The Bangladeshi national said that he wanted to “destroy America.”
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, pleaded guilty Thursday to attempting to bomb the New York Federal Reserve Bank, resolving to commit mass murder last October, according to the FBI.
Nafis first came to the United States last January on a student visa, but his intentions were instead to execute a terrorist attack on the behalf of al Qaeda.
“As [the] guilty plea shows, [Nafis] came to this country not to further his studies but to advance goals of jihad,” said U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch. “Once here, he devoted his energies to refining his plan to disrupt the U.S. economy and kill Americans and attempting to recruit others to join him.”
Nafis sought to recruit multiple individuals to assist him in his quest, including al Qaeda contacts, but unknowingly recruited an FBI source who posed as an al Qaeda facilitator. At Nafis’ request, the undercover agent supplied him with 20 50-pound bags of purported explosives.
On Wednesday, October 17, the two traveled in a van to a warehouse where Nafis attempted to assemble what he believed to be a bomb. He explained to the agent that he also had a “Plan B” that involved a suicide bombing if his original plan were to be thwarted by the police.
Nafis and the undercover agent then drove to Lower Manhattan, parked next to the Federal Reserve Bank, and went to a nearby hotel. There, the 21-year-old recorded a video statement meant for the American public.
“We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom,” he said, according to the FBI.
Nafis then repeatedly tried to detonate the purported bomb, and was immediately arrested after his failed attempts.
NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly said that this was just one of 16 terrorist plots against the city since 9/11.
After his guilty plea, Nafis now faces life in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for the end of May.