A Bangladeshi man was arrested for allegedly plotting to bomb the New York Federal Reserve in lower Manhattan as part of a sting operation by federal authorities who provided the suspect with fake explosives.
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested today in an undercover operation after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be a 1,000-pound bomb, according to the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Located at 33 Liberty Street, the bank is just a few blocks from the site of the former twin towers at the World Trade Center, which were destroyed in terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
‘Terrorists have tried time and again to make New York City their killing field,” New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly said today in a statement, adding that the city has faced 15 terror plots since the 2001 attacks.
Some of the alleged terror plots have been, like this one, sting operations in which federal agents identified suspects who were provided with inert explosives and other materials and subsequently arrested and charged by U.S. prosecutors.
Defense lawyers and legal experts have said that such initiatives may constitute entrapment of individuals who were not predisposed to committing a crime.
The FBI said today that Nafis came to the U.S. in January with the intent to explode a bomb on U.S. soil, and sought out individuals to assist. FBI agents posed as co-conspirators as part of the sting operation, the government said.
Nafis is scheduled to appear in federal court in Brooklyn, New York later today. Andrea Priest, a spokeswoman for the New York Fed declined to comment.
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