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A Twitter account with the suspect’s name and photo had six followers and two messages and was linked to a Facebook page that had been taken down.

Mr. Nafis attended Southeast Missouri State University during the spring semester, which ran from January to May, university spokeswoman Ann Hayes told the Southeast Missourian newspaper. He was pursuing a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity.

Ms. Hayes said Mr. Nafis requested a transfer of his records in July and the university complied, though she couldn’t say where the records were transferred.

On Wednesday, federal officials were at the New York home where Mr. Nafis was staying, a red brick building in the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens. Owner Rafiqul Islam said Mr. Nafis was staying with his second-floor tenants, and he was told he was related to the family. The tenants didn’t answer their door and their apartment was dark.

Mr. Islam said Mr. Nafis had lived there only about a month or so.

“I didn’t notice anything; he spoke to me very quietly,” he said. “He said he was going to be studying here.”

Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said the case is one more reminder that New York remains a target.

“New York continues to be very much in the mind frame of terrorism. This individual came here with the express purpose of committing a terrorist attack; he was motivated by al Qaeda. We see this threat as being with us for a long time to come,” the commissioner said.

Commissioner Kelly said security is always a precaution and there are about a thousand officers in the counterterrorism division. He didn’t specify if any additional measures were being taken.

The bank, located at 33 Liberty St., is one of 12 branches around the country that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, make up the Federal Reserve System, which serves as the central bank of the United States. It sets interest rates.

The Federal Reserve is one of the most fortified buildings in the city, smack in the middle of a massive security effort headed by the New York Police Department where a network of thousands of private and police cameras watch for suspicious activity.

The department uses sophisticated programs that can search for suspicious activity, such as an object in one place for a long time, at the building modeled after London’s “ring of steel.” The analytic software also is designed to take video and catalog it according to movements, shapes and colors, so officers can set parameters to search the system for, say, a suspicious van.

The Fed is also home to the world’s largest accumulation of gold, according to the bank’s website. Dozens of governments and central banks store a portion of their gold reserves in high-security vaults deep beneath the building. In recent years, it held 216 million troy ounces of gold, or more than a fifth of all global monetary gold reserves, making it a bigger bullion depository than Fort Knox.

The federal case was the latest in which a terrorism plot against the city turned out to be a sting operation.

Four men were convicted in 2009 in a plot to bomb synagogues and shoot down military planes with missiles — a case that began after an FBI informant was assigned to infiltrate a mosque in Newburgh, N.Y., about 70 miles north of New York City. The federal judge hearing the case said she was not proud of the government’s role in nurturing the plot.

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