Bridgeport, CT, United States (4E) – FBI agents arrested Monday a Moroccan national allegedly plotting to bomb a school and a federal building in Connecticut using a drone.
El Mehdi Semlali Fahti, 27, was arrested in his apartment in High Ridge Drive, Bridgeport but is yet to be charged as evidence against him have to be turned over to a federal grand jury first to obtain an indictment. U.S. Magistrate Judge William I. Garfinkel granted Assistant U.S. Attorney Krishna Patel’s request to detain Fahti at the Wyatt Detention Center in Rhode Island. The judge denied him bail because of the danger he poses and that he might flee.
FBI agents found wires and tools but no explosives in his apartment, where he has been staying with an acquaintance since January.
The FBI learned Fahti’s plot when he told it to an undercover agent. In the recorded conversation with the agent, Fahti said he studied the bomb attack operation for months and will obtain materials, including a radio-controlled model airplane, to make the drone. He also mentioned making a chemical bomb as a high school student in Morocco.
Fahti did not identify the targets of his planned attack.
Fahti has been in the U.S. since 2007, when his student visa expired and he flunked out of Virginia International University. To avoid deportation, he pretended to be an asylum seeker and made false statements to an Immigration judge. After claiming to be a victim of arrests, imprisonment and beatings by Moroccan police, an Immigration Court approved his application for political asylum allowing him to stay in the U.S. and travel around for seven years.