Newsdeck

FBI arrests man for attempting to bomb NY Federal Reserve

By Reuters 18 October 2012

The FBI on Wednesday arrested a Bangladeshi man in a sting operation on charges he attempted to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank with what he believed was a 1,000-pound (450-kg) bomb, federal authorities said.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, faces charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement. If convicted, he faces life in prison.

The FBI said the public was not in danger because the explosives provided to Nafis were never in working condition and the suspect was closely monitored by the undercover agent – highlighting a script law enforcement has employed several times this year in similar cases, including one in Washington and another in Ohio.

“Attempting to destroy a landmark building and kill or maim untold numbers of innocent bystanders is about as serious as the imagination can conjure,” said Mary Galligan, FBI acting assistant director-in-charge. “The defendant faces appropriately severe consequences.”

In an initial appearance in federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday, Nafis wore a plain brown crew-neck T-shirt, dark-colored jeans and sneakers. He barely spoke during the brief hearing, mumbling answers of “yes” to questions from U.S. Magistrate Judge Roanne Mann.

According to the criminal complaint, Nafis traveled to the United States in January 2012. Once in New York, he claimed to be in contact with al Qaeda members overseas, although federal agents found no evidence that he was working for al Qaeda or that he was directed by the organization, according to a U.S. official who declined to be named.

Nafis considered several targets for his attack, including the New York Stock Exchange and high-ranking government official, who the source identified as President Barack Obama.

In the end, Nafis decided to focus on the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan, according to the criminal complaint. To create a cell to help him carry out the bombing, Nafis began to seek out recruits, eventually bringing on board an undercover agent working for the FBI.

The two met on Wednesday morning and traveled by van to a New York warehouse, where Nafis assembled what he thought was a 1,000 pound bomb, before driving to the Federal Reserve bank, among the most secure and guarded buildings in Manhattan.

A couple of blocks from Wall Street, the bank stands like a limestone and sandstone fortress, sitting atop what is believed to be one of the world’s largest stockpiles of gold.

After parking near the bank, Nafis walked to a nearby hotel and recorded a video statement in which he said, “We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom,” according to the FBI.

Nafis was arrested in the hotel as he repeatedly attempted to detonate the inert bomb, the FBI said.

Other FBI sting operations this year have netted American and foreign suspects.

In February, a 29-year-old Moroccan man was arrested near the U.S. Capitol wearing a vest he believed was full of al Qaeda-supplied explosives, and charged in an attempted suicide bombing of Congress.

Five self-described anarchists in the Cleveland area were arrested in May and accused of plotting to blow up a four-lane highway bridge. An undercover FBI agent had sold the men inoperable detonators and plastic explosives. DM

Photo: The moon rises behind the skyline of New York’s Lower Manhattan and One World Trade Center as lights are reflected on the Hudson River as seen from Jersey City, New Jersey, October 1, 2012. Picture taken with a 30 second exposure. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

Gallery

Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


Comments

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

SCORPIO

China, the Pondo king and Namaqualand: In pursuit of the ‘Disney playground’ deal

By Kevin Bloom

Days of Zondo

How sneaky Agrizzi captured a whistle-blower

Jessica Bezuidenhout 4 hours ago

ReCaptcha is not just to prove you're not a robot. It also is part of a project to digitise books. So far over 2.5 million books have been digitised this way.