Bail Denied For Man
Plotting Attack On Gov Buildings With Remote Controlled Aircraft
By Mike Mitchell
November 28, 2011 - Rezwan Ferdaus, a 26-year-old U.S.
citizen from Massachusetts accused of plotting to attack
U.S. government buildings using explosives-laden
remote-control model aircraft was ordered today held
without bail on Monday by Federal Judge Timothy Hillman,
who ruled he was an "intelligent and troubled young man"
that was committed to his cause and a danger.
Judge Timothy Hillman wrote in his ruling "Simply put,
what makes Ferdaus a significant danger to the community
is not whether his plan would have worked or whether he
had the means to implement it, but that it was his
strong desire to see his plan carried out."
Ferdaus was arrested and charged in connection with his
plot to destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, using
large remote controlled aircraft filled with C-4 plastic
explosives in September. 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 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.
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, we also have
an obligation to protect members of every community, race, and
religion against violence and other unlawful conduct.?
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.
The arrest affidavit alleges Ferdaus, a Northeastern University graduate with a degree in physics, began planning to commit a violent ?jihad? against the U.S. in early 2010. He obtained mobile phones, each of which he modified to act as an electrical switch for an IED. He then supplied the phones to FBI UCs, who he believed to be members of, or recruiters for, al Qaeda.
According to the
affidavit, Ferdaus believed that the devices would be used to kill
American soldiers overseas. During a June 2011 meeting, he appeared
gratified when he was told that his first phone detonation device had
killed three U.S. soldiers and injured four or five others in Iraq.
Ferdaus responded, ?That was exactly what I wanted.?
According to the
affidavit, after each subsequent delivery, Ferdaus was anxious to know
how well each of his detonation devices had worked and how many
Americans they had killed. During recorded conversations, Ferdaus stated
that he devised the idea of attacking the Pentagon long before he met
with the government?s cooperating witness (CW) and UC, and that his
jihad had, ?started last year.?
conversations with the CW that began in January 2011, Ferdaus stated
that he planned to attack the Pentagon using aircraft similar to ?small
drone airplanes? filled with explosives and guided by GPS equipment.
According to the affidavit, in April 2011, Ferdaus expanded his plan to
include an attack on the U.S. Capitol. In May and June 2011, Ferdaus
delivered two thumb drives to the UCs, which contained detailed attack
plans with step-by-step instructions as to how he planned to attack the
Pentagon and Capitol. The plans included using three remote controlled
aircraft and six people, including himself, whom he described as an ?amir,?
i.e., an Arabic term meaning leader.
recorded meetings, Ferdaus envisioned causing a large ?psychological?
impact by killing Americans, including women and children, who he
referred to as ?enemies of Allah.? According to the affidavit, Ferdaus?
desire to attack the United States is so strong that he confided, ?I
just can?t stop; there is no other choice for me.?
In May 2011,
Ferdaus traveled from Boston to Washington, D.C., conducted surveillance
and took photographs of his targets (Pentagon and Capitol), and
identified and photographed sites at the East Potomac Park from which he
planned to launch his aircraft filled with explosives. Upon his return,
Ferdaus told the UC that ?more stuff ha[d] to be done,? that his plan
needed to be expanded, and that he had decided to couple his ?aerial
assault? plan with a ?ground directive.? Ferdaus indicated that his
ground assault plan would involve the use of six people, armed with
automatic firearms and divided into two teams. Ferdaus described his
expanded attack as follows:
aerial assault, we can effectively eliminate key locations of the
P-building then we can add to it in order to take out everything else
and leave one area only as a squeeze where the individuals will be
isolated, they?ll be vulnerable and we can dominate.
Between May and
September 2011, Ferdaus researched, ordered and acquired the necessary
components for his attack plans, including one remote controlled
aircraft (F-86 Sabre). Prior to his arrest, Ferdaus received from the
UCs 25 pounds of (what he believed to be) C-4 explosives, six
fully-automatic AK-47 assault rifles (machine guns) and grenades. In
June 2011, Ferdaus rented a storage facility in Framingham, Mass., under
a false name, to use to build his attack planes and maintain all his
According to the
affidavit, in August 2011, the F-86 remote controlled aircraft was
delivered to the Framingham storage facility. Ferdaus delivered a total
of eight detonation devices to the UCs over the course of the
investigation, which he built with the intention that they be used by al
Qaeda operatives overseas to kill U.S. soldiers. On September 20, 2011
Ferdaus made a training video, which he provided to the UCs,
demonstrating how to make ?cell phone detonators.?
According to the
affidavit, at the meeting the UCs allowed Ferdaus to inspect the
explosives and firearms (a quantity of C-4 explosives, three grenades,
and six fully-automatic AK-47 assault rifles) that the UCs delivered,
and that Ferdaus had requested for his attack plan. After inspecting the
components, Ferdaus brought them to his storage unit, took possession of
the explosives and firearms, and locked them in his storage unit.
Ferdaus was then immediately arrested.
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