Federal authorities have arrested a Bangladeshi student in New York City and presented a criminal indictment charging him with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and providing material support to Al Qaeda in a plot to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with a truck bomb.
The case is only the latest in a seemingly endless series of "sting" operations in which hapless individuals are ensnared by FBI provocateurs in supposed "terrorist plots" that are entirely the creation of the federal authorities.
Unveiled with barely two-and-a-half weeks to go until the US presidential election, the case serves a definite political agenda of terrifying the American public with a wholly fabricated threat of terror in order to justify US militarism abroad and the relentless buildup of police-state powers at home.
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was ordered held without bail after a brief arraignment in Brooklyn Federal court Wednesday. He had entered the US on a student visa last January to study computer sciences. He is accused of trying to blow up the Federal Reserve building, which is two blocks from Wall Street, with what he believed was a 1,000-pound bomb loaded into a van.
In reality, however, the bomb, consisting of 20 50-pound bags of purported explosives, was a fake. It, like a phony detonator and the van used to transport it, were all supplied by undercover agents of New York's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which combines the resources of the FBI and the New York Police Department.
In announcing the arrest, the FBI assured the public that it "was never at risk," as the agency had controlled the "entire operation to ensure the safety of ... New Yorkers."
Indeed, the predominant role in the alleged conspiracy appears to have been played by an undercover FBI agent posing as an "Al Qaeda facilitator." Even the act of delivering the fake bomb to the site of the Federal Reserve building was carried out by the FBI agent, as Nafis does not know how to drive.
While the federal authorities included in their criminal complaint the claim that Nafis "actively sought out al-Qaeda contacts within the United States," it gives no indication of how he did this and how this led him directly into the waiting arms of the FBI.
What seems far more likely is that agents trolling the Internet and carrying out fishing expeditions within immigrant Muslim communities came across some statement made by the Bangladeshi expressing anger over US policies abroad and decided to frame him up as a terrorist.
In Bangladesh, authorities said that there was no indication that Nafis had any ties to Islamist groups there.
The youth's father, Quazi Mohammad Ahsanullah, the senior vice president of a bank in Dhaka, denounced the charges against his son as "a racist conspiracy."
"The intelligence of the USA is playing with a mere boy whom we sent for higher study," he told Reuters. "The allegation against my son is not true at all. He could not even drive a car. How was he caught with a van?"
"He fell into a trap," Nafis' father said.
Just since the inauguration of Barack Obama as president, there have been nearly 50 separate cases in which individuals have been charged with alleged terrorist plots that were organized and led by FBI or other police agency informants/agent provocateurs.
Out of all the high-profile domestic terror cases of the last decade, only three did not originate with FBI sting operations.