The father of a Bangladeshi man refuses to believe his son was plotting to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
Reuters quoted Quazi Mohammad Ahsanullah saying: "This is nothing but a conspiracy. There is still a racist conspiracy there."
"The intelligence of the USA is playing with a mere boy whom we sent for higher study. The allegation against my son is not true at all. He could not even drive a car. How was he caught with a van?"
It follows yesterday arrest by the FBI of his son, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, in lower Manhattan.
The New York Daily News reported Nafis, a Bangladeshi national living in Jamaica, Queens, had driven and parked a van packed with what he believed were explosives near the bank, before he walked to a nearby hotel where he made a farewell video. In it, he stated he wanted to “destroy America,” federal authorities said.
“We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom,” he said in a videotape he planned to release after detonating the bomb, authorities said.
USA Today reported the FBI told media Nafis had earlier met with an undercover agent. During a conversation with the agent he said that if the attack was thwarted by police, his "Plan B" was a suicide bombing.
He tried several times to detonate the bomb he thought was real and was arrested, the FBI said.
But his father, a senior vice president of a private bank in Bangladesh, said he refused to believe the charges against his son.
He told Reuters that Nafis was religious but not a fanatic.
He told ABC News, his son convinced him to spend his life savings to enable him to get a better education in the United States.
Nafis moved to New York in January and studied cyber-security at Southeast Missouri State University for a semester before moving to another college in July.
According to CNN, police allege Nafis came to the United States in January to carry out a domestic terror attack and said he had overseas connections to al-Qaeda.
"The defendant thought he was striking a blow to the American economy," US Attorney Loretta E. Lynch said in a statement. "He thought he was directing confederates and fellow believers. At every turn, he was wrong, and his extensive efforts to strike at the heart of the nation’s financial system were foiled by effective law enforcement.
The public was not in danger, and law enforcement officials stressed that they believe Nafis was acting alone, New York's NBC affiliate reported.
The scheme was part of a sting operation involving undercover agents with the FBI and New York Police Department.
Nafis was expected to appear in court later Wednesday.