From AP, :
TRENTON, N.J. — A senior al-Qaida operative lived in New Jersey and posed as a student while conducting surveillance of financial institutions as possible targets for a terror attack, according to a published report.
The operative, identified by U.S. officials in Washington as Dhiren Barot, 32, entered the United States on a student visa, The Record of Bergen County reported in Thursday’s editions.
Joseph Billy Jr., the FBI’s top agent in New Jersey, told the newspaper that the operative attended several institutions of higher learning in New Jersey while carrying out the reconnaissance operation. Billy did not identify the schools. Barot is known to have used several aliases.
Authorities believe Barot was dispatched by Osama bin Laden himself to conduct the scouting mission in New Jersey, the newspaper reported. Barot was arrested by British authorities in August and remains in custody there.
The British say Barot had reconnaissance reports for the Prudential building in Newark, the New York Stock Exchange and the Citigroup building in Manhattan and the International Monetary Fund headquarters in Washington.