Man Who Plotted RC Airplane Bomb Attacks Pleads Guilty
Rezwan Ferdaus, who is also known as Dave Winfield or Jon Ramos, was arrested in September 2011 in connection with his alleged plans to destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol by using remote-controlled model planes filled with C-4 plastic explosives. He believed he had been in contact with al-Qaeda members but was actually talking with undercover FBI officers.
In return for a sentencing recommendation of 17 years in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release, Ferdaus has now agreed to plead guilty to attempting to damage and destroy a federal building by means of an explosive and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Prosecutors have also agreed to dismiss the remaining charges against him.
“The plea agreement filed today is subject to review and acceptance by the district court,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that a date for the change-of-plea hearing has not yet been set. Ferdaus had previously pled not guilty to the charges.
Ferdaus allegedly delivered detailed attack plans with step-by-step instructions to undercover officers as to how he planned to attack the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol. The plans included using three remote-controlled aircraft and six people, including himself whom he described as a leader.
“I just can’t stop. There is no other choice for me,” Ferdaus allegedly said in recorded conversations with a cooperating witness and undercover officers. Ferdaus allegedly said he envisioned causing a large “psychological” impact by killing Americans, including women and children, whom he referred to as “enemies of Allah.”
Prior to the plea deal, Ferdaus faced up to 55 years in prison.