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Homeland Security

NYC Mayor Says Would-be Bomber Arrested

Suzanne Presto November 20, 2011

New York City police announced Sunday that they have arrested a man for allegedly plotting to bomb city facilities and U.S. military personnel.

At a press conference, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the arrest of 27-year-old Jose Pimentel, who is accused of planning to bomb police cars, post offices and members of the U.S. military.

"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," he said.

Bloomberg called Pimentel an "al-Qaida sympathizer."

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said Pimentel's violent views are well documented.

"Our office today filed charges against Jose Pimentel of Manhattan for conspiring to build a bomb for terrorist purposes and for possessing a weapon, a pipe bomb, that he is alleged to have intended to use to wage his campaign of violence. The defendant stated his belief in violent jihad and harbored a violent ideology. And you could see that from his website "True Islam." He posted articles on Osama bin Laden, discussed the duty of every Muslim to wage war against the West and identified himself with terrorist organizations," he said.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly described Pimentel as an unemployed native of the Dominican Republic who lived most of his life in New York City's borough of Manhattan. Kelly said Pimentel is a U.S. citizen, a convert to Islam and a follower of radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Yemen in September.

"Pimentel followed instructions from Anwar al-Awlaki's Inspire magazine to first acquire the bomb-making materials and then assemble them," he said.

Kelly said Pimentel was working on preparations for timing mechanisms when police arrested him on Saturday. "Pimentel talked about killing U.S. servicemen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly U.S. Army and Marine Corps personnel. He talked about bombing post offices, in around Washington Heights [in New York City's borough of Manhattan], and police cars in New York City as well as a police station in Bayonne, New Jersey," he said.

Kelly said the New York City Police Department first became aware of Pimentel more than two years ago.

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