A 22-year-old Bangladeshi man who begged for leniency after pleading guilty to terrorism charges for trying to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank in New York was sentenced today to 30 years in prison. "I'm ashamed. I'm lost. I tried to do a terrible thing. I alone am responsible for what I've done. Please forgive me," Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis said before his sentence was handed down in Manhattan federal court. He apologized to the judge, the United States, New York City, and his parents.
Nafis became radicalized at his university in Bangladesh and came to the US with aspirations of jihad, according to lawyers on both sides. He said personal problems (including a cheating girlfriend) also were a factor. The defendant had said in a five-page typed letter to Judge Carol Bagley Amon that he no longer believed in radical Islam. "My actions are inexcusable and cowardly," he wrote. "I know that I will never pursue such behavior again that is not only un-Islamic, but also destroyed my family and my life." Authorities say Nafis adopted increasingly more radical views in the US and began using social media to seek support for a terror attack. One of his contacts turned out to be a government informant who notified authorities. They set up a sting operation with phony explosives last year. (Read more Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis stories.)