Bomb plot: Man on WMD charge

2012-10-17 23:04

New York - A Bangladeshi man with alleged al-Qaeda links was arrested on Wednesday in New York on charges of trying to use a 1 000-pound (453kg) "bomb" to destroy the city's Federal Reserve building.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to support al-Qaeda.

He was arrested in Manhattan after he tried to detonate what he thought was a live bomb, but was actually a dummy provided in a sting operation, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said.

Nafis travelled to the United States in January 2012 "for the purpose of conducting a terrorist attack on US soil", the federal prosecutor's office in Brooklyn said in a statement.

"Nafis, who reported having overseas connections to al-Qaeda, attempted to recruit individuals to form a terrorist cell inside the United States," the prosecutor's office said.

"Nafis also actively sought out al-Qaeda contacts within the United States to assist him in carrying out an attack.

"Unbeknownst to Nafis, one of the individuals he attempted to recruit was actually a source for the FBI."

Nafis allegedly wrote a statement claiming responsibility for his planned attack in which he said he wanted to "destroy America" and referred to slain al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden as "beloved".

FBI acting assistant director Mary Galligan said the attempt to "destroy a landmark building and kill or maim untold numbers of innocent bystanders is about as serious as the imagination can conjure".

No risk

But the suspect never posed an immediate risk because two people he thought were his accomplices "were actually an FBI source and an FBI undercover agent".

The Federal Reserve building, part of the network that makes up the US central bank, houses one of the world's largest gold deposits, consisting mostly of bullion belonging to other countries.

The criminal complaint alleges that Nafis had proposed several other possible targets, including the nearby New York Stock Exchange and an unnamed high-ranking US official.

The actual plot appeared to go forward smoothly for the alleged bomber, since every step of the way he was being helped by the undercover agents.

Early on Wednesday, Nafis and an agent went by van to a warehouse in New York, prosecutors said, and the defendant said he was ready to do a suicide attack if his initial plan was thwarted.

He then assembled the bomb inside the van with phony explosives taken from the warehouse, the complaint says.

The agent and Nafis then drove to the New York Federal Reserve Bank, with Nafis finishing preparations to the fake bomb, while measures were taken among law enforcement bodies to make sure the vehicle was not stopped prematurely.


Once at the bank, Nafis recorded a "video statement to the American public" in which he allegedly said: "'We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom.'"

Only then Nafis discovered that his alleged bomb was a dud.

"Nafis then repeatedly, but unsuccessfully, attempted to detonate the bomb, which had been assembled using the inert explosives provided by the undercover agent," prosecutors said. He was arrested.

Loretta Lynch, US Attorney for the eastern district of New York, said: "The defendant came to this country intent on conducting a terrorist attack on US soil. The defendant thought he was striking a blow to the American economy.

"He thought he was directing confederates and fellow believers. At every turn, he was wrong, and his extensive efforts to strike at the heart of the nation's financial system were foiled."

  • grant.montgomery.5074 - 2012-10-17 23:45

    Well done the Feds!

  • mario.dippenaar - 2012-10-18 00:45

    His name was Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis His name was Quazi Mohammad Rez... uhm, wana? I wonder if he suffered from insomnia...

      Tony Lapson - 2012-10-18 08:41

      His name is Robert Paulson

      phillip.souths - 2012-10-18 09:21

      This whole story "smacks" of propaganda. US elections in 3 weeks, let's stoke the fires of terrorism so we can hail the president and his men as heroes once again! Ben Bernanke and his precious Fed were saved. I am not sure if I believe this story is the "whole truth"!

  • dugald.cloete - 2012-10-18 04:37

    Quazi could have made it "Five Lions". Nice one, FBI!

  • dragonfire47 - 2012-10-18 06:18

    its a federal case, non negotiable death penalty, send him to his virgins, if thats what the moron believes in

  • imtiaz.osman.5 - 2012-10-18 06:45

    Why only 1 arrest

      bheki.moyo.39 - 2012-10-18 10:46

      Because there was only one suspect in sight. Satisfied.

  • Gatvol Griet - 2012-10-18 06:47

    All hail Nafis! Sorry dude, you would've been a hero of the people for sticking it to the bankers!!!

      johan.harlaar.9 - 2012-10-18 08:44

      You are a sick puppy. you should be shot on the spot.

  • imtiaz.osman.5 - 2012-10-18 06:56

    Yah right world largest gold reserves stored in there, currencies are no more backed by gold. It just a piece of paper we made to have trust on it. I would like to know which countries gave america to store the gold for them

  • philip.buys.1 - 2012-10-18 07:10! $&&))$&&&$$@&&!.......????? Where is my vigins????!.......GRrrrrrrrr!!

      smuts.mike - 2012-10-18 07:50


  • es.vl.9 - 2012-10-18 07:28

    What a load of crap. al-Qaeda does not exist.

      Shaun Daly - 2012-10-18 07:52

      I know right? Osama was a hologram and the so called war against terror is actually the largest interactive theater experience ever staged!

  • tamlin.vanheerver - 2012-10-18 07:35

    Ummm didn't think they were allowed to do that, thats not going to hold up in court, isn't that known as entrapment? On another note, how ironic it was an Arab man!

  • andrew.arnesen - 2012-10-18 09:15

    Another fall-guy so the FBI can claim they are winning the war on terror. What a crock! The last two "thwarted" bomb attempts were completely setup by the FBI and this one doesn't look much different. When are they going to catch someone that they don't provide the "explosives" to???

      Shaun Daly - 2012-10-18 09:42

      No terrorists attacks on US soil since 9/11. If thats not winning the war on terror, what is?

      bheki.moyo.39 - 2012-10-18 10:42

      Why don't you try your luck if you think its all a set up. Arm yourself with bombs,go try your lucky.

  • richard.fahrenfort - 2012-10-18 09:30

    Quazi is going about his mission the wrong way. He should be educating people with the facts about how the Fed works and not trying to blow it up. The real threat to the Fed is that if more and more people knew the truth about whats going on in there and how the banking system is slowly crumbling around us, then the people would call for an audit and congress would finally be able to see the extent of the crap storm of debt that they, and everyone else the Fed supplies with money, are in.

      Shaun Daly - 2012-10-18 09:43

      I think youre grossly over estimating the abilities of that little sh*t

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