Man, 26, charged in plot to bomb Pentagon using model airplane
By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 8:36 PM EST, Wed September 28, 2011
(CNN) -- A 26-year-old Massachusetts man with a physics degree was arrested and charged Wednesday with plotting an attack on the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol with a remote-controlled model aircraft, authorities said.
Rezwan Ferdaus, a U.S. citizen from Ashland, Massachusetts, planned to use model aircraft filled with C-4 plastic explosives, authorities said.
As a result of an undercover FBI investigation, Ferdaus, who has a physics degree from Northeastern University in Boston, was charged with attempting to provide material support and resources to al Qaeda for attacks on U.S. soldiers overseas, authorities said.
His federal public defender couldn't be reached immediately for comment.
A law enforcement official said Ferdaus posed no immediate danger to the public because undercover operatives kept in close contact with him.
"There is no information to indicate he was connected to a foreign terrorist organization. It appears he was radicalized watching videos on the internet. He was given the opportunity to back down, but he never wavered" from his intention to carry out the attacks, the source said.
The investigation also involved a cooperating witness, and authorities began recording conversations between that witness and Ferdaus in January, authorities said.
Ferdaus began planning a violent "jihad" against America in early 2010, authorities said, and he began supplying the FBI undercover agents with cell phones rigged to act as electric switches for improved explosive devices, intended to be used to kill U.S. soldiers overseas.
Undercover federal agents also gave Ferdaus 25 pounds of fake C-4 explosives. Only a very small amount of it was the real thing, the source said.
The FBI agents also gave Ferdaus six AK-47 assault rifles and three grenades, but they weren't functional, the source said.
Between May and this month, Ferdaus also ordered and acquired a $6,500 remote-controlled aircraft, an F-86 Sabre, that he kept in a rented storage facility in Framingham, Massachusetts, that he maintained under a false name, authorities said.
Despite coming into possession of the plane, another law enforcement official said, "The person was never really a threat."
Ferdaus is unmarried with no children, authorities said.
A federal magistrate in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Wednesday ordered Ferdaus to be held until Monday, when a detention hearing is scheduled, authorities said.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost
.................. Terrorist Plot Involving Remote-Control Planes Imitates Art (Sort Of)
By Torie Bosch | Posted Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011, at 5:20 PM ET
The idea of using remote-control planes in a terrorist attack immediately made me think of the excellent 2010 novel Intelligence. Set in the CIA, Intelligence is closer to The Office than 24; author Susan Hasler, who spent 21 years working for the agency, tells a story of an impending terrorist attack and the bureaucracy-burdened intelligence officers trying to put together the pieces and sound the alarm. (Warning: Some spoilers ahead.) What?s relevant here is the M.O. Hasler?s fictional terrorists kill many, mostly children, in an attack involving high-end remote-controlled planes. There today?s plot diverges from Intelligence?s: While Ferdaus reportedly hoped to unleash bombs, the R.C. planes of Intelligence emitted gas during a Washington Nationals game?and, more importantly, the planes served as a psychological weapon, not a real one, as the gas was harmless?a mere special effect. Instead, the victims of the Intelligence attack die as a result of eating poisoned hot dogs distributed by a terrorist working the concession stand.
Around Intelligence?s release, Hasler spoke with NPR?s Morning Edition. The conversation is strangely applicable to today?s news.
[Host Mary Louise Kelly]: Let me set the stage a little bit. The book follows Maddie and the team she's leading of CIA counterterrorism analysts. They are racing to thwart a new threat from al-Qaida, and this one involves not big planes, but little remote-controlled toy planes?hundreds of them.
Ms. HASLER: Right. I wanted something that was plausible but something I didn?t think could actually?a terrorist could actually use. You wouldn?t want to inspire anything. But I wanted to use planes because the idea was to create fear. And with everyone having the planes from the 9/11 attack in their mind, it had to be planes to raise that fear again.
Hasler thought that remote-control planes?at least, those carrying gas in a psych-out move?weren?t something ?a terrorist could actually use.? Ferdaus, it seems, thought otherwise. According to Politico, Ferdaus began his plotting in early 2010, while Intelligence came out in the summer of 2010. Perhaps he had his RC plane idea in mind well before the book was released; perhaps he didn?t even hear about it. Still, it?s interesting to see how Hasler, as a CIA veteran, was able to anticipate remote-controlled planes sparking a would-be terrorist?s imagination.
Diebold voting machines can be hacked by remote control
Salon - 17 hours ago
Why change channels by clicking on buttons, when you could do the same thing by twisting your remote? Japan's Murata Manufacturing Company obviously sees advantages in this approach and has created a prototype dubbed the "Leaf Grip"
Thai toy helicopter full of mobile phones fails to make prison drop
CorrectionsOne - Sep 27, 2011
Police said the wreckage of the remote-controlled chopper was found 500 metres from Khaobin Central Prison, but there was no sign of its operator.
Early one morning in June Redway postal employee Sharon Doty, was watching the news on the television. There was a story about a father who had sent his son, who was on duty in Iraq, a remote control toy car. His son and fellow soldiers decided to run the remote control car in front of their Jeep while driving. It saved their lives. The remote control car hit a trip wire and blew up. The soldiers in the Jeep were all safe.
The next day at work Sharon told her co-worker Tivoli Wiley about the story and they decided to start sending care packages to the troops. Sharon went to the local Radio Shack and told them why she wanted the cars and they sold her the four they had left at a discount.
Sharon asked RadioShack if they could get more remote control cars and they suggested contacting the company directly. She wrote to New Brite explained the story and asked if they would sell the cars to them at a wholesale price. New Brite donated six, nice big monster trunk remote control cars with batteries and chargers.
Tivoli then went to Shop Smart in Redway and bought snacks.
Sharon and Tivoli both knew someone overseas so they made one package each and mailed them off. Both packages were received and greatly appreciated. They decided to start doing it monthly. Sharon went online to noanie.com and looked up different soldiers and different things they requested or wanted. Together they collected supplies and are planning on sending many, many more boxes.
When asked, Tivoli said, ?It makes me feel good. The soldiers are risking their lives for me, this is the least I can do. That and it?s one more package in the mail stream, which is good for business. And what else do I have to do on my lunch break but fill the flat rate boxes and get them ready to be shipped??
Sharon said, ?It?s the least I can do. They deserve so much more. If these simple requests are all they are asking for, why not? And flat rate boxes make it easy and more affordable. And a very big thank you to our Postmaster Mark Rybeck who allows us to use the break room to store and package our gift boxes.?
The soldiers requests vary from baby wipes, peanut butter, jelly, crackers, chips, candy, web cams, personal DVD players, movies, Chap Stick, and instant hand sanitizer. Although Sharon and Tivoli can?t grant all requests, thanks to finding deals on sites like Amazon and e-bay and the donations from Shop Smart they can grant most of them.
I'll believe corporations are persons when Texas executes one.: LBJ's Ghost