Family shocked at Bangladeshi's arrest in NY plot

Family of Bangladeshi man shocked at his arrest in FBI terror sting in New York City

Associated Press
AP source: Obama was considered potential target
.

View photo

This courtroom sketch shows Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, center, and his attorney Heidi Cesare, left, in Brooklyn Federal Court Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, in New York. Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested in a sting operation Wednesday morning after he parked a van filled with what he believed were explosives outside the building and tried to detonate it in a suicide mission, authorities said. (AP Photo/Elizabeth Williams)

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) -- A Bangladeshi man accused of trying to bomb the Federal Reserve building in New York City is a banker's son from a middle class neighborhood whose family members said Thursday that they were stunned by his arrest.

The FBI arrested 21-year-old Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis on Wednesday after he tried to detonate a fake 1,000-pound (454-kilogram) car bomb, according to a criminal complaint.

Prosecutors said Nafis traveled to the U.S. on a student visa in January to carry out an attack.

His family said Thursday that Nafis was incapable of such actions.

"My son can't do it," his father, Quazi Ahsanullah, said as he wept in his home in the Jatrabari neighborhood in north Dhaka.

"He is very gentle and devoted to his studies," he said, pointing to Nafis' time at the private North South University in Dhaka.

However, Belal Ahmed, a spokesman for the university, said Nafis was a terrible student who was put on probation and threatened with expulsion if he didn't bring his grades up. Nafis eventually just stopped coming to school, Ahmed said.

Ahsanullah said his son convinced him to send him to America to study, arguing that with a U.S. degree he had a better chance at success in Bangladesh.

"I spent all my savings to send him to America," he said.

He called on the government to "get my son back home."

Bangladesh does not have the same record of involvement in global terror as Pakistan, with which it once formed a nation before winning its independence in 1971. At least one Bangladeshi was among those detained by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.

View Comments (0)