Al-Qa'ida supporter held over bomb plot
A Pakistani-born man was arrested last night and charged with helping people posing as al-Qa'ida operatives plot to bomb subway stations in Washington.
The bombing plot was a ruse over the past six months, the FBI said -- but Farooque Ahmed (34) readily handed over video of northern Virginia subway stations, suggested using rolling suitcases rather than backpacks to kill as many people as possible and offered to donate money to al-Qa'ida's cause overseas.
The public never was in danger because FBI agents were aware of Mr Ahmed's activities and monitored him throughout, the agency said. And the people that Mr Ahmed thought were al-Qa'ida operatives were working on behalf of the US government, according to a federal law enforcement official.
Mr Ahmed is accused of attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organisation, collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit facility, and attempting to provide material support to carry out multiple bombings to cause mass casualties. Mr Ahmed, a naturalised US citizen, lives in Ashburn, Virginia, outside Washington.
Mr Ahmed did not enter a plea during a brief court appearance and was ordered to be held without bail. Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement that it was "chilling that a man from Ashburn is accused of casing rail stations with the goal of killing as many Metro riders as possible through simultaneous bomb attacks".
Mr Ahmed faces up to 50 years in prison if convicted.