Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, according to the indictment unsealed today in Brooklyn, New York, federal court.
He was arrested in October as part of a sting operation in which government agents helped him plot the would-be attack by supplying him with fake explosives, according to court papers.
Authorities took Nafis into custody after he allegedly attempted to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb at the bank, located at 33 Liberty Street, just a few blocks from the site of the former twin towers at the World Trade Center, which were destroyed in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Nafis, who has been living in Queens, New York, came to the U.S. using a student visa and told an informant for the FBI that he wanted to engage in “jihad,” according to a criminal complaint filed in the case. The informant referred Nafis to an FBI informant posing as a member of al-Qaeda after he expressed interest in receiving help from the group, according to the complaint.
In a video statement made just before the bombing attempt, Nafis said “we will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom,” while covering his face, disguising his voice and wearing sunglasses, according to the complaint.
The case is U.S. v. Nafis, 1:12-mj-00965, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).
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