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National News

Bomb Scare At NY Fed Reserve Building
Posted by James Njuguna on Oct 19, 2012 - 2:00:14 PM

NEW YORK—An Al Qaeda sympathizer, 21 year old Quazi Muhammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, was arrested in the morning of Wednesday, October 17 for attempting to blow up the Federal Reserve Building in the Financial District in lower Manhattan. He was apprehended while allegedly attempting to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000 pound bomb. The arrest was the culmination of a closely-monitored undercover operation carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

According to the criminal charges filed on the same day of the attempted attack, Nafis, a Bangladeshi national, came to the United States in January 2012 for the sole purpose of carrying out a terrorist attack on American soil. He attempted to recruit other individuals to form a terrorist cell, in the hopes of helping him carry out an attack. One of the individuals he tried to recruit, whose name was withheld, was an informant working for the FBI. It was through the invaluable contribution of this source that the JTTF was able to thwart Nafis’ plan.

Southeast_Missouri_State_University.jpg
Southeast Missouri State University.

During the investigation, Nafis was introduced by the informant to an FBI undercover agent posing as an Al Qaeda facilitator. Per Nafis’ request, the agent provided him with approximately twenty 50-pound bags of explosives. With seemingly some knowledge of assembling a bomb, Nafis himself set about to purchase components that could ultimately be used as bomb detonators.  He conducted surveillance of the New York Financial District for months. He considered many a target, including the New York Stock Exchange and an assassination attempt of high-ranking U.S. government officials, before settling for the Federal Reserve.  

In the days leading up to October 17, Nafis conjured up a “Plan B” should the original plan fail, suicide bombing. He left letters asserting his plans and his motives of carrying out the attack. He stated that his goal was to “destroy America” and theorized the best way to do that is to “destroy America’s economy.”  In the morning leading up to the terrorist attempt, Nafis met up with the undercover FBI agent and drove a van to a warehouse where he set about assembling the bomb. He drove the van to the Fed Reserve building, parked it outside and exited the vehicle. Thinking his attack would be imminent, he walked to a nearby hotel, recorded the video, and took credit of what he thought was about to happen.

In the video, Nafis stated that “We will not stop until we achieve victory or martyrdom.” Nafis repeatedly tried to detonate the bomb to no avail, since the explosives that were supplied by the FBI undercover agent were inert. He was apprehended and taken to custody immediately after. Nafis was a student at Southeast Missouri State University.



 

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