NEW YORK, N.Y. - Federal authorities running a sting operation arrested a 21-year-old Bangladeshi national with alleged al Qaeda ties who, they say, was planning to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb, officials said Wednesday.
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis was arrested after an alleged attempt to detonate the device, which had been rendered inert, according to a Justice Department statement.
Nafis had apparently traveled to the United States in January 2012 for "the purpose of conducting a terrorist attack on U.S. soil," and attempted to recruit members to form a terrorist cell, authorities allege.
One of the people Nafis contacted was an FBI source, the statement said.
He is expected to make an initial court appearance Wednesday at a federal courthouse in Brooklyn.
Authorities say the public was not in danger because the suspect never acquired the necessary material for a bomb.
The "explosives that he allegedly sought and attempted to use had been rendered inoperable by law enforcement and posed no threat to the public," according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch.
Much of the sting operation was captured on video, according to a source knowledge of the investigation.
Nafis faces charges of "attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda."
His arrest came as a result of the "culmination of an undercover operation" after he was being monitored by the FBI New York Field Office's Joint Terrorism Task Force, the statement said.
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