The foreign exchange student allegedly behind a plot to bomb the Federal Reserve building in New York City last month has been indicted according to documents unsealed today in Brooklyn, New York, federal court, reports Reuters.
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis was arrested on October 17 after parking what he thought was a 1,000 pound bomb outside of the bank.
Nafis, 21, was charged with one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and one count of attempting to provide material support to a US-designated foreign terrorist organization, al Qaeda.
He faces life in prison if convicted.
According to CNN, Nafis is a Bangladeshi national who had entered the United States on a student visa under the pretext of attending college at Southeast Missouri State University.
Instead, authorities allege that Nafis was inspired by al Qaeda and wanted to carry out an attack on the US. He became the subject of a joint FBI and NYPD sting operation who helped him plot the attack and provided Nafis with the fake bomb.
Reuters reports that Nafis scouted potential targets for his attack, including the New York Stock Exchange and a high-ranking government official identified as President Barack Obama, before deciding on the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan - just a few blocks away from the site of the World Trade Center.
Nafis recorded a martyrdom video from inside the van just before he attempted to carry out the bombing. In the video, Nafis said “we will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom,” while covering his face, disguising his voice and wearing sunglasses, according to the complaint and reported by Businessweek.
His father, Quazi Mohammad Ahsanullah, a banker in Dhaka, told CNN that he does not believe the terrorism accusations against his son and alleges that Nafis is a timid person who's often scared to travel alone.