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Family defend Bangladeshi man arrested for NY bomb plot

The suspect’s father said he spent all of his savings to send him to America to study so he would have a better chance at life.

A Federal Reserve police officer guards the building in New York today.
A Federal Reserve police officer guards the building in New York today.
Image: Frank Franklin II/AP/Press Association Images

A BANGLADESHI MAN accused of trying to bomb the Federal Reserve building in New York City is a banker’s son from a middle class neighborhood whose family members say they were stunned by his arrest.

The FBI arrested 21-year-old Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis yesterday after he tried to detonate a fake 1,000-pound car bomb, according to a criminal complaint.

Prosecutors said Nafis traveled to the U.S. on a student visa in January to carry out an attack.

His family said that Nafis was incapable of such actions.

“My son can’t do it,” his father, Quazi Ahsanullah, said as he wept in his home in the Jatrabari neighborhood in north Dhaka.

“He is very gentle and devoted to his studies,” he said, pointing to Nafis’ time at the private North South University in Dhaka.

Courtroom sketch of Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis in Brooklyn Federal Court. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

However, Belal Ahmed, a spokesman for the university, said Nafis was a terrible student who was put on probation and threatened with expulsion if he didn’t bring his grades up. Nafis eventually just stopped coming to school, Ahmed said.

Ahsanullah said his son convinced him to send him to America to study, arguing that with a U.S. degree he had a better chance at success in Bangladesh.

“I spent all my savings to send him to America,” he said.

Bangladesh does not have the same record of involvement in global terror as Pakistan, with which it once formed a nation before winning its independence in 1971. At least one Bangladeshi was among those detained by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

- AP

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