Ashland man arrested for terror plot on the U.S.
ASHLAND, Mass. -- An Ashland man was arrested Wednesday and accused of plotting to destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol by attacking the buildings with large, remote-controlled aircraft armed with lethal amounts of explosives.
Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, was arrested Wednesday in Framingham after undercover federal agents delivered materials he'd allegedly requested for his plan, including grenades, six machine guns and what he believed was 24 pounds of C-4 explosive.
The Department of Justice took Ferdaus, a Northeastern University graduate, into custody. The suspect made an appearance in court Tuesday in Worcester. He did not enter a plea and was held without bail until his detention hearing Monday afternoon.
Authorities say he had rented a storage facility in Framingham under a false name where he planned to use the unit to build his attack plan and maintain all his equipment.
In recorded conversations with the government’s cooperating witness that began in January 2011, Ferdaus said he planned to attack the Pentagon using a small drone aircraft filled with explosives and guided by GPS equipment.
In April he allegedly expanded his attack to include the U.S. Capitol. In the affidavit, Ferdaus is quoted as looking for, “…A connection that would be able to gather, ah, some material where we can build some of the explosive enough to take out a target that’s like three football fields, say a radius of one or two blocks?”
He also made his goal clear to the cooperating witness saying, “Because that, that’s the target to eliminate and terrify all enemies of Allah. We have this project started…This is, this is what we have to do. This is the righteous way… [to] terrorize enemies of Allah.”
Authorities say Ferdaus was upset at the death of Osama Bin Laden in May. He was recorded as referring to the terrorist leader as “our boss.”
Ferdaus is also accused of trying to work with Al-Qaeda to carry out attacks on U.S. soldiers stationed overseas.
Wednesday, he was in Worcester court. He is being represented by Boston attorney, Catherine Byrne.
Federal authorities said the public was never in danger.
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