NEW YORK, Nov. 28 (UPI) -- A 21-year-old Bangladeshi national accused of plotting to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York pleaded not guilty in a New York court.
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, arrested in October by New York federal authorities after a prolonged sting operation, appeared in a Brooklyn federal court and was ordered to appear Jan. 9 for the next hearing, Bangladeshnews.com reported.
The report said Bangladeshi Embassy and consular officials were present during the court hearing.
Nafis was arrested following a sting operation during which he was accused of trying to use a fake 1,000-pound bomb to blow up the New York bank.
The report said a grand jury has indicted Nafis for attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida. If convicted, Nafis could be sent to prison for life.
Nafis came to the United States in January to study cybersecurity at a college in Missouri. His family in Bangladesh has said he is innocent and had no terror links.
Federal authorities said after arriving in the United States, Nafis tried to recruit people to form a terrorist cell to help him carry out his attack.
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said Nafis was arrested in downtown Manhattan after he allegedly tried to set off a fake 1,000-pound bomb in a sting operation conducted by the New York FBI Field Office's Joint Terrorism Task Force and New York police.
An undercover FBI agent reportedly had been working with Nafis since July and recording the suspect's statements. The suspect is reported to have said: "I don't want something that's like, small. I just want something big. Very, very, very, very big, that will shake the whole country."