A Bangladeshi man arrested on suspicion that he plotted to blow up the U.S. Federal Reserve building in New York City has appeared in federal court and has been ordered held without bail.
Federal authorities arrested 21-year-old Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis in lower Manhattan Wednesday on suspicion that he planned to detonate a van with explosives on a suicide mission. Officials say he was arrested in a sting operation and that there were no other suspects involved.
The chief of the New York City Police Department, Ray Kelly, told reporters that Nafis came to the United States in January with the specific intent to commit a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. He said the suspect was inspired by al-Qaida and that once in the United States he attempted to recruit accomplices.
At his request, undercover federal agents supplied Nafis with 20 bags of purported explosives. Earlier Wednesday, Nafis went to a warehouse to assemble a 450-kilogram bomb from the material in the bags. He then allegedly parked the van near the Federal Reserve building and tried to detonate what he thought were explosives in the vehicle.
Officials say Nafis was closely monitored and there was never any danger to the public.
The Department of Justice issued a statement saying Nafis faces charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida.
Officials say that before the attempted attack, Nafis recorded a video statement saying: “We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom.”