Massachusetts man "wanted to deal a psychological blow to the “enemies of Allah” by hitting the Pentagon, which he called “head and heart of the snake,” according to the affidavit
BOSTON — A Massachusetts man was arrested Wednesday and accused of plotting an assault on the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using remote-controlled aircraft armed with explosives — the latest of several terrorism cases to spring from federal sting operations.
Rezwan Ferdaus was arrested in Framingham after undercover federal agents delivered materials he had allegedly requested, including grenades, six machine guns and what he believed was 24 pounds of C-4 explosive. Federal officials said the public was never in danger from the explosives, which it said were always under control and closely monitored.
Wednesday’s arrest was similar to other cases in which would-be terrorists were caught in sting operations that revolved around fictional plots against various targets, such as Dallas skyscapers or a Chicago nightclub. In this case, though, authorities allege Ferdaus planned the scheme.
According to a federal affidavit, Ferdaus, 26, of Ashland, became convinced that America was evil through jihadi websites and videos, and began planning “jihad” against the U.S. in early 2010. He contacted a federal informant that December and months later, allegedly began meeting to discuss the plot with undercover federal agents he believed were members of al-Qaida.
Ferdaus said he wanted to deal a psychological blow to the “enemies of Allah” by hitting the Pentagon, which he called “head and heart of the snake,” according to the affidavit