A bomb plot to kill police and U.S. troops returning home in New York has been foiled after police arrested a 27-year-old ‘al-Qa-ida sympathiser.’
Jose Pimentel of Manhattan, a U.S. citizen originally from the Dominican Republic, is accused of conspiracy dating back to October 2010. His charge sheet includes first-degree criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism, and soliciting support for a terrorist act. At his arraignment late yesterday, he was ordered held without bail.
Pimentel was arrested yesterday, and police say he was ready to carry out his plan to “bomb police patrol cars and also postal facilities as well as targeted members of our armed services returning from abroad.”
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said:
“We had to act quickly yesterday because he was in fact putting this bomb together. He was drilling holes and it would have been not appropriate for us to let him walk out the door with that bomb.”
New York Michael Bloomberg told journalists that Pimentel had acted alone, and that he was driven by terrorist propaganda and his resentment of US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq:
“He appears to be a total lone wolf. He was not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad.”
Bloomberg added that this was the thirteenth attempted terrorist attack on New York in the ten years since 9/11. No attack has been successful to date, while Pakistani immigrant Faisal Shahzad is serving life for attempting to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in 2010.
Each day, the NYPD dedicates about 1,000 of the city’s 35,000 officers to counterterrorism operations.