A 26-year-old musician, who played in a Massachusetts band under the name “Bollywood” has been charged with plotting to attack the Pentagon and US Capitol with large remote-controlled aircraft filled with explosives.
Drummer Rezwan Ferdaus, a US citizen and Northeastern University graduate is a self-radicalised jihadist, intent on attacking Americans in the US and overseas, US officials said.
He was deadly serious about his plans, but the plot had no chance of succeeding, they said,
Ferdaus now faces charges of plotting attacks and supporting a foreign terrorist organization. Ferdaus was arrested after he bought what he believed to be 25 pounds of plastic explosives, three grenades, six automatic assault rifles and even an F-86 remote-controlled aircraft from undercover FBI agents posing as Al Qaeda operatives.
The explosives and guns were provided Wednesday just before his arrest, law enforcement officials said.
“The public was never in danger from the explosive devices,” Carmen M. Ortiz, the United States attorney in Boston, said in a statement.
Over the past nine months, the agents recorded multiple conversations in which Ferdaus laid out plans for an aerial attack.
He bought one small drone aircraft and planned to buy others which he hoped to fill with explosives and fly into Pentagon and Capitol from a park along the Potomac River. He travelled to Washington to do surveillance taking pictures of his targets.
Officials stressed that at no time was Ferdaus outside of the control of his undercover handlers, so he presented no actual danger. But, he repeatedly told the agents that he was driven to kill Americans which he called “enemies of Allah.”