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(NECN: Eileen Curran, Ashland, MA) - A car belonging to the mother of terror suspect Rezwan Ferdaus peels into the driveway of the family’s Ashland, Massachusetts home.
A police car keeps reporters and the public at bay as the family deals with the fact their son is charged with being a terrorist.
“I think I feel terrible for the parents,” said one neighbor. “I think most of us would.”
Federal prosecutors have indicted 26-year-old Rezwan Ferdaus on six counts of plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon and American troops overseas.
In a nearly year-long sting operation federal agents posing as al Qaeda members say they observed Ferdaus developing his plan and getting the materials needed, including remote control planes he could load with explosives to fly into the buildings.
They arrested him Wednesday at a Framingham storage unit, they say after he took a delivery from them of explosives, grenades and AK47 assault rifles.
In a 23-page indictment, prosecutors allege Ferdaus planned to convert cell phones into improvised explosive devices.
"...he intended that they be used to kill members of the U.S. military located overseas."
When undercover agents falsely told Ferdaus the phones had killed U.S. soldiers, the suspect is quoted as saying:
"That was exactly what I wanted."
“I think I was just as surprised as everyone else,” said neighbor John Fetherston and chair of the town board of selectman.
“Sleepy little Ashland, town of Ashland and you don’t know that this type of thing is going on everybody is a little bit concerned about it.”
Ferdaus is a Northeastern graduate with a degree in physics. He was a founding member of a local band called Goosepimp Orchestra. The band’s website says Ferdaus left to become a devout spiritual practitioner.
Court documents show in 2003 he was involved in vandalism at the town’s high school where a U.S. flag was burned.
In 2005, he struck a plea bargain on a marijuana charge.
A man neighbors identify as Ferdaus’ brother got a police escort to his car, while people in the neighborhood wonder what if anything the family knew.
“Who knows if they had a clue, if they did have a clue, shame on them,” said one neighbor, “but if they didn’t how sad.”