Massachusetts resident Rezwan Ferdaus entered his guilty plea in the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts [official website] on Friday to charges of plotting to attack the Pentagon [official website] using small remote-controlled airplanes carrying explosives. Ferdaus was charged [FBI report] with six counts last year for his plot against the Pentagon and attempts to provide support to al Qaeda for attacks on US officials and soldiers overseas, but four were dropped as part of a plea agreement [JURIST report] with prosecutors. Prosecutors said he told his plan to FBI agents posing as al Qaeda members. Although he had no previous ties to the terrorist organization, prosecutors said he sought out al Qaeda members to help him carry out his attack. Ferdaus agreed to 17 years in prison and 10 years of supervised release.
Authorities from the US and other countries have been diligent in hunting down al Qaeda members internationally. Earlier this month, France arrested [JURIST report] a man in Toulon suspected of providing supplies and financial assistance to the terrorist group. Last month a New York citizen pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to providing material support to al Qaeda from the US. In February, Egyptian officials also arrested [JURIST report] a member of the group for whom the US was offering a $5 million reward at an airport in Cairo.