September 28, 2011 An American born Massachusetts resident, Rezwan Ferdaus is accused of plotting an ellaborate terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol and Pentagon, according to U.S. Department of Justice officials.
Ferdaus, a 26 year old college graduate with a degree in Physics from Northeastern University in Boston was alledgedly plotting.Jihad using over-sized model airplanes packed with C-4 plastic explosives in addition to ground attacks.
An Affidavit in the case states that Ferdaus bought at least one model airplane. There is no evidence in the court records to suggest that Ferdaus has ties to al-Qaeda or any other terrorist organization. However, Ferdaus apppeared in the U.S. District Court in Worcester, Mass. on Wednesday for an initial status hearing, where he was charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda in order to carry out attacks on U.S. soldiers stationed overseas. A detention hearing is scheduled for Monday, October 3, 2011. Prosecutors are requesting the suspect be detained without bail until the trial. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz credited the FBI and other law enforcement partners for the disruption.of the plot.
“The conduct alleged today shows that Mr. Ferdaus had long planned to commit violent acts against our country,” said Ortiz .
Explosive experts describe C-4 plastic explosives as a terrorists favorite more powerful than TNT, each stick being equal to ten grenades and capable of blowing up a car. In 1996, terrorists used C4 to blow up the Khobar Towers U.S. military housing complex in Saudi Arabia. In October 2000, al Qaeda used C-4 to attack the U.S.S. Cole. Then in 2005, C-4 was used in the devastating London mass transit bombings.
FBI officials say between May 2011and today’s arrest, Ferdaus ordered and acquired a $6,500 F-86 Sabre remote-controlled airplane that he kept in a rented storage facility in Framingham, Massachusetts, under a false name.
Over the last decade, the U.S. military has increased its number of drones from 50 drones to 7000. The danger of small, quiet and cheap drones, similiar to a remote control toy airplane, is that the technology can be exploited by anyone with access to it. The global demand is rapidly increasing, and the drone industry is booming. The Examiner reported on the real danger of remote control aircraft to the U.S. Homland Security in July.
Despite the fact that Ferdaus was in possession of the model aircraft, law enforcement officials insist, “The person was never really a threat.”
According to the Affidavit, in early 2010, Rezwan Ferdaus “obtained mobile phones, each of which he modified to act as an electrical switch for an IED. He then supplied the phones to FBI UCs, who he believed to be members of, or recruiters for, al Qaeda.”
A Boston FBI Press Release states: “The Public Was Not in Danger from Explosive Devices, Which Were Controlled by Undercover FBI Employees.
For a detailed account of the charges filed in the case, click here.