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FBI arrests Massachusetts man in Capitol terrorist plot

The FBI arrested a 26-year-old Massachusetts man in a plot to blow up the U.S. Capitol and Pentagon after agents lured him into an undercover sting operation in which he allegedly provided “step-by-step” instructions on attacking Washington from the air with a drone-like, remote-control explosive device.

Rezwan Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen and Northeastern University graduate from Ashland, Mass., was allegedly plotting the strikes through the recent 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and he told FBI undercover employees posing as Al Qaeda members that he would load aircraft with C-4 plastic explosives, and then use GPS equipment to fly over the Capitol area.

Federal authorities said the public was never in danger, and that they shut down the undercover sting after they felt they had enough evidence to arrest and charge him. He was arrested Wednesday in Framingham, Mass., after agents delivered materials he had requested, including grenades, six machine guns and what Ferdaus believed were the explosives.

FBI Agent Gary C. Cacace, the lead agent in the case, said in a federal affidavit that Ferdaus sought “jihad” against the U.S. as early as last year, and considered Americans “enemies of Allah.”

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He was to appear Wednesday afternoon in federal court in Worcester, Mass.

Richard.Serrano@latimes.com


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