New York: A 26-year-old man arrested last
week for plotting an attack on the Pentagon and the US Capitol with remote-controlled aircraft filled with deadly plastic
explosives has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Massachusetts resident Rezwan Ferdaus, a Northeastern
University graduate, appeared at a US District Court near
Boston and entered his not guilty plea to all six charges
before Magistrate Judge Timothy Hillman.
Hillman has set a detention hearing for Ferdaus on
If convicted on all six counts and given the maximum sentence on each, Ferdaus faces imprisonment for about 85 years.
Ferdaus` defense attorney Catherine Byrne said her client
was the victim of the FBI and US Attorney`s office, which had
conducted an undercover investigation that led to his arrest
"This case was orchestrated and facilitated by the
government," Byrne said.
Ferdaus, an US citizen, went by the name `Bollywood` when
he played drums in a Massachusetts band.
He was also charged with attempting to provide material
support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization,
specifically to al Qaeda, in order to carry out attacks on US
soldiers stationed overseas.
According to documents, Ferdaus began planning to commit
violent `jihad` against the US in early 2010.
He obtained mobile phones, which he modified to act as an
electrical switch for an IED.
He then supplied the phones to FBI undercover agents who
he believed were members of al Qaeda.
During a June 2011 meeting, he had appeared gratified
when he was told that his first phone detonation device had
killed three US soldiers and injured four or five others in
Ferdaus responded, "That was exactly what I wanted."
He was also anxious to know how well each of his
detonation devices had worked and how many Americans they had
During recorded conversations, Ferdaus stated that he
devised the idea of attacking the Pentagon a long time ago and
that his jihad had "started last year".