Update: New Details of Alleged Homemade Drone Attacks Against Pentagon and Capitol
New details are emerging about the arrest federal authorities made of a 26-year-old Massachusetts man whom they claim plotted to pack remote controlled planes with C-4 explosives and mount simultaneous terrorist attacks against the Pentagon and Capitol building.
The suspect, Rezwan Ferdaus of Ashland, MA., was separately charged with attempting to assist Al Qaeda attack U.S. troops overseas.
Ferdhaus was arrested at his home yesterday after undercover FBI agents delivered materials to him necessary for his alleged terrorist plot, including what was supposed to be 25 lbs of C-4 explosives, 3 hand grenades and six fully automatic AK-47 assault rifles, according to Fox News.
The plot began in early 2010, when Federal Agents say Ferdhaus decided to wage Jihad against “the enemies of Allah.” A DOJ press release stated that the public was never in danger, as FBI agents monitored the subject closely.
Last May, Ferdhaus allegedly conducted surveillance of the Capitol and Pentagon, and planned to launch the drones from East Potomac Park. The Feds claim to have recorded conversations with Ferdhaus in which he discussed his intention to use remote controlled planes as explosive-packed drones guided by global positioning systems. The plan would have utilized three of these improvised explosive drones to ram into the Pentagon and Capitol, and also called for six other gunmen broken into two assault teams for an attack coordinated by Ferdhaus.
The terrorist plot in DC is not the only series of crimes for which Ferdhaus stands accused. According to Fox News, authorities also claim that Ferdhaus wanted to assist terrorist operations against U.S. soldiers overseas, which they said led to him to supply:
“Eight mobile phones to undercover FBI agents who he thought were recruiters for Al Qaeda. The phones were modified to be used as electrical switches for IEDs… used to kill American soldiers. Ferdaus also allegedly made a training video to demonstrate how to make more [of] the weapons.”
Ferdhaus had a technical background, as he graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Physics. When told that one of his modified phones was used to kill three and wound at least four U.S. soldiers in June, Ferdhaus reportedly said: “That was exactly what I wanted.”
Altogether, Ferdhaus is facing an array of federal charges that each could carry decades in prison, including attempting to destroy national defense premises and providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization.
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