Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, who told a government informant that he wanted to wage “jihad,” is set to enter a guilty plea on Feb. 7, according to a notice posted yesterday in court records.
Nafis was arrested in October after a sting operation in which government agents helped him plan the would-be attack and supplied him with fake explosives, according to court papers. He was indicted on charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. He pleaded not guilty to those charges on Nov. 27.
He could face a sentence of as long as life in prison if convicted of those charges, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch in Brooklyn.
Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for Lynch, confirmed that a plea hearing had been scheduled and declined to comment further on it.
Heidi Cesare, a lawyer for Nafis, declined to comment on the scheduled guilty plea.
Nafis, who came to the U.S. on a student visa and has been living in Queens, New York, told an informant for the FBI in July that he wanted to wage “jihad” and had plans for a terror attack, according to a criminal complaint. He communicated with co-conspirators, including the informant, on the phone and on the social media website Facebook, according to the filing.
A government informant communicating with Nafis referred the would-be bomber to an undercover FBI agent, who was posing as a member of al-Qaeda, according to the complaint. Agents helped supply Nafis with what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb, according to court filings. The device actually contained inert materials, the U.S. said.
The case is U.S. v. Nafis, 1:12-cr-00720, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).
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