Bangladesh, U.S. to discuss Federal Reserve bomb suspect
Bangladesh diplomats to meet with State Department officials in Washington on Saturday
Bangladesh said Friday its diplomats will meet American officials to learn more about a Bangladeshi man charged with trying to blow up the U.S. Federal Reserve building in New York.
Foreign Minister Dipu Moni said Bangladesh diplomats will meet State Department officials Saturday in Washington.
"This is a sensitive issue," Moni told reporters in Dhaka. "We don't want to speculate on it."
Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis was arrested Wednesday in an FBI sting operation. A criminal complaint says he made several attempts to blow up a fake 454-kilogram car bomb near the Federal Reserve.
The arrest of the 21-year-old has stunned his family in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. They say he could not have committed the alleged crimes.
Nafis' father Quazi Ahsanullah called on the government to help bring his son back home.
The arrest made headlines in Dhaka newspapers and caused Bangladeshis to worry it would hurt their country's image as a moderate Muslim nation.
"I don't know if this kid is actually involved in the plot, but the incident does not help our image abroad," said Harun Rashid, a resident in Dhaka.
Prosecutors said Nafis travelled to the U.S. on a student visa in January to carry out an attack.
A few hours before he was arrested Nafis calmly spoke via Skype with his parents back home and updated them on his studies, his family told The Associated Press.
"My son couldn't have done it," his father said weeping.
Ahsanullah said his son convinced him to send him to America to study, arguing a U.S. degree would give him a better chance at success in Bangladesh.
"I spent all my savings to send him to America," he said.
Nafis attended Southeast Missouri State University during the spring semester, which ended in May, in pursuit of a bachelor's degree in cybersecurity, university spokeswoman Ann Hayes said. He requested a transfer of his records in July and the university complied, Hayes said, though she couldn't say where the records were sent.
Bangladesh is a Muslim-majority nation of 160 million people. Its citizens do not have the same record of involvement in global terrorism as Pakistan, with which it once formed a nation before winning its independence in 1971. At least one Bangladeshi was among those detained by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba.