VIDEO: ‘Lone-wolf terrorist’ arrested in plot to bomb New York City

The Takeaway

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New York City Police officers have arrested a man described as a ‘lone-wolf terrorist’ who was trying to build a bomb and attack New York City, police commissioner Ray Kelly said Sunday night.

The man, 27-year-old Jose Pimentel, was described as an al-Qaeda sympathizer who was putting the bomb together on Saturday in his home in north Manhattan when the NYPD moved in and arrested him, the New York Times reported.

“He was in the process of building three pipe bombs,” the law enforcement official said in the Times. “We weren’t going to wait around to figure out what he wanted do with his bombs. He was in Harlem about an hour from actually having assembled the bombs,” but had all the “unassembled components ready to go.”

Kelly said, in a press conference with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg streamed live online, said Pimentel targeted a post office, police station or even U.S. soldiers returning from deployment overseas. According to Kelly, federal authorities were informed of the arrest but no federal law enforcement attended the announcement of Pimentel’s arrest. Thus far, Pimentel faces charges of criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism, conspiracy and soliciting support for an act of terrorism — all state charges.

Kelly said New York police had an informant in contact with Pimentel for two years. They said his motivation was the presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

According to CNN, Pimentel moved from being dissatisfied with America to building a bomb after the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency killed his mentor, Ayman al-Awlaki, in a drone attack. 


“The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what’s ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.

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