Would-Be Remote Control Plane Bomber Pleads Guilty

Earlier today, the feds announced that Rezwan Ferdaus of Ashland will plead guilty to two terrorism-related charges for a plot that would have sent bomb-strapped remote control airplanes on collision courses with the Capitol and Pentagon.

Ferdaus was arrested last September after accepting delivery of what he thought were explosives from whom he thought were his accomplices. In reality, the package contained fake bombs and the delivery folks were real federal agents, and so ended Ferdaus’s wannabe terrorist career.

The plan itself sounds a bit like military spy fiction dreamed up by a 10-year-old — really? remote-controlled airplanes? — but according to the FBI agents investigating the threat, Ferdaus seemed pretty keen on killing Americans here and, in a separate arm of his plot, abroad via the use of cell phone detonators he was building and (so he thought) shipping off for use in the Iraq theater of war.

At the time of his arrest, Ferdaus was living with his parents after completing a degree in physics from Northeastern University. There’s little in the way of explanation as to what radicalized Ferdaus, and since there won’t be a trial, we may never know. Ferdaus’s lawyer and the federal prosecution agreed to request a 17-year sentence.