US citizen and supporter of al-Qaeda Rezwan Ferdaus pleaded guilty to attempting to blow up the Pentagon and US Capitol using remote-controlled model planes loaded with explosives.
According to prosecutors Ferdaus, a 26-year-old physics graduate, had been planning ‘jihad’ since 2010 and was arrested after a sting operation which involved federal officers posing as members of the al-Qaeda to supply explosives.
Ferdaus had been convinced by jihadist websites and videos that the US was evil according to prosecutors.
A 17-year jail term was agreed upon by the prosecutors and defence lawyers after he pleaded guilty to attempting to supply materials to al-Qaeda and planning to damage US government structures with explosives.
He could have faced a 35-year jail term if the case had gone to trial and under the deal, prosecutors agreed to drop for of the six original charges made against him when arrested last September.
Ferdaus told the undercover federal officers that all non-followers of Islam would be considered his enemies and was then supplied with grenades, six machine guns and plastic explosives.
According to the prosecutors, the agents had full control over the weapons and never posed a threat to the public.