is scheduled for Feb. 8.

According to court documents, Schnitzler left a voicemail for the Islamic Center of Pinellas County hours after the November attacks in Paris, threatening to firebomb the center and “shoot whoever is there.” FBI investigators deemed the threats not credible.

Terrorists from the Islamic State group killed 130 people during the Nov. 13 attack in Paris.