Lone Wolf
The kind of terror attack the White House fears most is a domestic attack from a so-called lone wolf. Image: BdwayDiva1/Flickr/CC BY

An alleged terror plot was foiled in New York Saturday with the arrest of Muslim convert Jose Pimental. The so-called “lone wolf” suspect is accused of making bombs for a planned act of terrorism aimed at soldiers, post offices and police officers.

An ‘Al-Queda sympathizer,’ says mayor

Pimental is an unemployed man who lived in Washington Heights with his uncle. He was arrested Saturday on five criminal counts, according to a press conference held Sunday by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. The mayor called the suspect a “27-year-old al Qaeda sympathizer.”

The charges included criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy in the fourth degree as a crime of terrorism.

Planned to kill soldiers and police

According to Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly:

“Pimentel talked about killing U.S. military personnel returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly Marines and Army personnel. He talked about bombing post offices … and police cars in New York City, as well as a police station. … We had to act quickly yesterday because he was in fact putting this bomb together. … It would have been not appropriate for us to let him walk out the door with that bomb.”

When he was arrested, police say, Pimentel had the components needed for an explosive device. The suspect allegedly built the bomb at home using plans from an online article called “How to Build a Bomb in the  Kitchen of Your Mom.” The article was posted on an English-language, al-Qaeda-friendly website.

A ‘lone wolf’

Pimentel has no known connections to any terrorist or radical organizations. “He was not part of a larger conspiracy,” Bloomberg confirmed.

Authorities, however, have had their eye on him since May of 2009. New York police commissioner Ray Kelly said Pimnetal had been inspired by Anwar Awlaki, the radical cleric who was killed in a U.S. drone-strike in Yemen earlier this year.

An American citizen

Pimentel was born in the Dominican Republic but is an American citizen. He was brought to the U.S. at age 8. He later changed his name to Muhammed Yusef after converting to Islam. He has a prior arrest for criminal possession of stolen property. In spite of his Muslim leanings, Pimentel allegedly drank and smoked cigarettes and marijuana. Authorities say he rarely left the house except to smoke or to buy coffee and cigarettes.

Pimentel was arraigned on Sunday and is being held without bail.

Sources

The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/20/jose-pimentel-arrested-by_n_1104314.html
ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/alleged-lone-wolf-jose-pimentel-arrested-york-terror/story?id=14994845#.Tsp-YGWP-_0
New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/21/nyregion/jose-pimentel-is-charged-in-new-york-city-bomb-plot.html?pagewanted=all

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