NEW YORK - American investigators are probing the connections of a Bangladeshi man who allegedly tried to detonate what he thought was a 1,000-pound bomb outside the Federal Reserve building in Manhattan Wednesday, according to media reports on Thursday.Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, 21, appeared in federal court in Brooklyn to face charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to Al-Qaeda, CBS reported. Wearing a brown T-shirt and black jeans, he was ordered held without bail and did not enter a plea. His defence attorney had no comment outside court.The report said that Nafis had made statements that he was in contact with a Qaeda network before he arrived in the United States in January. But there was no claim that Nafis actually received training or direction from the terrorist group.In conversations recorded by the FBI, Nafis allegedly said he admired the radical US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who inspired the ‘underwear bomber’, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and the accused Fort Hood shooter, Maj Nidal Hasan. Even after Awlaki was killed in a drone strike, his magazine, called Inspire, supplied Nafis with the outlines for his plot.“There are still individuals and groups, indeed, around the world who have bought into the Al-Qaeda narrative, who have some kind of vague blueprint in their mind, which involves New York and the United States and explosives and to wish to do harm,” Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University School of Law, told CBS News.A US official claimed that Nafis considered targeting President Barack Obama before settling on the Federal Reserve building just blocks from the World Trade Center site, but those considerations never got beyond the discussion stage, the report said.Authorities are investigating whether Nafis was acting alone. Miller, a former assistant director of the FBI, reports that the bureau’s agents are talking to at least five of Nafis’ friends and associates.One man who voiced his support during the plotting of Nafis’ alleged plans to engage in terrorism was picked up in San Diego late Wednesday afternoon, it said. That man faces deportation hearings.Before trying to carry out the alleged terror plot, Nafis went to a warehouse to help assemble a 1,000-pound bomb using inert material, according to a criminal complaint. He also asked an undercover agent to videotape him saying, “We will not stop until we attain victory or martyrdom,” the complaint said.In July, he contacted a confidential informant, telling him he wanted to form a terror cell and that he admired “Sheikh ‘O’” - a reference to Osama bin Laden, the criminal complaint said.The defendant had sought assurances from an undercover agent posing as an Al-Qaeda contact that the terrorist group would support the operation.“The thing that I want to do, ask you about, is that, the thing I’m doing, it’s under Al-Qaeda?” he was recorded saying during a meeting in bugged hotel room in Queens, according to the complaint.In a September meeting in the same hotel room, Nafis “confirmed he was ready to kill himself during the course of the attack, but indicated he wanted to return to Bangladesh to see his family one last time to set his affairs in order,” the complaint said.In Bangladesh, Nafis’ family was stunned at the allegations, saying he was incapable of such actions and he went to America to study business administration, not to carry out any attack. They denied he could have been involved.“My son couldn’t have done it,” his father, Quazi Ahsanullah, said weeping.On Wednesday, agents grabbed the 21-year-old Nafis - armed with a cellphone he believed was rigged as a detonator - after he made several attempts to blow up the bomb inside a vehicle parked next to the Federal Reserve, the complaint said.Authorities emphasised that the plot never posed an actual risk. However, they claimed the case demonstrated the value of using sting operations to neutralise young extremists eager to harm Americans.