'Al-Qaeda Sympathizer' Busted in NYC Bomb Plot

'Lone wolf' Jose Pimentel was 'hour away' from finishing first bomb: Cops
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 20, 2011 11:26 PM CST
Updated Nov 21, 2011 7:37 AM CST
Al-Qaeda Sympathizer Busted in NYC Bomb Plot
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks to the media at a City Hall news conference with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.   (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

A suspected lone wolf terrorist has been charged with plotting to kill US soldiers and police with bombs he was building in his Manhattan apartment, according to law enforcement authorities. Jose Pimentel, 27, who goes by the name Muhammad Yusuf, intended to test three bombs in mailboxes before using explosives on soldiers returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, said New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly at a press conference yesterday. He also planned to target NYPD cruisers, postal facilities, and a New Jersey police station, said Kelly. Pimentel allegedly told an informant that the bombings would show the public “there was mujahedeen in the city ready to wage Jihad," reports the New York Daily News.

Pimentel, an American citizen born in the Dominican Republic, was just an hour away from finishing his first bomb when police raided his home in upper Manhattan Saturday, according to investigators. "We had to act quickly because he was putting this bomb together. He was drilling holes and it would not have been appropriate for us to let him walk out the door with that bomb," Kelly 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-Qaeda propaganda," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The mayor emphasized that there was no evidence Pimentel had any connection to an al-Qaeda cell, though he pledged support for the organization on the website TrueIslam1.com, notes the News. (More Jose Pimentel stories.)

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