Federal Reserve bomb suspect is latest victim of FBI sting

Oct 18, 2012

Bangladeshi man arrested after trying to blow up New York bank with fake bomb supplied by FBI

A BANGLADESHI man arrested in an FBI sting operation appeared in a Brooklyn court last night on charges relating to an attempt to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank with a van stuffed with half a tonne of explosives. He is just the latest terror suspect to be caught out by undercover FBI agents.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, arrived in the United States in January 2012 on a student visa. In New York, he is reported to have recruited FBI agents, posing as jihadis, to form a terror cell. He claimed he was linked to al-Qaeda, although there is no evidence he actually was in contact with the terrorist organisation.

Nafis considered a number of targets before settling on the bank, according to Reuters, including assassinating Barack Obama or blowing up the New York Stock Exchange. Nafis hoped the attack would put Muslims "one step closer to run the whole world", The Daily Telegraph reports.

FBI operatives supplied Nafis with 450kg of fake explosives, which he placed in a van before parking the vehicle outside the Federal Reserve Bank. Then, at a nearby hotel, he recorded a video statement, in which he vowed, "We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom." When he attempted to detonate the bomb with his mobile phone, he was arrested.

Nafis has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda.

He is just the latest terrorist suspect to be arrested in FBI sting operations where agents supply fake explosives to would-be terrorists. In February, a Moroccan man was arrested for allegedly attempting an attack on Congress with a fake suicide vest, and in May five anarchists were held for attempting to blow up a bridge in Ohio with inert explosives.

New York police denied that Nafis's plans were crude and bumbling. "I don't see how you characterise [him as] unsophisticated, I mean he was arrested, but he clearly had the intent to create mayhem here," said a spokesman.

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