Combined media sources report that Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old Bangladeshi national with reported ties to al-Qaeda, had been under surveillance for about three months after posting jihadist recruiting messages online. An undercover FBI agent made contact with the suspect, who reportedly expressed his plans to blow up a U.S. bank.
The suspect filled a van with what he believed were explosives that were provided by the undercover agent. The van was parked in front of the New York Fed building, which is located near the site of the World Trade Center, and the suspect attempted to use a cell phone to detonate what he believed were explosives. He was immediately arrested by federal agents.
‘Attempting to destroy a landmark building and kill or maim untold numbers of innocent bystanders is about as serious as the imagination can conjure,’ says FBI Acting Assistant Director Mary Galligan. ‘The defendant faces appropriately severe consequences. It is important to emphasize that the public was never at risk in this case, because two of the defendant's 'accomplices' were actually an FBI source and an FBI undercover agent. The FBI continues to place the highest priority on preventing acts of terrorism.’