An alleged terrorist was arrested after attempting to blow up a van in front of the Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan this morning, the Post reports. The man was working alone, except for the help of the FBI, which provided the fake explosives for today’s plot three months after an undercover agent met the would-be bomber online. Today, the man reportedly parked a vehicle armed with what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb on Liberty Street and tried to use a cell-phone detonator from near the World Trade Center before he was taken into custody. According to NBC, “Law enforcement officials stress that the plot was a sting operation monitored by the FBI and NYPD and the public was never at risk.”
The FBI has identified the suspect as Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old from Bangladesh, who traveled to the United States in January “to carry out a terrorist attack.” The man “actively sought out al-Qaeda contacts within the US to assist in carrying out an attack” and in his own words, aimed to “destroy America” by targeting the U.S. economy. In defense of killing women and children, Nafis quoted “our beloved Sheikh Osama bin Laden,” according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. (The full complaint is here.)
At an arraignment today, Nafis will be charged with attempting to provide material support to terrorists and attempted use of a WMD. In a video message intended for the public, the suspect reportedly said, “We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom.”
This post has been updated throughout.