BOSTON (AP) -- A Massachusetts man was arrested Wednesday and accused of plotting to destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol by attacking the buildings with large, remote-controlled aircraft armed with lethal amounts of explosives.
Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, was arrested Wednesday in Framingham after undercover federal agents delivered materials he'd allegedly requested for his plan, including grenades, six machine guns and what he believed was 24 pounds of C-4 explosive.
According to a federal affidavit, Ferdaus said he wanted to deal a psychological blow to Americans, the "enemies of Allah," by hitting the Pentagon, which he called "head and heart of the snake."
In a conversation with a federal informant, Ferdaus allegedly explained how in ancient times, God uses natural disasters to punish evil civilizations, and he would use them today. "For us, we've gotta do that," he said, according to the affidavit. "Allah has given us the privilege ... he punishes them by our hand. We're the ones."
Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen and Northeastern University graduate, was scheduled to make his initial appearance in federal court in Worcester on Wednesday afternoon. Below, see a press release from the Department of Justice discussing the incident:
Telephone messages were left at the office of his attorney, Catherine Byrne, and at the address listed for Ferdaus in the affidavit.
Law enforcement officials have said they are concerned about potential homegrown terrorists, and several alleged domestic plots have been thwarted since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, including in Lackawanna, N.Y.; Portland, Ore.; and Virginia.