NEW YORK (WPIX)—A Bangladeshi man, living in Queens, is accused of trying to bomb New York's Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan.
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, is in custody following Wednesday's attempt to detonate what he believed was a 1,000 pound bomb, according to the Department of Justice.
"The defendant came to this country intent on conducting a terrorist attack on U.S. soil and worked with single-minded determination to carry out his plan," said United States Attorney Loretta Lynch. "The defendant thought he was striking a blow to the American economy."
Nafis sought out al-Qaeda contacts to help him carry out an attack, according to authorities. But he actually recruited a source for the FBI.
And as Nafis allegedly planned the attack he was under surveillance. According to law enforcement, on Wednesday, Nafis assembled what he believed was an explosive device for an attack.
Joined by an undercover agent, he drove a van carrying the bomb to the Federal Reserve Bank in the Financial District. He then walked to a nearby hotel and recorded a video that said, "We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom."
"This individual came here with the expressed purpose of commiting a terrorist act. He was motivated by al-Qaeda," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
According to law enforcement, Nafis repeatedly tried to call a cellphone detonator but when nothing happened he was arrested. An undercover agent had supplied the fake explosives.
The Police Commissioner spoke out Wednesday and said Nafis was clearly not just an aspirational terrorist.
"I wouldn't call it aspirational when you pick up 50 20-pound bags of ammonium nitrate and you obtain a truck and your bring it to the site of a major federal facility and you try to detonate it, that goes way past aspirational," said Kelly.
The NYPD worked with the FBI on this investigation.
Federal prosecutors have charged Nafis with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to prove material support to al-Qaeda. If convicted, he faces life in prison.