TerrorismFlorida man prevented from attacking NYC landmarks for lack of funds

Published 20 December 2012

A Florida man who wanted to attack a landmark in New York City, but lacked the funds to carry out his plan, was arrested on terror charges, according to federal prosecutors; Raees Alam Qazi, 20, told the officers who arrested him that he tried to contact al Qaeda, and that he was motivated by reading the online magazine Inspire which is produced by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Raees Alam Qazi (left) and brother Shaharyar // Source: aaj.tv

A Florida man who wanted to attack a landmark in New York City, but lacked the funds to carry out his plan, was arrested on terror charges, according to federal prosecutors.

During a hearing on Tuesday, prosecutors said  Raees Alam Qazi, 20,  told the officers who arrested him that he tried to contact al Qaeda, and that he was motivated by reading the online magazine Inspire which is produced by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A law enforcement source told CNN that there is no evidence that Qazi actually got in contact with al Qaeda members.

CNN reports that Qazi wanted to avenge deaths of civilians in Afghanistan and Pakistan, some caused by U.S. drones. Prosecutors said  that Qazi, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, considered attacking Wall Street, Times Square, and several theatres.

Qazi was arrested in November and investigators found Christmas tree lights, wires, batteries, hydrogen peroxide, a disassembled remote-control car and other materials in his home.

Qazi traveled to New York in late November to choose  sites to attack and reflect on his financial situation. Five days later, Qazi returned to Florida where he and his brother Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 30, were arrested. Both have pleaded not guilty to charges of plotting to use an explosive device and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Both men face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Officials say that Raees was the point man when it came to the plan and  that in their search of his home they found a goodbye letter to his brother.

May God bless you or thank you for everything,” prosecutors quoted the letter as saying. “I cannot pay you back for the help you have given me, but Allah can, God willing. (Don’t panic, just keep it cool especially when someone asks).”

Both men remain in jail; no trial date has been set. 

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