John Miller on NYC bomb attempt: Would have been "massive"


(CBS News) On Wednesday, the Justice department announced that an FBI sting operation disrupted a plot to blow up targets in lower Manhattan. The suspect, 21-year-old Bangladeshi man, Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, attempted to place what he believed to be a 1,000-pound truck bomb in front of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City. But, from nearly from the start of his planning for the attack, his co-conspirators were working for the FBI. Nafis is accused of trying to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material to support al Qaeda.

National security and terrorism experts say the plot by Nafis and similar attempts are inspired by the general "al Qaeda narrative" and CBS News senior correspondent John Miller said the question of whether he was acting alone remains unanswered. The FBI is questioning at least five friends and associates and one man who expressed sympathy with the plot in its planning stages has been picked up in San Diego and faces deportation, Miller reports. He added, "his own statements are that he was already in contact with an al Qaeda network before he arrived in the United States." Nafis was reportedly inspired by American-born radical cleric Anwar al Awlaki's jihadist magazine, "Inspire." Awlaki was killed in a drone strike in Yemen last year.

Suspect arrested for Fed Reserve Bank attack plot

Thursday, Miller touched on the possible repercussions if the FBI had not thwarted Nafis' bomb attempt.

"This is a 1,000-pound bomb," Miller explained. "Compare that to the 1993 World Trade Center bomb. It's the same size, that was in a the sub-basement, it tore through three levels of concrete garages up to the level of the lobby. So this would have been a massive device on the street."

He added that due to the FBI's involvement, the bomb would have never worked. "It was designed fuel oil and fertilizer but it was also designed in a way so that it wouldn't function."