An American al Qaeda supporter, charged with plotting an attack on Pentagon and US Capitol using remote-controlled explosives-laden planes, has pleaded guilty to two counts and faces 17 years in prison.
Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, a Massachusetts resident, entered a plea agreement under which he would be sentenced to 17 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release.
A Northeastern University graduate with a bachelor's degree in physics, Ferdaus was arrested in September last year for plotting to attack the Pentagon and US Capitol in Washington using large remote controlled aircraft filled with C-4 plastic explosives.
In the written agreement filed yesterday in US district court in Boston, Ferdaus said he will plead guilty to attempting to damage and destroy a federal building by means of an explosive and attempting to provide material support to terrorists.
He was charged in a six-count indictment with attempting to damage and destroy a federal building, destroy national defence premises, receipt of explosive materials, possession of six fully automatic AK-47 assault rifles and three grenades, attempting to provide material support to terrorists and al Qaeda.
In exchange of his guilty plea, the government will dismiss remaining charges against him.
The government had alleged that in 2010, Ferdaus plotted to commit acts of violence against the United States. With the goal of terrorising the US, decapitating its "military centre," and killing as many "kafirs" as possible.
Ferdaus extensively planned and took substantial steps to bomb the Pentagon and US Capitol using remote controlled aircraft filled with explosives.
In September 2011, Ferdaus requested and instructed undercover FBI employees to deliver explosives and firearms for his attack plan.
He had sought 25 pounds of C-4 explosives, including approximately 1.25 pounds of actual C-4 explosives, three grenades, and six fully automatic AK-47 assault rifles.
He had begun designing and constructing detonation components for improvised explosive devices (IED) using mobile phones that were delivered to individuals whom he believed to be 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.