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Manhattan Man Accused in Bomb Plot

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Manhattan man who was described by city officials as an al-Qaida sympathizer was arrested on charges that he was plotting to bomb police patrol cars, postal facilities and target members of the armed forces returning home, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Sunday.

In a rare Sunday evening press conference, Bloomberg said that Jose Pimentel, 27, of Washington Heights faces terrorism-related charges for his alleged involvement in a plot to bomb different locations. He allegedly acted alone, the mayor said. 

"The suspect was a so-called lone wolf motivated by his own resentment of the presence of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as inspired by al-Qaida propaganda. He was not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad," Bloomberg said. 

Pimentel is a U.S. citizen, but was originally from the Dominican Republic. He is a convert to Islam.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said his office filed charges against Pimental for conspiring to build a bomb for terrorist purposes and for possessing a weapon for terrorist purposes.

(Photo: Examples of bomb making materials found in Pimentel's residence. Arun Venugopal/WNYC)

Pimentel followed instructions on how to make a bomb from Anwar al-Awlaki's "Inspire" magazine and was planning on making three bombs, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Absent from the press conference was any federal official. Kelly said the FBI was fully informed of the case but Pimentel was putting the bomb together and a decision was made to act quickly.

"Because of the immediacy of the situation, that was a significant factor in making the arrest yesterday and using the state law to do it," he said.

A number of federal law enforcement sources told WNYC that they were skeptical the case did not rise to the level of a federal terrorism case.

Vance noted that New York State enacted its own terrorism laws that enable it to take action and the collective belief was to proceed under state charges.

With reporting from Arun Venugopal and Bob Hennelly

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Comments [6]

Looks like this guy was set up and held in abeyance for when Bloomberg and Kelly needed a distraction from the coverage of them repeatedly violating the civil rights of protesters and assaulting innocent people. This is one New Yorker who's unconvinced.

Nov. 21 2011 04:34 PM
Malvina Nathanson from Manhattan

The mayor says the accused acted alone - yet he is being charged with conspiracy. New York's conspiracy statutes require an agreement with another. So what's the real story?

Nov. 21 2011 09:30 AM
john from office

Sounds like a wannabe, but non the less a dangerous wannabe. Sorry no sympathy, allegedly or not.

Nov. 21 2011 06:37 AM
jimmese from Newark, New Jeresey

Does he understand Al Qaida's Arabic being from Dominican Republic? I think he sounds more like a 99% who wants his money back

Nov. 21 2011 01:57 AM
MasterG from Harlem

Apparently being accused of "plotting" is evidence enough to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the suspect is guilty of terrorism. The reporting only reflects the lack of due process in these terrorist sting operations that are always underpinned by police informant testimony.

Nov. 20 2011 11:26 PM
Roza from Brooklyn

Are you kidding me? In your radio report on this just now you said "A man who was plotting..."

No pretense even of saying "A man who was accused of plotting..."

He was accused. He was not convicted. Just because it is a terrorism charge does not mean you get to ignore the basic tenets of good journalism. I don't expect that of WNYC. Get a grip.

Nov. 20 2011 09:34 PM

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