FRAMINGHAM, MA - In an early morning sting operation, Federal agents converged on a Waverly Place storage facility in Framingham and arrested 26-year old Rezwan Ferdaus of 22 Coburn Drive, Ashland, MA.
Ferdaus was arrested on (3) Federal charges which included:
- Attempting to Damage and Destroy Federal Governmental Buildings Using an Explosive
- Attempting to Injure and Destroy National Defense Premises
- Attempting to Provide Material Support and Resources to a Foreign Terrorist Organization
Ferdaus, a self proclaimed jihadist was intent on blowing up the Pentagon and the U.S. Capital Building using explosives rigged in remote controlled drone type model aircraft.
According to a Federal Affidavit, Ferdaus allegedly described the attack to undercover FBI employees--
It's a small, drone aircraft that would be programmed at that target and it can just hit that ... a model airplane that can carry a good enough payload and it will detonate on impact.
According the same affidavit, Rezwan Ferdaus, using a false name had rented the space on Waverly Place (in Framingham) telling the rental agent he'd be using it for music equipment. Instead, Ferdaus used the space to store remote controlled aircraft and bomb making equipment.
At approximately 9:30am this morning, Ferdaus believing he would be receiving 25 pounds of "C-4" plastic explosive, a half dozen AK-47 automatic assault rifles and some hand grenades instead was met by Federal agents who had been conducting an undercover sting and watching Ferdaus' every movement for months.
Framingham Police cordoned off the area around the former Baker Nail factory on Waverly Place which now houses welding and metal fabrication shops and band rehearsal space, as Federal agents closed in on the self-proclaimed al Qaeda supporting jihadist putting an end to Ferdaus' plan.
Ferdaus graduated from Ashland High School in 2003, then went on to get a degree in physics at Northeastern University in Boston in 2008.
During College, Ferdaus was the original drummer for a band called "Goosepimp Orchestra". According to the band's website --
"Rezwan “Bollywood” Ferdaus was the original drummer when the band formed as a 4 piece in 2004. Rezwan then moved on to become a devout spiritual practitioner."
Ferdaus was also the drummer for another band called "The Silk Road". Ironically the band's songs include titles like "No Pilot" and another called "Gaza Dozer".
A 2003 news article reported that Rezwan Ferdaus and other Ashland High students had admitted taking part in a "senior prank", pouring concrete in front of ten exterior doors at the school.
The nets on the tennis court at the school had also been lit on fire causing thousands of dollars worth of damage and other smaller acts of vandalism also occurred.
In hindsight, one act may have been a early warning of Rezwan Ferdaus' anti-American sentiments -- a burned American flag was found flying upside down on the school's flag pole. In what now seems like an effort to avoid suspicion of being "unAmerican", Ferdaus and two others admitted to pouring the concrete, but denied lighting the fires or desecrating the flag.
Affidavits of undercover agents who had posed as al Queda recruiters and operatives show that Ferdaus travelled to Washington DC in May and scouted out spots to launch his remote controlled bombs from the shores of the Potomac River. Other reports including one on the English language version of Aljazeera show photographs of the Pentagon allegedly taken by Ferdaus on that trip.
According to the FBI, Ferdaus had supplied undercover agents with cell phones he modified to use as detonators for "IEDs", (improvised explosive devices), and was told they were shipped to Iraq and used to kill U.S. serviceman, according to the FBI's affidavit, Ferdaus allegedly told his handlers, "That was exactly what I wanted."