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Pakistani-born American charged in fake bomb plot
ALICIA A. CALDWELL
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 29 - 10 - 2010

born American was arrested Wednesday and accusing of casing Washington area subway stations in what he thought was an Al-Qaeda plot to bomb and kill DC area commuters.
The bombing plot was a ruse conducted over the past six months, the FBI said, but 34-year-old Farooque Ahmed readily handed over video of northern Virginia subway stations, suggested using rolling suitcases rather than backpacks to kill as many people as possible and offered to donate money to Al-Qaeda's cause overseas.
The public never was in danger because FBI agents were aware of Ahmed's activities and monitored him throughout, the agency said. And the people that Ahmed thought were Al-Qaeda operatives were actually individuals who worked on behalf of the government, according to a federal law enforcement official who requested anonymity to discuss details of the case.
Ahmed was indicted under seal by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va. on Tuesday, and the charges were made public Wednesday. He is accused of attempting to provide material support to a designated terrorist organization, collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit facility, and attempting to provide material support to carry out multiple bombings to cause mass casualties.
Ahmed, a naturalized citizen, lives in Ashburn, Virginia., 26 miles (42 km) from Washington.
During a brief appearance in federal court in Alexandria, Ahmed did not enter a plea and was ordered held without bond. He told US Magistrate Judge John Anderson he could not afford to hire a lawyer. Prosecutors said they planned to use some classified information as evidence in the case.
US Attorney Neil MacBride said in a statement that it was “chilling that a man from Ashburn is accused of casing rail stations with the goal of killing as many Metro riders as possible through simultaneous bomb attacks.”
Ahmed's arrest comes as the United States has been struggling with an uptick in Americans plotting terror activities in the past 18 months.
Last week, a Hawaii man was arrested for making false statements to the FBI about his plans to be trained in terror tactics in Pakistan. In August, a Virginia man was caught trying to leave the country to fight with an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Somalia.
And in May, Faisal Shazhad, a naturalized citizen also from Pakistan, tried to set off a car bomb at a bustling street corner in New York City.
US authorities had no intelligence about Shahzad's plot until the smoking car turned up in Manhattan. The FBI has made several cases with agents working undercover.


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