FBI arrests man accused of New York terror plot

 

New York

A 21 year old man was arrested in Manhattan yesterday on suspicion of plotting to bomb the New York Federal Reserve in the city’s bustling financial district.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis was nabbed as the result of a sting operation after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed to be a bomb at the Federal Reserve Bank building on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan, only a few blocks away from the site of the World Trade Centre. The Bank, the clearing house for some of the world’s largest financial institutions, is a key part of America’s economic infrastructure. Deep underneath the main building, high-security vaults house vast gold reserves, the largest such repository of the precious metal in the world. 

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation said the explosives the suspect allegedly attempted to use had been “rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public”. He faces charges of attempting use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to “provide material support” to al-Qa’ida. 

According to details released by the FBI, Ahsan Nafis, who was identified as a Bangladeshi national, travelled to the US in January with the alleged aim of conducting an attack. The authorities claim he was wrong footed when he attempted form a terrorist cell to assist him with the attack, unwittingly approaching someone who they say was an FBI source. Later, as the string unfolded, the 21 year old came into contact with an FBI agent posing as “an al-Qa’ida facilitator”. 

The criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York alleges that the suspect first proposed a number of other targets for the attack, including the New York Stock Exchange. He is also alleged to have considered an unidentified high-ranking US official. 

“In a written statement intended to claim responsibility for the terrorist bombing of the Federal Reserve Bank on behalf of al-Qa’ida, Nafis wrote that he wanted to ‘destroy America’ and that he believed the most efficient way to accomplish this goal was to target America’s economy,” the FBI said. 

He was arrested yesterday when he met the undercover agent and drove in a van to a New York warehouse, reportedly in Long Island, where he proceeded to assemble what he allegedly thought was a 1,000-pound bomb inside the vehicle. The two then drove down to the Federal Reserve building in lower Manhattan. After parking the van by the building, the suspect is alleged to have gone to a nearby hotel, reported by US new outlets to be the Millennium Hilton to record a video statement intended to be released in connection with the attack. The FBI claimed that he then allegedly attempted to detonate what in reality was a dud bomb, and was arrested at the site by officials monitoring his movements. Last night, news reports indicated that the young man had attempted to detonate the bomb remotely, not at the site. 

“The defendant thought he was striking a blow to the American economy. He thought he was directing  confederates and fellow believers,” Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said yesterday. “At every turn, he was wrong.”

New York Police commissioner Raymond Kelly said the alleged attempt to mount a terror strike in New York was the latest in a series since the World Trade Centre towers were struck on 11 September, 2011. “We are up to 15 plots and counting since 9/11, with the Federal Reserve now added to a list of iconic targets that previously included the Brooklyn Bridge, the New York Stock Exchange, and Citicorp Center,” he said. 

Suggested Topics
News
people

Arts and Entertainment
JJ Abrams' seventh Star Wars, The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of Episode VII has gone online after weeks of anticipation
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special
art

Presents unwrapped, turkey gobbled... it's time to relax

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: IT Cloud Support Engineer

£25000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a team player who likes...

Recruitment Genius: Skilled Machinist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled machini...

Recruitment Genius: Toolmaker

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: They are in need of additional skilled toolmak...

Langley James : Head of IT; e-commerce; Blackburn; up to £55k

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Langley James : Head of IT; e-commerce; Blackburn; ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game