MANHATTAN - The FBI says it has stopped a 21-year-old religious extremist who was planning to blow up the Federal Reserve in Manhattan.

According to officials, Quazi Nafis' mission was to kill as many innocent bystanders as he could.

The 21-year-old was taken into custody yesterday when authorities say he tried to use a cell phone to detonate what he thought was a 1,000 bound bomb that was hidden inside a van.

The Bangaldeshi man allegedly told authorities working undercover, he wanted to destroy America by going after the nation's financial institutions. His mission would start with the landmark bank, The Federal Reserve.

Officials say Nafis' alleged plot began back in January, when he moved to Queens from his native Bangledesh on a student visa and looked for others to help him. However, one recruit turned out to be an undercover FBI agent.

According to officials, the agent then delivered fake explosives to him during the sting operation.

Sources tell News 12 Long Island the phony bombs came from a warehouse somewhere on Long Island.

Officials say the public was never in any danger because authorities were tracking Nafis the entire time.

Nafis faces charges of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida.