Prosecutor: Accused bomber seeks plea deal
Accused Federal Reserve bomb plotter Quazi Mohammed Nafis is engaged in plea negotiations with the government, a prosecutor said at the alleged al-Qaida aspirant's arraignment in Brooklyn federal court Tuesday.
Nafis, 21, a student from Bangladesh who was charged in October with trying to remotely detonate a truck bomb in lower Manhattan after being caught up in an FBI sting, pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges.
Prosecutor James Loonam and defense attorney Heidi Cesare told U.S. District Judge Carol Amon that they needed until Jan. 9 to disclose and review government evidence, and complete plea discussions.
"The defense and the government have engaged in discussions to see if we can resolve this prior to trial," Loonam said.
Nafis, dressed in a prison-issued khaki shirt and pants, said nothing during the hearing. Representatives of the Bangladeshi consulate were present, but declined to comment.
The government has charged that after coming to the United States on a student visa, Nafis began searching for partners on the Internet to join him in a terrorist cell. Acting on a tip, an FBI undercover began working with Nafis, determined that he had no actual ties to al-Qaida, and helped him identify the New York Fed as a target.
The truck bomb he tried to detonate in October had been secretly disabled by law enforcement.
Nafis was indicted Nov. 15 on charges of attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida. He faces life in prison if convicted.