Ashland Man Charged In Plot To Attack Pentagon, U.S. Capitol
BOSTON (CBS) – A 26-year-old Ashland man has been arrested in connection with an alleged plot to damage or destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using large remote controlled aircraft filled with C-4 explosives.
Rezwan Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen and Northeastern graduate, was also charged with attempting to provide support and resources to al Qaeda to carry out attacks on U.S. soldiers overseas.
The man was arrested at a Framingham storage unit Wednesday after receiving 25 pounds of C-4 explosives, 3 grenades and 6 fully automatic AK-47 assault rifles.
WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Laurie Kirby reports
The FBI says the public was never in danger from explosive devices, which were under control by undercover FBI agents.
Ferdaus appeared in U.S. District Court in Worcester Wednesday afternoon.
Read: Who is Rezwan Ferdaus?
Ferdaus allegedly rented out the storage unit using a fake name in June. He told undercover agents that he paid cash, and told the manager he was homeless, and was using the space for music. Last month he had a model airplane delivered to the facility, and the manager signed for it.
According to U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, “Ferdaus had long planned to commit violent acts against our country.”
WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports from Framingham
Read: Affidavit [.pdf]
The Affidavit alleges Ferdaus began plotting a violent “jihad” against the U.S. in early 2010. He obtained mobile phones which he modified to act as an electrical switch for an IED. He then provided those phones to undercover FBI agents.
The Affidavit says Ferdaus was pleased when the undercover agents told him the devices killed three U.S. soldiers. He added that he was “at peace” that the devices could kill more American soldiers.
“This is exactly what I wanted and I feel so blessed… I feel that I am seeing the fruits of my labor… I want to work with you guys and I wantto hit the snake on the tail and I want to choke it right in the head … The world will never be the same,” Ferdaus allegedly told undercover agents.
During meetings with undercover agents and government witnesses, Ferdaus said he, envisioned causing a large “psychological” impact by killing Americans, including women and children, who he referred to as “enemies of Allah.”
Terror expert Peter Krause discusses plot
If convicted, Ferdaus faces up to 15 years in prison on charges of supporting a foreign terrorist organization; up to 20 years in prison on the charge of attempting to destroy national defense premises; and a five year minimum mandatory in prison and up to 20 years on the charge of attempting to damage and destroy buildings that are owned by the United States, by using an explosive.
On each charge Ferdaus also faces up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
The case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Worcester, Ashland and Framingham Police Departments and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.