US man held over Pentagon bomb plot
Rezwan Ferdaus, a 26-year-old US citizen, was also charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organisation, specifically to al-Qaeda, in order to carry out attacks on US soldiers stationed overseas, the Justice Department said today.
He was arrested in Framingham, Massachusetts.
The public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were controlled by undercover FBI employees, an official statement said.
According to an affidavit, in recorded conversations with the cooperating witness (CW) that began in January 2011, Ferdaus stated that he planned to attack the Pentagon using aircraft similar to "small drone airplanes" filled with explosives and guided by GPS equipment.
US man held over Pentagon bomb plot
In April 2011, Ferdaus expanded his plan to include an attack on the US Capitol. In May and June 2011, Ferdaus delivered two thumb drives to the under covers (UCs), which contained detailed attack plans with step-by-step instructions as to how he planned to attack the Pentagon and Capitol.
The plans included using three remote controlled aircraft and six people, including himself whom he described as an "amir", ie, an Arabic term meaning leader.
A Northeastern University graduate with a degree in physics, he began planning to commit a violent "jihad" against the US in early 2010, according to the affidavit.
Ferdaus obtained mobile phones, each of which he modified to act as an electrical switch for an IED. He then supplied the phones to FBI UCs, who he believed to be members of, or recruiters for, al Qaeda.
According to the affidavit, Ferdaus believed that the devices would be used to kill American soldiers overseas.
US man held over Pentagon bomb plot
During a June 2011 meeting, he appeared gratified when he was told that his first phone detonation device had killed three US soldiers and injured four or five others in Iraq.
Ferdaus responded, "That was exactly what I wanted."
During various recorded meetings, Ferdaus envisioned causing a large "psychological" impact by killing Americans, including women and children, who he referred to as "enemies of Allah."
According to the affidavit, Ferdaus'' desire to attack the US is so strong that he confided, "I just can''t stop; there is no other choice for me."
In May 2011, Ferdaus travelled from Boston to Washington, conducted surveillance and took photographs of his targets (Pentagon and Capitol), and identified and photographed sites at the East Potomac Park from which he planned to launch his aircraft filled with explosives.
Source: PTI