A Bangladeshi man who tried to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York with what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb, only to discover that the bomb was a fake and that he had been under constant federal surveillance, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on Friday.
The man, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 22, came to the United States in January 2012 on a student visa with plans to carry out a terrorist attack, carrying instructions on how to make a bomb out of household items, as well as audio recordings of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born radical cleric killed by an American drone strike in 2011. Mr. Nafis tried to find assistance and camaraderie on the Internet, but his efforts led him instead to an F.B.I. informer, who in turn introduced him to an undercover agent.
The agent met repeatedly with Mr. Nafis beginning last summer. In a sting operation, months long, Mr. Nafis developed his plot from a vague idea to a detailed plan to bomb the financial district, an attack that he hoped would “shake the whole country,” according to recorded statements he made during the investigation.
NEW YORK — A Bangladesh native accused of trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York with what he thought was a 1,000-pound car bomb pleaded guilty Thursday to terrorism charges stemming from an FBI sting.
“I had intentions to commit a violent jihadist act,” Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis said in a soft voice while entering the plea in federal court in Brooklyn.
He told the judge that he picked the Federal Reserve as the target, but he also expressed remorse, saying he no longer considers himself a jihadist.
“I deeply and sincerely regret my involvement in this case,” he said.
Nafis, 21, had been charged in October with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida. He faces a sentence of 30 years to life at his next court date on May 30.
While under investigation, Nafis spoke of his admiration for Osama bin Laden, talked of writing an article about his plot for an al-Qaida-affiliated magazine and said he would be willing to be a martyr but preferred to go home to his family after carrying out the attack, authorities said.
He also talked about wanting to kill President Barack Obama and bomb the New York Stock Exchange, officials said.
The Bangladeshi man who was arrested Wednesday on charges that he plotted to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York had an accomplice in San Diego, who was arrested later on unrelated child-pornography charges, a law enforcement official said on Thursday.
The man described as the accomplice, Howard Willie Carter II, was arrested after an agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation found 1,000 images and three video files containing child pornography on a laptop and hard drive in the trash near Mr. Carter’s apartment, according to a government document. Officials used material stored on the computer to trace it back to Mr. Carter.
The computer also contained e-mails addressed to “Yaqeen,” a name that Brooklyn prosecutors said Mr. Carter had used in the plot to bomb the Federal Reserve building.
On Wednesday, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged the Bangladeshi man, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, with conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and with providing material support to Al Qaeda. They said he had tried to detonate what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb hidden in a van parked near the Federal Reserve building, on Liberty Street, in the financial district.
NEW YORK — At the Missouri college where Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis enrolled, a classmate said he often remarked that true Muslims don’t believe in violence.
That image seemed startlingly at odds with the Bangladesh native’s arrest in an FBI sting this week on charges of trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York with what he thought was a 1,000-pound car bomb.