NEW YORK (AP) -- A Bangladeshi man snared in an FBI terror sting considered targeting President Barack Obama and the New York City Stock Exchange before settling on a car bomb attack on the Federal Reserve, just blocks from the World Trade Center site, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the investigation and talked to the AP on condition of anonymity, stressed that the suspect never got beyond the discussion stage in considering an attack on the president.
In a September meeting with an undercover agent posing as a fellow jihadist, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis explained he chose the Federal Reserve as his car bomb target for operational reasons, according to a criminal complaint. Nafis also indicated he knew that choice would cause a large number of civilian casualties, including women and children, the complaint said.
The bomb was phony, but authorities said that Nafis admiration of Osama bin Laden and aspirations for martyrdom were not.
FBI agents grabbed the 21-year-old Nafis - armed with a cellphone he believed was rigged as a detonator - after he made several attempts to blow up a fake 1,000-pound the bomb inside a vehicle parked next to the Federal Reserve Wednesday in lower Manhattan, the complaint said.