Federal and local law enforcement officials announced a Queens man was arrested Wednesday morning after he allegedly attempted to detonate a fake bomb outside the Federal Reserve building in Lower Manhattan. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Federal prosecutors allege that 21-year-old Quazi Nafis tried to use a 1,000-pound bomb to "destroy America."
The FBI says Nafis thought it was the most efficient way was to go after the U.S. economy.
"He goes to the New York Stock Exchange, he sees that there's significant security there and he shifts his target to the Federal Reserve," said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
The Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Nafis Wednesday morning after agents say he tried to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank from the nearby Millennium Hotel using a cell phone.
In federal court Wednesday night, Nafis quietly told the judge he understood the charges against him. The Bangladeshi citizen faces charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda since July.
"He came here in January of this year," Kelly said. "He gets a student visa."
Nafis was living in Jamaica, Queens. NY1 spoke with a landlord who says his tenant let Nafis stay in his apartment.
"I didn't know his name until today," the landlord said. "I asked him 'Do you live here? Which floor?' He said 'second floor.'"
The U.S. Attorney's office said there was never any danger to the public because an FBI agent posed as Nafis' accomplice and actually supplied him with the fake explosives.
The criminal complaint indicates an informant initially tipped off investigators after Nafis tried to form a terror cell using social media.
Prosecutors have 30 days to convene a grand jury and get an indictment.
Nafis is being held without bail. His attorney had no comment.