Bangladeshi pleads not guilty in US bomb plot

Posted at 11/28/12 7:49 AM

NEW YORK - A young Bangladeshi man with alleged al-Qaeda links pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he tried to set off a 1,000-pound bomb outside the Federal Reserve building in New York.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, "entered a plea of not guilty and was ordered held without bail," federal prosecutors spokesman Robert Nardoza said.

Nafis was arrested on October 17 after allegedly trying to leave the huge bomb outside the bank in Manhattan, which is part of the US central bank system. However, the device was a dummy provided in a sting operation and Nafis had been under constant surveillance.

Prosecutors also accuse Nafis of trying to recruit others in the United States to form an al-Qaeda cell.

Nafis traveled to the United States in January 2012 "for the purpose of conducting a terrorist attack on US soil," the federal prosecutor's office in Brooklyn said.

"Nafis, who reported having overseas connections to al-Qaeda, attempted to recruit individuals to form a terrorist cell inside the United States," it added.