US Homegrown Terror Suspect Agrees To Plead Guilty To Plotting Attacks
By Jim Kouri
A suspect who is described as a homegrown radicalized American Muslim is prepared to admit his terrorist activities, according to Department of Justice officials on Tuesday.
In a signed legal agreement filed in federal District Court in Boston, Rezwan Ferdaus, a/k/a Dave Winfield, a/k/a Jon Ramos, agreed to plead guilty to the charge that he attempted to damage and destroy federal buildings using improvised explosive devices (IEDs). He also agreed to plead guilty to attempting to provide material support to an Islamic terrorist.
The 26-year-old Ferdaus also agreed to a joint sentencing recommendation of 17 years in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.
In exchange for his agreement, U.S government officials have agreed to dismiss the remaining charges against Ferdaus when he faces sentencing.
The prosecutors and defense attorneys filed a joint motion asking the court to schedule a change-of-plea hearing. The plea agreement filed on Tuesday is subject to review and acceptance by a district court judge once a date for the change-of-plea hearing is set.
A federal law enforcement official reported that in September, Ferdaus was arrested for his plotting to attack both the Pentagon building and U.S. Capitol building using large remote-controlled aircraft filled with C-4 military-style, plastic explosives.
Ferdaus was eventually charged in an indictment 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 and 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 the terrorist organization al-Qaeda.
The government had previously alleged that starting in 2010 and ending with his arrest, lone-wolf terrorist hatched a scheme to commit violent acts of terrorism against the United States homeland.
“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,” according to the Justice Department press statement.
On September 28, 2011, Ferdaus requested and instructed undercover FBI employees (UCEs) to deliver explosives and firearms such as 25 pounds of C-4 plastic explosives — including approximately 1.25 pounds of actual C-4 explosives — three hand grenades, and six fully automatic AK-47 assault rifles for his terrorist plan.
While inspecting the explosives and firearms in the UCEs’ vehicle and inside his storage unit, Ferdaus placed some of the 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.
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 that were delivered to individuals whom he believed were al-Qaeda operatives.
Ferdaus allegedly supplied 12 mobile phones, each of which had been modified to act as an electrical switch for an IED, to FBI undercover employees, who he believed were members of or recruiters for al Qaeda, to be used to kill American soldiers stationed overseas. according to court documents.
On September 28, 2011, Ferdaus delivered four more detonation devices to individuals he believed were al-Qaeda operatives.