Monday 19 March 2018

Video: Father of accused in Fed bomb plot claims son caught in 'racist conspiracy'

Serajul Quadir Dhaka

THE father of a Bangladeshi man accused of attempting to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank denied his son was involved and said he was the victim of a "racist conspiracy".

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis (21) faces charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide support to al-Qa'ida.

"This is nothing but a conspiracy. There is still a racist conspiracy there," his father Quazi Mohammad Ahsanullah told reporters in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. Mr Nafis allegedly entered the US in January and was in contact with members of al-Qa'ida overseas. The complaint said he had gone with a man he thought was an accomplice to a New York warehouse where he assembled what he thought was a bomb.

The man was an undercover FBI agent and the explosives were not in working condition. But, according to US authorities, 21-year-old Mr Nafis, accompanied by an agent posing as an accomplice, had come prepared to strike a blow to America.

Mr Nafis had assembled a 1,000lb bomb, which, the FBI claims, he planned to detonate at the doorstep of the bank on behalf of al-Qa'ida. The FBI say they got there first and planted a dud.

The way they tell it, the Bangladeshi national was, on the face of it, an international student pursuing a course in cyber security at Southeast Missouri University. But his mind was already preoccupied with a more sinister plot. The suspected would-be terrorist soon attempted to put together what was meant to be a terror cell.

Local reports suggest he did this by attempting to recruit people online. This is when the ploy fell apart.

Unwittingly, Mr Nafis came into contact with an FBI source. He told this source he admired the magazine "starting with 'I'", which meant the al-Qa'ida-linked publication 'Inspire'. Next he was put in touch with an undercover agent posing as an "al-Qa'ida facilitator, who supplied the dud explosives.

"The defendant came to this country intent on conducting a terrorist attack," Loretta Lynch, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said.

Irish Independent

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