FBI agents identify Cuban-American man in Florida as prolific ISIS propagandist

MIAMI – Jonathan Guerra thought that he was communicating with a romantic interest who he could involve in his efforts to promote multilingual ISIS propaganda, but the person in Miami who he was really sending information to was a covert FBI employee, according to the FBI.

Guerra, who was born in Cuba and is a U.S. naturalized citizen, is also known as Abu Zahra Al-Andalusi, federal prosecutors said. While he enjoyed the safety of a home in Lee County’s Lehigh Acres community and vacationed with his family in Cancun, Mexico, Guerra was promoting suicide bombing, prosecutors said.

According to FBI Special Agent Bryan Hughes, since the FBI started to investigate Guerra in October 2019 he has communicated with three FBI online covert employees and an FBI confidential source. Guerra pursued two covert FBI employees romantically, Hughes wrote.

“Guerra’s identity was ultimately confirmed through his communications with [FBI online cover employee], in which Guerra indicated his leadership role,” Hughes wrote, adding Guerra sent the romantic interest identifying information — including several photos of himself.

Guerra is in a Broward County jail on Monday. The digital content he was involved with included a “Called To Islam” video, which featured the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, and a guide on how to make a bomb in your mom’s kitchen, according to Hughes.

FBI covert employees identified several tactics Guerra used to protect his online identity, which included using cryptocurrency, according to Hughes. Guerra is facing a charge of attempted material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

In a similar case last year, Salman Rashid, 23, of North Miami Beach, was arrested and charged with solicitation to commit a crime of violence after he was accused of asking a confidential FBI source to contact members of ISIS so he could help conduct attacks at local colleges.

About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.