- (Photo: Courtesy of White House/American Archives)
In the latest terrorism sting operation, a Massachusetts man was arrested on Wednesday for plotting to attack the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, using a remote-controlled aircraft filled with explosives.
U.S. citizen, Rezwan Ferdaus planned to carry out the assault, with the help of remote-controlled aircrafts – each armed with five pounds of explosives.
Ferdaus was arrested when federal agents, running an undercover operation, delivered the requested explosives to his Framingham, Mass., home.
"The conduct alleged today shows that Mr. Ferdaus had long planned to commit violent acts against our country," U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in a statement.
Ortiz said that the FBI had control of the situation and the public was never in danger from the explosive devices.
Ferdaus had requested grenades, six machine guns, and 24 pounds of C-4 explosive. C-4 is a common variety of plastic explosive known as Composition C.
The 26-year-old also rented a local storage unit that he planned to use as a workshop to construct the lethal planes.
Influenced by jihadist websites and videos, Ferdaus became convinced that America was evil a federal affidavit stated, according to AP.
Ferdaus had been radicalized and wanted to deal a “psychological blow to the enemies of Allah,” the affidavit asserted.
He began planning his jihad attack in 2010.
Ferdaus, who graduated from Northeastern University with a B.A. in physics, made a short initial appearance in federal court Wednesday. He is charged with providing support to a foreign terrorist organization and attempting to destroy federal buildings.
He is not the first western person to be influenced by websites and videos that promote jihad.
Last March, a young Kosovo Albanian man, Arid Uka, killed two U.S. airmen at Germany’s Frankfort airport.
Uka was raised and educated in Germany but said that he carried out the attack because of the radical Islamic propaganda he saw online.
The 21-year-old stood trial in Germany facing two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder, and urged other Muslim’s to not believe the “lying” Islamist propaganda they find online.
Despite U.S. officials having stressed that Ferdaus was under surveillance and never presented a real danger to Americans – cases like Ferdaus and Uka show that homegrown terrorism is an increasing issue in the western world.
According to a May 2010 Rand Corporation report, between 2001 and 2009 the US. Government reported 46 incidents of “domestic radicalization and recruitment to jihadist terrorism.”
The cases involved more than 125 people.