A 26-year-old Ashland man was arrested today for allegedly plotting to damage or destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol building.
Rezwan Ferdaus, who is a U.S. citizen, planned to use a large, remote controlled aircraft filled with plastic explosives, authorities said.
Ferdaus is also charged with attempted to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda.
The public was never in danger and Ferdaus was closely monitored, according to a statement from the office of the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen Ortiz.
Ferdaus is a Northeastern graduate with a degree in physics, according to an arrest affidavit. He began planning to commit the “jihad” against the U.S. in early 2010, authorities said.
FBI agents, working undercover, monitored Ferdaus and he gave them mobile phones which he modified to act as an electrical swith for an explosive, authorities said. He believed the devices would be used to kill soldiers overseas, according to the affidavit.
Authorities said he traveled to Washington, D.C. to conduct surveillance and take photographs. They said he also rented a storage facility in Framingham where he planned to construct the parts for his attack.
This morning, the undercover agents delivered what Ferdaus believed were explosives and rifles and then he was arrested.