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N.Y. Fed Bomb-Plot Sting Suspect Pleads Not Guilty

Nov. 27 (Bloomberg) -- A Bangladeshi man arrested in a U.S. sting operation for allegedly trying to bomb the New York Federal Reserve pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, entered his plea today before Chief U.S. District Judge Carol Bagley Amon in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. He was charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The weapon was fake and provided to Nafis by government agents.

Nafis was arrested in October after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb at the bank, located at 33 Liberty Street in Lower Manhattan, according to court papers. Government agents had helped Nafis plan the would-be attack, according to court papers.

The government is in plea negotiations with Nafis, prosecutor James Loonam told the judge. Nafis’s lawyer, Heidi Cesare, declined to comment after the proceedings.

Nafis came to the U.S. using a student visa and told an informant for the FBI that he wanted to wage “jihad,” according to a criminal complaint filed in the case. The informant referred Nafis to an agent posing as a member of al-Qaeda, 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,” according to court papers.

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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To contact the reporter on this story: Christie Smythe in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn, New York, at csmythe1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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