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Massachusetts man arrested on suspected terror plot

by Jorge Hernandez on September 29, 2011

A 26-year-old man from Ashland, Massachusetts, was arrested yesterday for allegedly planning an attack on the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol building. Federal authorities believe that Rezwan Ferdaus was plotting to use a remote-controlled aircraft to drop explosives on the two buildings, The Boston Globe reports.

Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen and Northeastern University graduate student, reportedly began planning his attack early last year. He has also been charged with providing material to Al Qaeda in the form of cell phones that were used to detonate improvised explosive devices. His devices are believed to have triggered explosions that killed three U.S. soldiers earlier this year.

There was a wealth of evidence tying Ferdaus to the planned attack on Washington. According to the Globe, he told a witness in January that he was planning to use small drone planes to launch and assault on the pentagon, and in May he went to Washington for surveillance purposes where he told and undercover agent he wanted to include a ground attack as well.

"Although Ferdaus was presented with multiple opportunities to back out of his plan, including being told that his attack would likely kill women and children …. Ferdaus never wavered in his desire to carry out the attacks," Prosecutors said, according to the news source.

Ferdaus was arrested after undercover federal agents arrived in Framingham, Massachusetts, with materials he had requested. After a brief appearance in court on Wednesday, prosecutors have scheduled a detention hearing for next Monday.

According to The Associated Press, this is not the first time that Ferdaus has been in trouble with the law. When he was in high school, he and other classmates were arrested for vandalism at their school.

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