FBI agents who ensnared a suburban father in a terrorism sting involving a fictional subway bomb plot have turned their attention to figuring out what may have made the Pakistani-born U.S. citizen turn against his adopted country.

FBI agents who ensnared a suburban father in a terrorism sting involving a fictional subway bomb plot have turned their attention to figuring out what may have made the Pakistani-born U.S. citizen turn against his adopted country.


Law enforcement officials said they believe Farooque Ahmed was radicalized in the United States, becoming the latest in a string of U.S. citizens radicalized here, and charged with plotting terrorist attacks.


FBI agents were tipped off to Ahmed in January, when a source inside the Muslim community said the 34-year-old telecommunications worker was asking around, trying to join a terrorist group and kill Americans overseas, the officials said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation continues.


Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI has tried hard to build relationships inside the Muslim community. The White House has made combating homegrown terrorism part of its national security strategy.


"We need to build this trust factor within the community," acting FBI Assistant Director John Perren said Friday. "The fight against terrorism is a multidimensional approach and we want to have the community help us."


At a hearing Friday that lasted less than two minutes, Ahmed's lawyer said he would not contest pretrial detention. Ahmed, who wore a green prison jumpsuit and a full beard, said nothing.


Born in Lahore, Pakistan, Ahmed arrived in the U.S. in 1993 and became a citizen in 2002, officials said. He worshipped at the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, which is known for its mainstream Islamic congregation. Ahmed has not been back to Pakistan since 2005 and has no ties to terrorist groups there, officials said.


Perren said Ahmed is part of a growing trend of would-be terrorists who don't receive formal training abroad and operate without direction from al-Qaida leaders overseas. On Thursday, the FBI and Homeland Security Department issued a law enforcement bulletin saying they remained concerned about homegrown terrorists.