Plot to bomb Pentagon with model plane is foiled


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A man from Massachusetts has been arrested and charged with plotting to attack the Pentagon and the US Capitol building with remote-controlled aircraft filled with plastic explosives.

Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, was detained by US authorities yesterday after being caught in an undercover operation. He has also been charged with attempting to provide support to al-Qa'ida in order to carry out attacks on US soldiers stationed overseas, the US attorney's office in Boston said.

"The conduct alleged today shows that Mr Ferdaus had long planned to commit violent acts against our country," US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in a statement.

She added that the public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were controlled by undercover FBI employees.

Authorities allege that Mr Ferdaus, a US citizen and a physics graduate from Northeastern University in Boston, began planning to commit a violent "jihad" against the United States in early 2010. Mr Ferdaus, of Ashland, Massachusetts, is alleged to have modified mobile phones to act as electrical switches for improvised explosive devices (IEDs). He told agents he planned to attack the Pentagon using "small drone airplanes" filled with explosives and guided by GPS equipment. He later expanded that plan to include an attack on the Capitol.