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Sunday 1 October 2023 Dublin: 15°C
Elizabeth Williams/AP
# Terrorism
Man sentenced to 30 years in prison over plot to blow up Federal Reserve
The 22-year-old asked for forgiveness today and said he no longer believes in radical Islam.

A 22-YEAR-OLD Bangladeshi man was sentenced to 30 years in prison today after pleading guilty to terrorism charges for trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis begged for leniency, telling the court he was “ashamed” and “lost”.

“I alone am responsible for what I’ve done,” he said. “Please forgive me”.

Nafis was charged in October with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Quaida, pleading guilty in February. He had driven a van full of what he thought were explosives to the door of the bank and tried to set them off.


He originally went to the US to study cybersecurity at a Missouri college where he became vice president of the schools’ Muslim student association. Nafis became radicalised at his university in Bangladesh and came to the US with aspirations of jihad, according to lawyers on both sides.

The 22-year-old was put on probation because of poor grades and decided to move to New York to get a job.

Authorities say Nafis adopted increasingly more radical views and began using Facebook and other social media to seek support for a terror attack. One of his contacts turned out to be a government informant who notified authorities.

While under investigation, Nafis spoke of his admiration for Osama bin Laden and talked of writing an article about his plot for an al-Qaida-affiliated magazine. He also talked about wanting to kill President Barack Obama and bomb the New York Stock Exchange, officials said.

(Image: Frank Fanklin II/AP)

As the plot progressed, Nafis selected his target, drove a van loaded with dummy explosives to the door of the bank and tried to set off the bomb from a hotel room using a cellphone he thought had been rigged as a detonator, authorities said. No one was ever actually in danger because the explosives were fakes provided by the government.

In a five-page letter to Judge Carol Bagley Amon, the defendant said he no longer believed in radical Islam.

“My actions are inexcusable and cowardly,” he wrote. “After giving a deep thought I truly hate my actions and I know that I will never pursue such behavior again that is not only un-Islamic, but also destroyed my family and my life.”

- With additional reporting from Associated Press.

Related: Man arrested over plot to blow up Federal Reserve in New York>

Read: Turkey tells citizens to leave Lebanon after two Turkish pilots kidnapped>

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