D.C. Metro bomb plot: Farooque Ahmed arrested for plotting attacks on Metro stations

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The alleged terror plot included a planned attack on the Pentagon City Metro station. (Photo: Jay Westcott)

The FBI has arrested an Ashburn man accused of plotting to bomb several Metrorail stations.

34-year-old Farooque Ahmed was taken into custody after being indicted on three terrorism-related counts, including two counts of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group, and collecting information to assist in planning a terrorist attack on a transit agency. Ahmed, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan, appeared in federal court this afternoon in Alexandria.

The Washington Post reported that "Ahmed shook his head and let out a deep sigh as the charges against him were read. 'Yes, yes,' Ahmed said, as the judge told him the charges were serious." The Post also reported that Judge John F. Anderson ordered him held until a detention hearing Friday.

According to the indictment, Ahmed spent months plotting a coordinated attack on three Metrorail stations in Arlington: Pentagon City, Courthouse, and Arlington Cemetery, and later added Crystal City to the list.

Ahmed allegedly told a purported al Qaeda operative the best places to plant bombs to "kill the most people in simultaneous attacks planned for 2011." He suggested it would be best to attack the transit system between 4 and 5 p.m. and that operatives use bombs concealed in rolling suitcases, the indictment states.

Ahmed said he "wanted to kill as many military personnel as possible," according to the indictment, which is in full below.

Ahmed Indictment 1027

Some quick analysis of the indictment included this from Politico's Under the Radar blog:

It is not clear from the court filing how or why Ahmed came to the attention of law enforcement or why they thought he might be interested in undertaking a terrorist attack. The indictment does not state that Ahmed initiated the Metro bombing plot and there is no indication who did. However, the indictment alleges that Ahmed was a willing if not eager participant and that he carried out videotaped surveillance of the stations to help decide when and where to plant bombs.

The Post, citing unnamed intelligence and security sources, said that unlike other U.S. citizens implicated in recent terrorism plots, Ahmed didn't seem to have al-Qaeda training.

The Post also identified this as Ahmed's Linkedin profile, which indicates Ahmed works at Ericcson telecommunications company and has a degree in computer science from the City University of New York.

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