Rezwan Ferdaus of Ashland pleaded guilty in July to attempting to provide material support to terrorists and attempting to damage and destroy federal buildings with an explosive. He is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court.
Ferdaus was arrested after federal employees posing as members of al-Qaida delivered materials he requested, including grenades, machine guns and plastic explosives.
Under a plea agreement, federal prosecutors agreed to drop four other charges and to jointly recommend with the defense a sentence of 17 years.
Ferdaus grew up in Massachusetts and has a physics degree from Northeastern University.