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Would-be Pentagon Bomber Sentenced to 17 Years in Prison

Ferdaus Planned to Attack the Pentagon and Capitol Using Remote Controlled Aircraft Filled With C-4 and Guided by GPS Equipment.

Late last year, SecurityWeek reported on the arrest of Rezwan Ferdaus, A 26-year-old man from Ashland, Massachusetts, who attempted to destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol with a remote controlled aircraft loaded with C-4. On July 10, Ferdaus pled guilty to his crimes, but the criticism of the FBI’s role in his plot remains.

In a written agreement filed with the U.S. District Court in Boston, Ferdaus agreed to plead guilty to attempting to damage and destroy a federal building by means of an explosive and attempting to provide material support to terrorists, the Department of Justice reported.

The case – and plea deal – is one of note, because it is one of many examples where the FBI took the credit for foiling a terrorist plot that they created. Reporter Glenn Greenwald explains Ferdaus’ story best.

“Time and again, the FBI concocts a Terrorist attack, infiltrates Muslim communities in order to find recruits, persuades them to perpetrate the attack, supplies them with the money, weapons and know-how they need to carry it out — only to heroically jump in at the last moment, arrest the would-be perpetrators whom the FBI converted, and save a grateful nation from the plot manufactured by the FBI,” he wrote when news of the attempted C-4 plot broke. 

“And now, the FBI has yet again saved us all from its own Terrorist plot by arresting 26-year-old American citizen Rezwan Ferdaus after having spent months providing him with the plans and materials to attack the Pentagon, American troops in Iraq, and possibly the Capitol Building using “remote-controlled” model airplanes carrying explosives.”

In fact, while most of the media painted his arrest as a heroic act by the federal government, even the Department of Justice admitted that there was no danger to the public.

“The public was never in danger from the explosive devices, which were closely monitored by the [Undercover FBI Employees]. The defendant was under surveillance as his alleged plot developed and the [Undercover FBI Employees] were in frequent contact with him,” the DOJ said in a statement.

Ferdaus, as part of his plea, agreed to a joint sentencing recommendation of 17 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.