Feds: Florida man wanted to attack NYC landmark but lacked funds, bombs
Raees Alam Qazi, 20, left and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 30, were arrested in November for allegedly plotting a terror attack.
December 18th, 2012
09:04 PM ET

Feds: Florida man wanted to attack NYC landmark but lacked funds, bombs

By Carol Cratty

A Florida man arrested on terror charges allegedly wanted to attack a landmark in New York City but didn't have the money or bomb-making components to carry out his plot, according to arguments made by federal prosecutors during a detention hearing Tuesday.

According to a federal law enforcement official familiar with the case, the government alleges Raees Alam Qazi, 20, wanted to avenge deaths in Afghanistan and those killed by U.S. drone attacks.

Prosecutors said Qazi, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, considered such potential targets as Wall Street, Times Square and theaters.

After the man's arrest in late November, investigators searched his home in Oakland Park, Florida, and found Christmas tree lights, wires, batteries, hydrogen peroxide, a disassembled remote-control car and other materials, according to the law enforcement official.

At a detention hearing Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, prosecutors said that after Qazi was arrested he told law enforcement officers he had tried to contact al Qaeda. The prosecutors said he was motivated by the lectures of the late radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed by a drone strike in Yemen, and by Inspire magazine. The online magazine is produced by the terror group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and it has carried articles on how to make bombs.

The federal law enforcement source said there is no evidence Qazi ever actually contacted members of al Qaeda or related terror groups.

Prosecutors said Qazi traveled to New York on November 24 and spent nights sleeping at a mosque, a restaurant and on public transportation - apparently reflecting his financial situation - while he allegedly considered what site to attack.

On November 29, Qazi returned to Florida, where he and his brother and accused co-conspirator Sheheryar Alam Qazi, 30, were arrested. Qazi allegedly said he returned to Florida to continue to prepare and gather resources for an attack, according to prosecutors.

The two brothers were indicted on charges of plotting to use an explosive device and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists.

Both have pleaded not guilty but face a maximum of life in prison if convicted.

According to the law enforcement official, Raees Qazi was the more active of the two in the plot and of greatest concern to investigators. At the detention hearing, prosecutors revealed that in their search of Raees Qazi's home they discovered an apparent 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)."

A federal judge ordered Raees Qazi detained pending trial. His brother remains in jail as well. No trial date has been set.

Raees Qazi's attorney did not immediately respond to CNN's request for comment.

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soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Christen al-Iman

    It would appear from what has been made available to the public, that these two men weren't much of a threat. Anyone can make a homemade explosive device such as this. But that kind of device would do very little in the way of structural damage, number of dead and wounded, and in creating panic. Just deport the two wannabes and don't allow them to return to the US. It would save hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars.

    December 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  2. George Patton

    Here we go again with more of that right-wing, lynch mob mentality sweeping our country. No wonder Adam Lanza thought that it was alright to do what he did last Friday at that school in Newtown, CT.!!! This hatred has got to go. Moreover, like those aforementioned men in this article, I too am quite angry about the obscene butchery caused by those cursed drones overseas!

    December 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  3. Atticus Finch

    I have "Christmas tree lights, wires, batteries, hydrogen peroxide, a disassembled remote-control car" in my house. Hope there's more evidence than that

    December 19, 2012 at 11:52 am | Reply
  4. Hahahahahahahahah

    Towel Heads IS what Towel Heads DO!!!!!!!! Hahahahahahahahaha

    December 19, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
  5. jonny

    SOUNDS LIKE GOOD OLD AMERICAN NAMES, Stop immigration from muslim countrys let them live in the mess they have made of there own country, all they do here is import hate, violence, and death.

    December 19, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
  6. Mike

    It does not matter how much donation is handed out to Muslims, they will still try to kill everyone who is not Muslim. Parasites!

    December 18, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Reply
  7. George Patton

    PAKISTANIS have a old habit in their genes of p is sing in the same pot where they drink their water from. No matter in which part of world they are. Always snakes waiting to bite back their owner.

    December 18, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • ShahNawaz Ansari (NaaPakiAssTan)

      Humble request to all my Pakistani brothers.Ladies and Gentlemen, Khawatino Hazrat , it is time for all of us to realize that the terrorism, violence and hatred we supported since creation of Pakistan has acted as poison against us and is running in our blood at the moment.

      It is the result of these doings that we all are living in hunger, poverty and facing humiliation since long time. Karma comes back and we are paying for our doings.

      It is time for all of us to understand and recognize that we are stuck in a false religion and the hatred that we learn starting from our childhood has given us nothing, except destruction. It is time to demolish all those hate teaching madrasas.

      Let's all return back to our roots and the religion of our ancestors, Buddhism, may be it will be able to show and give us peace. Or even Christianity.

      December 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  8. vbkutesxvjt

    THAT SOUNDS LIKE A BUNCH OF BS

    December 18, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Reply

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