Updated 10/18/2012 08:28 PM
Queens Man Held In Federal Reserve Bomb Plot
As a Queens man who authorities say was on a mission to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank remains held without bail, public officials are calling for stricter rules when it comes to student visas. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
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A day after Quasi Nafis was arrested, people who live on his block in Queens say they don't know much about him and they don't condone terrorism.
Like the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve is a symbol of American financial power, which is why many in Lower Manhattan said they understand why it might be a target for an attack. NY1's Vivian Lee filed the following report.
"We are really shocked," said one resident. "Our community is a really good community. It is not like that."
Nafis came to the U.S. in January from Bangladesh on a student visa. He attended Southeast Missouri State University at the beginning of the year before moving to Queens.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the 21 year old was trying to disguise his explosive plan while pretending to be a student at a New York vocational school.
Authorities said Nafis was determined to kill as many as possible in the financial district.
"He also checked with a source back in Bangladesh if it would be alright women and children were killed," Kelly said.
But the men he allegedly enlisted in the plot were with the FBI. Authorities say they helped load a van with 1,000 pounds of explosives. They say Nafis tried to detonate the phony bomb using a cellphone from a nearby hotel room.
"His supposed intention was to stay alive to go back to Bangladesh but then come back here," Kelly said.
While not talking specifically about the Missouri college Nafis attended, Sen. Charles Schumer says there have to be tighter restrictions on some schools that offer visas.
"We do know that the student visa program in the hands of a few wrongdoers, so-called sham universities around the country, are serving as a back door for foreign nationals to enter our country improperly," Schumer said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said New Yorkers and law enforcement can never forget the lessons learned on Sept. 11.
"We've got to work very hard to make sure that we keep ourselves safe and that we don't let our guard down," the mayor said.
The police commissioner said he doesn't foresee threats against the city decreasing anytime soon.