NEW YORK – U.S. authorities said a man arrested in San Diego on child pornography charges was linked to a plot by a Bangladeshi man to set off a bomb at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the New York Times reported.
The newspaper said Howard Willie Carter II was suspected of being an accomplice to Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, a Bangladeshi who was arrested in New York on Wednesday in a sting operation.
Nafis faces charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al Qaeda, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement. If convicted, he faces life in prison.
The FBI said the public was not in danger because the 1,000-pound (450-kg) bomb provided to Nafis for his planned attack on Wednesday was not in working condition and the suspect was closely monitored by an undercover agent.
The Times said Carter was arrested after the FBI found 1,000 images of child pornography on a computer that was traced back to him in August. The computer also had emails addressed to “Yaqeen,” a name authorities said Carter used in communicating with Nafis.
In conversations with undercover officials, Nafis mentioned Yaqeen as a conspirator and said he also had suggested a military base near Baltimore to attack, the Times said.
Nafis allegedly considered several targets for his attack, including the New York Stock Exchange and a high-ranking government official, who a U.S. official identified as President Barack Obama.