In a completely different form of financial jihad, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis pleaded guilty this week to attempting to detonate what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb at the New York Federal Reserve Bank on Liberty Street in lower Manhattan’s financial district.
The charge to which Nafis pleaded guilty, attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, carries a sentence of up to life imprisonment, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Loretta Lynch. His sentencing is scheduled for May 30, 2013, before Chief Judge Carol B. Amon, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn.
According to documents filed in the case, Nafis, a Bangladeshi national, traveled to the United States in January 2012 with the intent to fight violent jihad. Nafis attempted to recruit multiple individuals to form a terrorist cell inside the United States. He brought with him digital media containing bomb-making instructions and speeches by Anwar al-Awlaki, a now deceased leader of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula(AQAP).
Nafis also actively sought out al-Qaeda contacts within the United States to assist him in carrying out an attack. Unbeknownst to Nafis, one of the individuals he attempted to recruit was a source for the FBI.
Nafis proposed several targets for terrorist attack, including a high-ranking U.S. official and the New York Stock Exchange. Ultimately, Nafis decided to conduct a bombing operation against the Federal Reserve Bank.
In a written statement he devised to claim responsibility for the terrorist bombing of the Federal Reserve Bank on behalf of al Qaeda, Nafis wrote that he wanted to “destroy America” and that he believed the most efficient way to accomplish this goal was to target America’s economy.