Quazi Nafis case has similarities to alleged Chicago terror plot

Quazi Mohammad Nafis
October 18, 2012 8:34:05 AM PDT
A 21-year-old New York man is being held without bond, charged in a terrorist plot to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in Manhattan.

The suspect, a Bangladesh national, was arrested Wednesday morning by the FBI.

In this Intelligence Report: Striking similarities between this latest case and a federal sting operation in Chicago one month ago.

There are countless coincidences in the case of Quazi Mohammad Nafis, the suspect charged in New York, and the Chicago suspect who was charged last month. Both were stung in FBI undercover operations that started in terrorist chat rooms and ended with the suspect left holding the detonator. In Chicago, and now in New York, it is becoming a favored tactic for counterterrorism.

NYPD tactical units patrolled outside the Federal Reserve Bank in Lower Manhattan after Wednesday morning, federal authorities say, Nafis tried to blow it up.

Nafis thought there was 1,000 pounds of explosives in his van, according to the charges filed late Tuesday.

Last month, the feds' focus was on downtown Chicago and a different terror suspect. Adel Daoud, from suburban Hillside, is a young man the FBI said had a car bomb he thought would level a city block.

Two cases involving men of approximately the same age; found by agents monitoring a jihadist chat room; an introduction made to an FBI agent posing as a jihadist; months of phone and video surveillance; culminating with a dummy vehicle bomb and the suspect pushing a button that does nothing.

Unlike the Chicago case, the New York suspect moved to Queens just a month ago from Bangladesh, and authorities say he came to the United States to commit a terrorist act; that he "attempted to recruit the (source undercover agent) into a jihadist cell to carry out a terror attack on U.S. soil"; and understood the plan "would result in a large number of civilian casualties, including of women and children, but still wanted to proceed with the attack."

"He gets a student visa under the pretext of being a student in a college in Missouri, and he comes here again with the avowed purpose of committing some sort of jihad in the United States," said NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. "He goes to the New York Stock Exchange; he see that there is significant security there and he shifts his focus to the Federal Reserve Bank."

Investigators in New York say Nafis was ready for the attack to be a suicide bombing and they say he made a video recording of his intentions, including, law enforcement sources say, his desire to see President Barack Obama killed.


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