A Bangladeshi man with alleged ties to Al-Qaeda has appeared in court in New York on charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Quazi Nafis's arrest followed a sting operation by the FBI that included the supply of fake explosives.
Police had arrested Nafis as he tried to detonate the would-be explosives packed in a van outside the Federal Reserve Building in New York.
New York police commissioner Ray Kelly said the 21-year-old Nafis was determined to carry out a terrorist act.
"This individual came here for the purpose of doing a terrorist act," Kelly said. "He came in January of this year he gets a student visa under the pretext of being a student at a college in Missouri and he comes here with, again the vowed purpose of committing some sort of Jihad here in the United States."
Kelly said the bank building was not the first target picked by Nafis.
"He goes to the New York Stock Exchange, he sees that there is significant security there, and he shifts his target to the Federal Reserve Bank," Kelly said.
Officials say the plot never posed an actual risk.
The fake explosives had been provided by the FBI, which had been monitoring Nafis since shortly after he arrived in the United States in January on a student visa.
Prosecutors say Nafis had tried to recruit followers, one of whom turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.
Prosecutors say Nafis had ties to Al-Qaeda overseas, and had wanted to set up a terrorist cell in the United States.
Nafis had recorded a video statement with him saying, "We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom."
A federal court in Brooklyn has ordered him to be held without bail. Nafis did not enter a plea.
His defense attorney had no comment outside court.
Based on AP, dpa and Reuters reporting