A man tried to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in lower Manhattan earlier today, law enforcement officials said.
The man, identified as 21-year-old Bangladeshi-born Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, was arrested earlier this morning in a dramatic FBI sting.
The suspect, supplied with fake explosives by an undercover FBI agent, parked a van filled with what he believed were explosives outside the building and tried to detonate it using his cell phone.
But his associates were actually undercover officers who arrested him at the scene — and the bomb was not real.
Federal prosecutors said that Nafis was closely monitored by the FBI in New York and members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, as well as the NYPD, and the public was never in danger.
Police sources told the New York Post that a Middle Eastern man parked a van full of what he thought were explosives in front of the building and attempted to detonate them via his cell phone.
The sources told the Post that the man had been set up in a sting, and was supplied explosives from an undercover FBI agent.
The building is only blocks away from ground zero and the nearly-complete One World Trade Center construction.
According to NBC New York, the man was arrested earlier today, and that he lives on Long Island.
They added that the public was never at risk of being in danger, as the operation was carefully monitored by both the FBI and the NYPD.
According to the FBI release, Nafis believed that he was going to detonate a 1,000 in front of the Federal Reserve Building, located on Liberty Street and had recorded a video message prior to the attack saying that he was setting out to ‘destroy America.’
After receiving the false bomb, he drove with the FBI agent from a warehouse outside the city to the Federal Reserve building. The two parked the van in front of the bank and walked to the nearby Millennium Hotel, according to WABC.
At the hotel, he recorded a video where he said: ‘We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom.’
Nafis tried repeatedly to detonate the bomb using his cell phone, to no avail.
When he met this morning with the undercover FBI agent, Nafis mentioned that he had a ‘Plan B’ should his van bombing plot fail. He allegedly told the agent that he was also considering a suicide attack.
He faces charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction in addition to attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda.