A Kansas City man supported a “nascent” plot to bomb the New York Stock Exchange, an FBI official said Tuesday at a Washington D.C. hearing.
Deputy FBI Director Sean Joyce said federal investigators used secret surveillance warrants to identify Khalid Ouazzani, who is awaiting sentencing in Missouri on terrorism-related charges, as part of the scheme.
“Ouazzani had been providing information and support to this plot,” Joyce told the House intelligence committee. “The FBI disrupted and arrested these individuals.”
Though the Kansas City man has been linked to a New York man whom prosecutors said had done surveillance of the stock exchange, Ouazzani’s lawyer said Tuesday that his client had no knowledge or role in the plot.
“Khalid Ouazzani had nothing to do with any plot to blow up the New York Stock Exchange,” said Robin Fowler, who declined further comment.
Security officials cited Ouazzani’s case at the hearing as an example of how U.S. intelligence-gathering efforts had prevented more than 50 terrorist attacks in more than 20 countries.
Ouazzani pleaded guilty in Kansas City in May 2010 to providing material support to a terrorist organization. He admitted sending more than $23,000 to al-Qaida and performing “other tasks” for the group.