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Rezwan Ferdaus Pleads Guilty To Model Plane Bomb Plot Against Capitol And Pentagon

July 20, 2012

July 20, 2012 2:30 PM

Mass. man pleads guilty to plot to blow up Pentagon, Capitol with model planes

This section of an undated file photo which had been presented as a government exhibit at a 2011 hearing shows Rezwan Ferdaus. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)

(CBS/AP) BOSTON - A Muslim-American man who planned to use remote-controlled model planes stuffed with explosives to blow up the Pentagon and the Capitol plead guilty to charges on Friday.

Rezwan Ferdaus, of Ashland, admitted to attempting to provide material support to terrorists and attempting to damage and destroy federal buildings by means of an explosive...

Under a plea agreement, federal prosecutors agreed to drop four other charges. Prosecutors and Ferdaus' lawyers also agreed to request a 17-year sentence on charges that carry a combined maximum of 35 years in prison.

Ferdaus grew up in Massachusetts and has a physics degree from Boston's Northeastern University. He had played drums in a Massachusetts band and went by by the nickname "Bollywood."



September 29, 2011

BOSTON - Rezwan Ferdaus, a/k/a Dave Winfield, a/k/a Jon Ramos, a 26-year-old Ashland man who was arrested and charged yesterday in connection with his plot to damage or destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using large remote controlled aircraft filled with C-4 plastic explosives, was indicted today by a federal grand jury in Boston.

Today's indictment charges Ferdaus with attempting to damage and destroy a federal building by means of an explosive, attempting to damage and destroy national defense premises, receipt of explosive materials, receipt of possession of non-registered firearms (six fully automatic AK-47 assault rifles and three grenades), attempting to provide material support to terrorists, and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization (al Qaeda). Ferdaus also faces two forfeiture allegations.

According to the indictment, beginning in 2010 and continuing until his arrest in September 2011, Ferdaus planned to commit acts of violence against the United States. With the goal of terrorizing the United States, decapitating its "military center," and killing as many "kafirs" (an Arabic term meaning non-believers) as possible, Ferdaus extensively planned and took substantial steps to bomb the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, using remote controlled aircraft filled with explosives.

The indictment further alleges, that on Sept. 28, 2011, as Ferdaus had requested and instructed, the UCEs delivered to Ferdaus explosives and firearms (material represented to Ferdaus to contain 25 pounds of C-4 explosives, including approximately 1.25 pounds of actual C-4 explosives, three grenades, and six fully automatic AK-47 assault rifles) for Ferdaus' attack plan. Ferdaus inspected the explosives and firearms in the UCEs' vehicle and inside his storage unit. While inspecting the C-4 explosives while in his storage unit, Ferdaus allegedly placed some of these explosives inside a remote controlled aircraft that he had ordered and obtained for his attack plan. Ferdaus then locked the explosives and firearms in his storage unit at which time he was placed under arrest.

In addition, it is alleged that in January 2011, Ferdaus, a Northeastern University graduate with a Bachelor's Degree in physics, began designing and constructing detonation components for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) using mobile phones which were delivered to individuals whom he believe to be Al Qaeda operatives. Ferdaus allegedly supplied 12 mobile phones each of which has been modified to act as an electrical switch for an IED to FBI undercover employees (UCs), who he believed were members of or recruiters for al Qaeda, to be used to kill American soldiers stationed overseas. Most recently, the indictment alleges that on Sept. 28, 2011, Ferdaus delivered four more detonation devices to individuals who he believed were al Qaeda operatives.

The public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were closely monitored by undercover FBI employees (UCs). The defendant was under surveillance as his alleged plot developed and the UCs were in frequent contact with him.

More information about the indictment, the affidavit, and other public documents, can be viewed at

If convicted Ferdaus faces up to 15 years in prison on the material support and resources
to a foreign terrorist organization charge; up to 20 years in prison on the charge of attempting to
destroy national defense premises; and a five year minimum mandatory in prison and up to 20
years on the charge of attempting to damage and destroy buildings that are owned by the United
States, by using an explosive. Ferdaus faces supervised release for life for the material support charges and attempting to destroy national defense premises. For the remaining charges, Ferdaus faces up to three years supervised release. In addition, for each charge Ferdaus also faces a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Worcester, Ashland and
Framingham Police Departments and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys B. Stephanie Siegmann and Donald L.
Cabell of Ortiz's Anti-Terrorism and National Security Unit.

The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be
innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


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