A timeline: How officials say the plot unfolded
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January -- Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, of Bangladesh, arrives in the United States on a student visa. He lives in Queens.
Early July -- Nafis contacts an FBI informant and tries to recruit the informant into a jihadist cell to carry out a terror attack on U.S. soil.
July 11 -- The co-conspirator tells the FBI informant that Nafis had previously said he wanted to attack and kill a high-ranking government official.
July 12 -- Nafis tells the co-conspirator and FBI informant Nafis had contacts with al-Qaida members overseas who could help them plan and attack the official.
July 19 -- An undercover FBI agent posing an al-Qaida member talks to Nafis on the telephone and arranges a meeting in Central Park.
July 24 -- The men meet there and Nafis tells the officer he wishes to launch a terrorist attack against the United States and that he was collaborating with two others. During that meeting, Nafis proposes to attack more than a person.
Aug. 5 -- Nafis tells an undercover agent he is considering the New York Stock Exchange as a target.
Aug. 11 -- Nafis meets with the agent in a Queens hotel room and Nafis confirms he wants to target Manhattan's financial district, specifically the New York Stock Exchange. Nafis tells the agent he wants to use explosives as part of a suicide attack. The agent says he would meet with al-Qaida leadership and advise them about Nafis' plan.
Aug. 23 -- Nafis meets with the agent, who asks Nafis what he needs for the attack. Nafis says he needs a "big car with lots of fruits and vegetables in there, which can blow up the whole New York Stock Exchange building."
Sept. 15 -- Nafis meets with the agent in a Queens hotel and Nafis says he wants to launch an attack on the financial district involving multiple cars with other people participating, and that he would to kill himself during the attack, but indicated he wants to return to Bangladesh to see his family one last time.
Sept. 20 -- Nafis meets with the agent to identify storage spaces where Nafis could hide the components for an explosive. Before that meeting, Nafis identifies the Federal Reserve Bank as a possible target.
Sept. 27 -- The agent meets with Nafis and tells him the al-Qaida leaders authorized him to use a remote-controlled explosive device, rather than launching a suicide attack.
Oct. 4 -- Nafis and the agent travel to a warehouse Nafis finds suitable for storing the explosives. They buy bomb-making materials.
Oct. 12 -- Nafis and the agent transport what Nafis believes to be explosive material to the warehouse.
Oct. 13 -- Nafis and the agent return to the financial district so Nafis could scout the site for the attack.
Oct. 15 -- The agent calls Nafis and tells him they could conduct the attack in two days.
Oct. 17, early morning -- Nafis and the agent drive to the warehouse in a van. Nafis says he has a "Plan B" involving changing the attack into a suicide bombing.
Nafis assembles a 1,000-pound bomb by pouring the bags of an inert component into trash bins and places them in the vehicle.
They drive to the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
They park the van and walk to a hotel, where Nafis has the agent record a video statement on the attack.
Nafis repeatedly tries to detonate the bomb via cellphone.
The agent witnesses the attempts, agents enter the van and confirm the detonator had been activated and Nafis is arrested.
Compiled by Mackenzie Issler
SOURCE: Federal complaint; dates approximate