Today, a 21-year-old man from Bangladesh named Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul assembled what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb, put it in a van, and parked it outside the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. Next he went to a nearby hotel and recorded a chilling video message that was to be released after the attack in which he said, "We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom."
Then he attempted to detonate the bomb.
Thankfully, it wasn't actually a working bomb like he thought it was. Instead it was composed of nonworking explosives that were provided to him by an undercover FBI agent who he thought was a like-minded recruit. As he continued to attempt to detonate it via a cell phone, he was arrested in the hotel lobby and was charged with attempting use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida.
I would have liked to have seen the look on his cold, evil face when he realized his plot had been foiled.
According to Reuters, when Mohammad came to the United States in January on a student visa, he began seeking out al-Qaida contacts to assist him in his plot to do major damage on our soil. Fortunately, the F.B.I. became aware of his efforts and were tracking him all along.
According to MSNBC, his intention may have been to interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election. He reportedly told an undercover agent last month, "You know what, this election might even stop." He also said he wanted to "destroy America" by attacking its economy.
Officials say the public was never in any danger, and that's reassuring. It makes me feel like our forces against terrorism are strong, and that we're smarter than they are. On the other hand, however, it's chilling to think what a different story I could be writing tonight if things had gone differently. How those people who work in that bank and are safely at home now with their families tonight may not have been. And how many other terrorists that like this evil man there are out there in the world who the F.B.I. may not intercept.
Do incidents like this make you feel more or less safe on U.S. soil?
Image via epicharmus/Flickr