Former SEMO Student Charged in Fed Reserve Plot
By WestKyStar Staff/ AP
NEW YORK CITY - The man accused of trying to blow up the New York City Federal Reserve was a former student at Southeast Missouri State University.
Quazi Mohammad Rewanul Ahsan Nafis was enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University for the spring semester, working toward a degree in cyber security but he is not currently enrolled there.
Through a sting operation, Nafis drove a vehicle he assumed contained explosives to the building. He was arrested with his finger on the fake detonator.
Earlier 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. 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 had 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 Bangladeshi native reported having overseas connections to al-Qaeda, and traveled to the U.S. in January to carry out an attack, according to a complaint filed in federal court in Brooklyn. 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.
Nafis was awaiting a federal court hearing on charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support for al-Qaeda.
After the arrest, the FBI released a statement saying: “Attempting to destroy a landmark building and kill or maim untold numbers of innocent bystanders is about as serious as the imagination can conjure. 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.”