A man has been arrested for attempting to blow up the Federal Reserve in Lower Manhattan.
The suspect is Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis (pictured above, from NBC New York), a 21 year old Jihadist, who allegedly came to the US with the intent of carrying out a terrorist attack.
Nafis was arrested as part of an sting operation involving FBI agent and an FBI source. The FBI were keen to stress the the public were never at risk. The man drove from Long Island this morning with what he believed to be a large bomb in his trunk. His plan was to detonate the explosives from a nearby hotel.
Read the official complaint against Nafis:
According to Reuters, he is a Bangladeshi national, who attempted to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000 pound bomb.
The operation was through joint NYPD/FBI co-operation. Nafis had raised flags online through the posting of videos declaring Jihad on the US.
NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly said:
"Whether al Qaeda operatives like Iyman Faris or those inspired by them like Jose Pimentel, terrorists have tried time and again to make New York City their killing field. We're 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. After 11 years without a successful attack, it's understanding if the public becomes complacent. But that's a luxury law enforcement can't afford. Vigilance is our watchword now and into the foreseeable future. That's why we have over 1,000 police officers assigned to counterterrorism duties every day, and why we built the Domain Awareness System. I want to commend the NYPD detectives and FBI agents of the Joint Terrorist Task Force for the work they did in the case and in other ways every day to help New York City safe from terrorists."
The FBI have added that Nafis' original target was President Obama.
Nafis arrived in the US in January 2012, he is believed to have Al-Qaeda contacts overseas and that he attempted to recruit members to his cause upon arrival in America. One of those he recruited was an FBI operative. He requested 50 pound bags from the undercover agents with which he was going to build a bomb.
According to NBC, Nafis was a resident of Jamaica, Queens in New York. A Justice Dept press release said:
Nafis purchased components for the bomb’s detonator and conducted surveillance for his attack on multiple occasions in New York City’s financial district in lower Manhattan, throughout his interactions with the undercover agent, Nafis repeatedly asserted that the plan was his own and was the reason he had come to the United States."
During the course of the sting operation against Nafis, an undercover FBI agent reported him saying:
What I really mean, is that I don’t want something that’s like, small. I just want something big. Something very big. Very very very very big, that will shake the whol country, that will make America, not one step ahead, change of policy, and make one step ahead, for the Muslims . . . that will make us one step closer to run the whole world...