Federal agents charge Ashland man with targeting Pentagon, Capitol with aerial explosives

Boston.com on September 28, 2011 released the following:

“By Milton J. Valencia, Globe Staff

Federal authorities today arrested and charged a 26-year-old Ashland man with plotting to damage the Pentagon and US Capitol with a remote-controlled aircraft filled with C-4 plastic explosives.

Rezwan Ferdaus, a US citizen, was also charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically to al-Qaida, in order to carry out attacks on US soldiers stationed overseas, the US attorney’s office said in a statement.

He apppeared for an initial status hearing today in US District Court in Worcester. Prosecutors are seeking that he be detained without bail. A hearing will be held in the next few days.

“The conduct alleged today shows that Mr. Ferdaus had long planned to commit violent acts against our country,” US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said. “Thanks to the diligence of the FBI and our many other law enforcement partners, that plan was thwarted.”

She added, “I want the public to understand that Mr. Ferdaus’ conduct, as alleged in the complaint, is not reflective of a particular culture, community or religion. In addition to protecting our citizens from the threats and violence alleged today, we also have an obligation to protect members of every community, race, and religion against violence and other unlawful conduct.”

The statement said that the public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were controlled by undercover FBI employees.

Ferdaus also was closely monitored as his alleged plot developed and undercover agents were in frequent contact with him.

Federal prosecutors said that Ferdaus, a Northeastern University graduate with a physics degree, began planning to commit violent “jihad” against the US in early 2010.

Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston Division said, “Today’s arrest was the culmination of an investigation forged through strong relationships among various Massachusetts law enforcement agencies to detect, deter, and prevent terrorism.””

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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