FBI — Massachusetts Man Charged with Plotting Attack on Pentagon
Once more the FBI proves that they are capable of stopping terror.
A 26-year-old Ashland man was arrested and charged today in connection with his plot to damage or destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, using large remote controlled aircraft filled with C-4 plastic explosives. 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 today 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. “I want 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 today, we also have an obligation to protect members of every community, race, and religion against violence and other unlawful conduct.”
The public 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.
Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division said, “Today’s arrest was the culmination of an investigation forged through strong relationships among various Massachusetts law enforcement agencies to detect, deter, and prevent terrorism. Each of the more than 30 federal, state, and local agencies on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) worked together to protect the community from this threat. In this particular investigation, the Worcester, Ashland, and Framingham Police Departments and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, played particularly critical roles. The communities of Worcester, Ashland, and Framingham should be proud of the unwavering commitment and professionalism the agencies demonstrated in ensuring that their towns and region were safe from harm. The Massachusetts State Police and the Commonwealth Fusion Center also contributed significantly to this investigation.”
“The FBI used an undercover operation to conduct this investigation. Undercover operations are used to combat all types of crimes and criminals, including in the counterterrorism arena.”
“The JTTF initiated this investigation because we have an obligation to take action to protect the public whenever an individual expresses a desire to commit violence. A committed individual, even one with no direct connections to, or formal training from, an international terrorist organization, can pose a serious danger to the community,” added DesLauriers. “It is important to remember that our system of justice is based on the notion of individual responsibility. Therefore, no one should cite Mr. Ferdaus’ actions as an excuse or reason to engage in any unlawful behavior against others in the community. We will work diligently to protect the civil rights of all Americans.”