U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy S. Hillman ruled Monday that Ferdaus's alleged plan was a lot more than a "fantasy" fueled by his mental illness, as his lawyer had argued.
"The reality is that the evidence is clear that Ferdaus had carefully researched and wanted to carry out his plan and that he thought he was in fact dealing with al Queda(sic) and would if he could make contact with members of al Queda(sic) or other like minded individuals," Hillman ruled. "Simply put, what makes Ferdaus a significant danger to the community is not whether his plan would have worked or whether he had the means to implement it, but that it was his strong desire to see his plan carried out.
While Hillman said in an order that the "character and credibility" of the FBI's cooperating witness "is questionable, at best, the fact remains that Ferdaus had multiple recorded meetings and communications with the CW during which he advocated blowing up federal buildings and killing persons inside those buildings and persons fleeing such buildings."
The evidence against Ferdaus -- included multiple meetings with undercover FBI agents in which he detailed his attack plan, mobile phones modified into detonators and a blueprint of his plan on a thumb drive -- is "strong," Hillman ruled.
"The evidence presented by the Government establishes that Ferdaus is intent on taking action against the United States and in the process, desires to kill Americans, whether military or civilian, whom he considers 'kafirs,' that is, 'non-believers'. The evidence also establishes that Ferdaus is an intelligent and troubled young man; he hold a degree in physics from Northeastern and has considerable knowledge of electronics."