Federal authorities yesterday arrested a man they said was plotting to blow up the Federal Reserve building in Lower Manhattan.
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, of Jamaica, Queens, was arrested in a sting operation yesterday morning after he parked a van filled with what he believed were explosives outside the building and tried to detonate it in a suicide mission, authorities said.
Because Nafis lived in Queens and because some of the meetings alleged in the complaint took place in Long Island, the complaint was filed in Eastern District court in Brooklyn. Nafis yesterday afternoon was awaiting a hearing in the court, located on Cadman Plaza East, Downtown Brooklyn.
Early in the day, he went to a warehouse and assembled what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb using inert explosives provided by federal agents, according to the complaint.
He also recorded a videotaped statement in which he said, "We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom," federal prosecutors said.
Authorities said Nafis proposed several spots for his attack, including the New York Stock Exchange — and that in a written letter taking responsibility for the Federal Reserve job he was about to carry out, he said he wanted to "destroy America."
The bank in New York, located at 33 Liberty St., is one of 12 branches around the country that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, make up the Federal Reserve System that serves as the central bank of the United States. It sets interest rates.
The Bangladeshi native reported having overseas connections to al-Qaida, and traveled to the U.S. in January to carry out an attack, according to the complaint. He was trying to recruit people, but one was a secret FBI source, and Nafis was closely monitored as he tried to act out his plot.
Federal authorities said the public was not in danger during any point in the investigation.