Man arrested in FBI sting showed agents how to build bombs, feds say

FBI sting operation
FBI sting operation 01:46

New court documents have been released detailing how an FBI sting led to the arrest of a man originally from Iraq. He's accused of showing off his bomb-making skills to an informant who convinced him he was plotting an attack.

Federal investigators swooped in and arrested Ahmad Suhad Ahmad for showing them how to build and blow up a bomb. The sting operation lasted nearly two years.

According to court documents that were just unsealed, Ahmad first told an FBI criminal informant back in December 2016 that "he knew how to detonate a bomb by using a cellular phone." He allegedly said the "bombs were easy to make," and that he learned how to do it "during the war in Iraq."

Sources tell CBS News Ahmad is an Iraqi refugee who is now a U.S. citizen.

Prosecutors say Ahmad was asked by the informant "how to make a car bomb for a target in Mexico." Ahmad agreed and provided images of "explosive materials and instructions on his cell phone," later sending a text message "with a bomb recipe written in Arabic."

Undercover FBI agents say Ahmad later traveled with them to a condo in Las Vegas to build the device. He allegedly gave agents a list of bomb-making materials, which they supplied, though Ahmad also brought some of his own tools.

Over the next several hours, undercover agents say Ahmad built the bomb while explaining how to do it, even showing "how to connect the blasting caps and where to place the C-4."

CBS News spoke to Ahmad's attorney, who declined to talk about the case. There is nothing in the court documents that suggests he had any plans to carry out an attack of his own. He'll be in court for an arraignment on Friday.