A man accused of plotting to attack the Federal Reserve in New York considered striking a lightly guarded military installation in Baltimore, according to authorities.
Quazi Mohammad Reswanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old Bangladeshi national, was arrested Wednesday after authorities said he attempted to detonate what he thought was a bomb outside the Federal Reserve Bank building in lower Manhattan.
Undercover officers posing as members of al-Qaida had been meeting with Nafis since July, according to an affidavit sworn by FBI Special Agent John Neas.
During one such meeting, held July 24 in Central Park, Nafis told an undercover officer that an associate had spoken of "a military base in Baltimore with one guard standing outside whom they could attack," Neas said in the affidavit. The base is not identified.
But Nafis said he wanted to attack "more than a single individual," Neas said.
"I want to do something that brothers coming after us can be inspired by us," Nafis told the undercover officer, according to Neas.
The associate who proposed the Baltimore attack has since been arrested by federal authorities for "non-terrorism-related felony offenses," according to Neas. He is identified only as "Yaqueen" in the affidavit.
A spokesman for the FBI in Baltimore referred questions about the alleged plot here to the agency's New York office. The New York office did not respond to a message requesting information.
Baltimore and Baltimore County are home to several military installations, including the Fifth Regiment Armory near State Center, Warfield Air National Guard Base in Middle River and the Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay.
A spokesman for the Maryland National Guard, which operates the armory and the air base, said he had no information on the claim in the affidavit.
The region also hosts two larger Army installations, Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County.
Nafis entered the United States on a student visa in January, authorities said. According to Neas, he expressed admiration for slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and said he wanted to stage an event that would "shake the whole country" and "make us one step closer to run the whole world."
He told an undercover officer that he understood that attacking the Federal Reserve Bank would cause a large number of civilian casualties, including women and children, but still wanted to proceed, Neas said.
Nafis was brought to federal court in Brooklyn on Wednesday to face charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida. He did not enter a plea and was ordered held without bail.
Last spring, a Baltimore County man was sentenced to 25 years in prison after he tried to set off what he thought was a car bomb outside a military center in Catonsville in December 2010.
The inert device had been supplied by undercover FBI agents, who had been drawn to Antonio Benjamin Martinez's Internet postings on Islam and jihad.
Martinez, 22, pleaded guilty in January to attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He was sentenced in April to 25 years in prison.
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