Physicist, 26, Had a Plan to Attack the Capitol with Flying Bombs

Rezwan Ferdaus thought he was plotting with al Qaeda, but it was really the FBI

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Rezwan Ferdaus, a 26-year-old physicist, was arrested Wednesday and charged in connection with plotting to bomb the Pentagon and Capitol using remote-controlled aircraft carrying C-4 plastic explosives, Roll Call's Emma Dumain reports. The Massachusetts resident thought he was talking to al Qaeda, but it was really the FBI.

He's also charged with providing material support to al Qaeda, allegedly giving what he thought was a terrorist mobile phones that would act as a trigger for homemade bombs. As Politico's Tim Mak reports:
Told that the devices would be used to kill Americans stationed overseas, he responded, “That was exactly what I wanted.” The DOJ says that Ferdaus, who thought his detonation devices had been used to kill Americans, was anxious to know whether they had worked, and how many Americans the devices had killed.
But Ferdaus was talking to an undercover agent, not al Qaeda. When he decided to add in ground assault -- using six other people -- to his attacks, agents delivered to his storage unit what Ferdaus thought was C-4, grenades, and AK-47s. They were fakes. The public was never in danger, according to the Justice Department.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.