Neighbors say they had no idea that the quiet man living downstairs was plotting a terror attack.
At first glance, they say, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, seemed harmless, and those who know him were shocked to hear the news that the FBI busted him on Wednesday, October 17 for planning to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank.
It’s scary to think he might have been successful.
Nafis, living on 93rd Avenue in Jamaica, traveled to the U.S. this January specifically to take part in a terrorist attack, but unknowingly enlisted the help of an undercover FBI agent.
With reported connections to al-Qaeda, Nafis said in a written statement that he wanted to “destroy America” by targeting the economy. Also in the statement, Nafis included quotes from “our beloved Sheikh Osama bin Laden” to justify his attack that would involve the killing of women and children.
We are supremely grateful that his plot was thwarted through intel, hard work and cooperation by the FBI and NYPD.
The Bangladeshi national tried to recruit individuals to help him in his attack, and one of those was an FBI source posing as an al-Qaeda facilitator. This allowed the FBI and NYPD to closely monitor Nafis as he attempted his attack. Nafis also reportedly sought out al-Qaeda contacts within the United States to assist him.
The undercover agent gave Nafis 20 50-pound bags of non-working explosives, and later met him on the morning of Wednesday, October 17 and witnessed Nafis assembling the 1000-pound bomb. The two drove together to the Federal Reserve, leaving the purported bomb inside the van and walking to a nearby hotel. After Nafis repeatedly and unsuccessfully tried to detonate the bomb, he was arrested by authorities.
So, when it comes to budgets, we ask the politicians – do you still want to cut Homeland Security funds or further thin out the ranks of our men and women in blue?
We hope not.
Nafis was arraigned in Brooklyn Federal Court on Wednesday afternoon, and has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
The question remains – how many more seemingly innocent people might be plotting acts of terror against our country at this very minute?
We can sleep soundly knowing that our lives – and the lives of our children – rest in the hands of those who serve and protect.