A 26-year-old Massachusetts man was arrested and charged Wednesday in connection with an alleged plot to damage or destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol by using large remote controlled aircraft filled with C-4 plastic explosives, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's office.
Rezwan Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen, was also charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization, specifically to al Qaeda, in order to carry out attacks on U.S. soldiers stationed overseas.
“Our top priority is to protect our nation from terrorism and national security threats. The conduct alleged today shows that Mr. Ferdaus had long planned to commit violent acts against our country, including attacks on the Pentagon and our nation’s Capitol. Thanks to the diligence of the FBI and our many other law enforcement partners, that plan was thwarted,” said U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz. “I want the public to understand that Mr. Ferdaus’ conduct, as alleged in the complaint, is not reflective of a particular culture, community, or religion,” she added. “In addition to protecting our citizens from the threats and violence alleged today, we also have an obligation to protect members of every community, race, and religion against violence and other unlawful conduct.”
The public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were controlled by undercover FBI employees (UCs). The defendant was closely monitored as his alleged plot developed and the UCs were in frequent contact with him.
Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division said, “Today’s arrest was the culmination of an investigation forged through strong relationships among various Massachusetts law enforcement agencies to detect, deter, and prevent terrorism. Each of the more than 30 federal, state, and local agencies on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) worked together to protect the community from this threat. In this particular investigation, the Worcester, Ashland, and Framingham Police Departments and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, played particularly critical roles. The communities of Worcester, Ashland, and Framingham should be proud of the unwavering commitment and professionalism the agencies demonstrated in ensuring that their towns and region were safe from harm. The Massachusetts State Police and the Commonwealth Fusion Center also contributed significantly to this investigation.”
Read the entire news release HERE.