Former classmate says he didn't think Nafis was a bad guy

Nafis gave Dow a copy of the Quran and asked him to read it and respect it. Dow said he wanted to learn about the religion, but didn't want to convert.
Nafis gave Dow a copy of the Quran and asked him to read it and respect it. Dow said he wanted to learn about the religion, but didn't want to convert.
sketch of Nafis in court Wednesday
sketch of Nafis in court Wednesday

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Quazi Nafis was a Southeast Missouri State University student during the Spring 2012 semester, according the university.

FBI agents arrested him Wednesday accused of plotting to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank. He is charged with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda.

Nafis is reportedly a 21-year-old Bangladeshi citizen who came to the U.S. on a student visa.

Jim Dow said he was in Physics class with Nafis at Southeast, and was shocked to see his picture on the news.

Dow would give Nafis a ride from class to the corner of Broadway and West End Boulevard where he would drop him off.

"I was really shocked to see this on TV I was watching the CBS and they had the drawing on there and it popped in my head that looks like kazi...and then they said he was a student at SEMO and I said oh my gosh that might have been kazi and then they showed the picture and it was," said Dow. "I really I'm amazed that he tried to do something violent like that I would have never suspected."

He said Nafis would talk to people in class, but seemed to have few friends and would say he was lonely and homesick.

Dow said he liked Nafis and didn't think he was a bad person.

"It's embarrassing to say but I really liked him," said Dow. "I thought he was a nice kid we talked a lot and he was very devout about his religion and he tried very hard I think he actually wanted to convert me and I kept trying to let him know I was interested in knowing about it but I wasn't interested in changing my religion."

Dow said the only thing he heard Nafis say negatively about the United States is that Nafis had no money. With his student visa, Nafis told Dow he wasn't able to get a job off campus, and couldn't find one on campus with the limited positions.

Dow said Nafis told him he didn't think Osama Bin Laden was involved in the 9/11 attacks because a true Muslim wouldn't do those things.

Dow never thought he was dangerous.

"I hate what he's done," Dow said. "I don't understand it I don't understand how anybody could justify that especially after things that he said to me I don't understand it," said Dow. "He's not an evil person but this is such an evil thing I can't I'm just stumped I don't understand how that person could do that thing."

Nafis gave Dow a copy of the Quran and asked him to read it and respect it. Dow said he wanted to learn about the religion, but didn't want to convert.

Dow said he was going to buy a used bicycle for Nafis to help him get around.

"Then he didn't comeback this semester and I really kind of wondered about not seeing him," said Dow.

Dow said he thought had gone home to Bangladesh.

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