New York: A Bangladeshi man with alleged al-Qaeda links was arrested in New York on charges of trying to use a 1,000 pound bomb to destroy the city's Federal Reserve building.

Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, was arrested in Manhattan after he tried to detonate what he thought was a live bomb, but was actually a dummy provided in a sting operation, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn said.

Nafis traveled to the United States in January 2012 "for the purpose of conducting a terrorist attack on US soil," the federal prosecutor's office in Brooklyn said in a statement.

"Nafis, who reported having overseas connections to al-Qaeda, attempted to recruit individuals to form a terrorist cell inside the United States," the prosecutor's office said.

"Nafis also actively sought out al-Qaeda contacts within the United States to assist him in carrying out an attack. Unknown to Nafis, one of the individuals he attempted to recruit was actually a source for the FBI."

Nafis allegedly wrote a statement claiming responsibility for his planned attack in which he said he wanted to "destroy America" and referred to slain al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden as "beloved."

He has been charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to support al-Qaeda.

FBI acting assistant director Mary Galligan said the attempt to "destroy a landmark building and kill or maim untold numbers of innocent bystanders is about as serious as the imagination can conjure."

But the suspect never posed an immediate risk because two people he thought were his accomplices "were actually an FBI source and an FBI undercover agent."

The Federal Reserve building, part of the network that makes up the US central bank, houses one of the world's largest gold deposits, consisting mostly of bullion belonging to other countries.

The criminal complaint alleges that Nafis had proposed several other possible targets, including the nearby New York Stock Exchange and an unnamed high-ranking US official.

(Agencies)

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