By Jessica Dye
NEW YORK, Feb 7 (Reuters) - A Bangladeshi man is expected to
plead guilty Thursday to attempting to blow up the New York
Federal Reserve Bank with what he believed to be a van packed
with explosives, according to court documents.
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested on
Oct. 17 after pulling up to the Federal Reserve and attempting
to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-lb (454-kg) bomb
hidden in a van.
In fact, an undercover agent provided the explosives to
Nafis as part of a sting operation, and the bomb was never in
working condition, federal authorities said.
Nafis was charged 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 faced up to life in prison on those
Nafis' attorney could not be reach after the close of
business for comment.
According to a criminal complaint unsealed in October, Nafis
entered the United States in 2012 with a student visa, and
eventually traveled to Queens, New York.
There, he scouted out targets for a potential attack -
including the New York Stock Exchange and U.S. President Barack
Obama - settling eventually on the Federal Reserve Bank in
Manhattan, the complaint said.
Nafis attempted to recruit others to his plot, and discussed
his plans over social media sites such as Facebook, the
complaint said. He claimed he was in contact with al Qaeda
operatives overseas, and actively sought out new al Qaeda
connections in the United States, the complaint said.
One of the individuals he brought onboard was an undercover
agent working for the FBI, who monitored Nafis' activities and
helped arm him with the inoperable explosives, federal
From Bangladesh, the suspect's father has denied his son was
involved and said he was the victim of a "racist conspiracy."
The case is U.S. v. Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of New York, no. 12-720.
For the U.S.: James Loonam and Richard Tucker of the U.S.
Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.
For Nafis: Heidi Cesare of the Federal Defenders of New York
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