|Washington, DC Metro Station: Gerald Martineau/Washington Post|
Federal law enforcement authorities have arrested a Northern Virginia man in connection with an alleged plot to carry out a series of terrorist bombings at stations in the Washington Metro system, according to a federal indictment.
Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Ashburn, conspired with people he believed to be al-Qaeda operatives to attack the stations at Arlington National Cemetery, Pentagon City, Crystal City and Court House, the indictment said.
An administration official said Ahmed, a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Pakistan, first drew the attention of law enforcement officials by seeking to obtain unspecified materials. He later became the target of an undercover sting operation, officials said.
According to the indictment, in April Ahmed began to meet in hotels in Northern Virginia with people he believed to be affiliated with a terrorist organization. He agreed to conduct video surveillance of the stations, suggested the best time to attack and the best place to place explosives to maximize casualties, the indictment alleges.
"Today's case underscores the need for continued vigilance against terrorist threats and demonstrates how the government can neutralize such threats before they come to fruition," said David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security. "Farooque Ahmed is accused of plotting with individuals he believed were terrorists to bomb our transit system, but a coordinated law enforcement and intelligence effort was able to thwart his plans."
(Click here to read the full story on the Washington Post website.)