By EVAN PEREZ
WASHINGTON—U.S. authorities arrested and charged a man who allegedly plotted attacks on the Pentagon with a remote-controlled model airplane packed with explosives, and on the U.S. Capitol with grenades and rifles.
Federal prosecutors said Mr. Ferdaus, of Ashland, Mass., is a graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in physics. He provided to people he believed were al Qaeda recruiters mobile phones modified to act as detonators for improvised explosives, intending them to be used against U.S. soldiers overseas, federal authorities alleged in a criminal complaint affidavit.
Mr. Ferdaus didn’t know his alleged co-plotters were undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation agents who were conducting a sting operation, according to Justice Department prosecutors. The agents provided fake explosives and the plot was never close to fruition, authorities said.
Carmen Ortiz, U.S. attorney in Massachusetts, said Mr. Ferdaus “had long planned to commit violent acts against our country.”
A public defender assigned to Mr. Ferdaus didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.