Man indicted in plot to bomb New York Federal Reserve

Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:52pm EST
 

By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Bangladeshi man has been indicted on charges of attempting to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank last month with what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb, court papers made public Thursday show.

The grand jury indictment charges Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of attempting to provide material support to a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization, al Qaeda. He faces life in prison if convicted.

Nafis was arrested on October 17 after pulling up to the Federal Reserve and attempting to detonate what he believed to be a van packed with explosives.

In fact, the explosives had been provided to Nafis by an undercover agent as part of a sting operation, and were never in working condition, federal authorities said.

A criminal complaint unsealed last month against Nafis said he traveled to the United States in 2012, and eventually moved to Queens, New York.

There, he scouted out targets for a potential attack - including the New York Stock Exchange and a high-ranking government official identified as U.S. President Barack Obama - settling eventually on the Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan.

Nafis attempted to recruit others to his plan, claiming he was in contact with al Qaeda operatives, the complaint said.

One of the individuals he brought on board was an undercover agent working for the FBI, who monitored Nafis' activities and helped arm him with the inoperable explosives, federal authorities said.   Continued...

 
A courtroom sketch shows Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis (L) being arraigned in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of New York October 17, 2012. The Federal Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday arrested the 21-year-old Bangladeshi man on charges he attempted to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank with what he believed was a 1,000-pound (453-kg) bomb, a plot thwarted by an undercover sting operation, federal authorities said. REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg