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Sep 11, 2015

Joshua Goldberg from Florida allegedly recorded by FBI planning attack on Kansas City memorial event, while claiming to live in Australian city of Perth

People stand amongst 3,000 US flags are displayed at Pepperdine University to mark the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack Photo: Corbis

People stand amongst 3,000 US flags are displayed at Pepperdine University to mark the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attack Photo: Corbis

telegraph By , New York 7:11PM BST 11 Sep 2015

A 20-year-old American from Florida has been arrested after planning to attack a September 11 memorial event in Missouri while posing online as an Australian jihadist.

Joshua Goldberg was detained at his parents’ house in Jacksonville after the FBI recorded him allegedly giving advice in chat rooms about how to make a pressure cooker bomb, filled with nails coated in rat poison.

“Have you decided what kind of attack to carry out on 9/11?” he asked. “We could make pipe bombs and detonate them at a large public event.”

He and an undercover FBI agent allegedly discussed attacking a Stair Climb in Kansas City on Sunday which will see firemen climb the stairs of a tower to commemorate their colleagues who died in the World Trade Centre attacks 14 years ago.

Mr Goldberg has been charged with distributing information relating to explosives, destructive devices and weapons of mass destruction, the US Attorney’s Office said.

A flag is raised during a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York

A flag is raised during a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York  Photo: Reuters

Earlier this year, the agent traced online messages being used to claim responsibility for helping inspire terrorist attacks in Texas and Australia to an account in Florida, according to the criminal complaint.

The agent told Mr Goldberg, who was using the online alias “AusWitness,” that he was a student living near Kansas City.

Mr Goldberg allegedly claimed to be living in Perth, Australia, and said that he thought a pressure cooker bomb would be the best option and identified the Kansas City memorial event in Kansas City, according to the messages.

Australian Federal Police confirmed that they had worked with the FBI on the investigation.

The arrest came as the former mayor of New York used the September 11 anniversary to warn that America is “in denial” about another terrorist attack, and claim that the country is more at risk from jihadists than it was in 2001.

As the names of the 2,973 victims of America’s worst ever terrorist attack were read out at the 9/11 memorial in Manhattan, Rudy Giuliani, who was mayor of the city at the time, accused the current authorities of having their heads in the sand.

“Those running our government seem to be in an even greater state of denial than the nation was in during the period before September 11,” he wrote in The Wall Street Journal. “We may well be in more jeopardy now than before 9/11.”

A flower is seen during a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York

A flower is seen during a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York  Photo: Reuters

Mr Giuliani, a lawyer, whose term as mayor ended three months after the attacks, said the Iran nuclear deal increased the risk of further atrocities as it “gives the ayatollahs access to hundreds of millions of dollars that will be used to sponsor terrorist attacks against us and our allies”. The rise of the Islamic State showed that a new generation of potential attackers were “even more diverse, cunning and determined”.

He said the answer was to “acknowledge this war being waged against us,” increase funding for the military and intelligence services, and invest in training police to prevent attacks.

Across America, a series of relatively low-key memorials took place yesterday.

In Washington, President Barack Obama observed a moment of silence to mark the anniversary at the White House, and held a town hall-style meeting with military service members at Fort Meade, an army base in Maryland.

Ash Carter, the defence secretary, hosted a private remembrance ceremony for relatives of those killed at the Pentagon.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, joined by White House staff, stand as Taps is played on the 14th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, joined by White House staff, stand as Taps is played on the 14th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks  Photo: Getty Images

And relatives of the 40 passengers and crew members who died aboard United Airlines Flight 93 gathered at the newly dedicated Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

“We honour those we lost. We salute all who serve to keep us safe. We stand as strong as ever,” said Mr Obama in a post to social media after the ceremonies.

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