An al-Qaeda sympathiser from Bangladesh was arrested in New York on Wednesday after he sought to blow up the Federal Reserve building with what he thought was a 1,000 pound bomb, but which was actually a dummy provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in a 'sting' operation.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, a Bangladeshi national, with conspiring to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, saying he tried to remotely detonate what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb in a van he parked outside the building in Lower Manhattan.
The entire plot actually played out under the surveillance of the FBI and the New York Police Department as part of an elaborate sting operation, according to court papers.
Nafis arrived in the United States in January on a student visa "for the purpose of conducting a terrorist attack on US soil", the federal prosecutor's office in Brooklyn said in a statement.
He tried to make contacts and recruit people to form a terrorist cell to help him carry out an attack, according to a criminal complaint in the case. But one of these recruits was an FBI informer, who later introduced him to an undercover FBI agent who 'helped' him with the plot.
"Nafis actively sought out al-Qaeda contacts within the United States to assist him in carrying out an attack. Unknown to Nafis, one of the individuals he attempted to recruit was actually a source for the FBI", the prosecutors said.