A South Florida man was held without bond Tuesday after federal prosecutors said he plotted to set off a bomb in New York City to avenge deaths in Afghanistan.
Prosecutor Karen Gilbert said during a detention hearing Tuesday that 20-year-old Raees Alam Qazi traveled to New York on Nov. 23 to obtain explosives and conduct an attack on an unspecified target. But Qazi was not successful and returned to Florida on Nov. 27.
Gilbert says recordings indicate Qazi was a lone wolf with allegiance to al-Qaida. Qazi told the FBI after his arrest he changed his mind about the attack.
Qazi and older brother Sheheryar Alam Qazi are accused of providing material support to terrorists and attempting to obtain a weapon of mass destruction. Both have pleaded not guilty.
A federal judge ruled that Raees Alam Qazi was a flight risk.
In regards to whether he had picked a target, FBI agent Kristine Holden testified that: "Mr. Qazi said he was riding around on his bike in New York City, but he never picked one."
"He would've completed the attack, but he ran out of rescources," Holden said.
Batteries, industrial strength hydrogen peroxide, a remote control device and Christmas lights were found in his home, authorities said. Prosecutors said al-Qaida has a training manual that explains how to use the lights to build an explosive.
"There were recorded conversations where Mr. Qazi asked about Times Square, how large the crowds were, Wall Street and theaters as well," Holden said.
Qazi's attorney Daniel Ecarius wanted him released on house arrest and indicated that he was a U.S. citizen, he had never been arrested before and that his entire family lives in the area.
The brothers are naturalized U.S. citizens originally from Pakistan.