NYC mayor: Manhattan man arrested in bomb plot

November 20, 2011 - 9:45 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Sunday an "al-Qaida sympathizer" who plotted to bomb police and post offices in New York City and U.S. troops returning home has been arrested on numerous terrorism-related charges.

Bloomberg announced the Saturday arrest of 27-year-old Jose Pimentel of Manhattan, a U.S. citizen originally from the Dominican Republic.

The mayor said Pimentel was "plotting to bomb police patrol cars and also postal facilities as well as targeted members of our armed services returning from abroad." But there was no evidence that he was working with anyone else, the mayor said.

"He appears to be a total lone wolf," Bloomberg said at a news conference.

Pimentel was motivated by his resentement of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, fueled by al-Qaida propaganda, the mayor said. "He was not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad."

Pimentel is accused of having an explosive substance that he planned to use against others and property to terrorize the public. The charges include conspiracy, first-degree criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism, and soliciting support for a terrorist act. He was to be arraigned later Sunday.

"This is just another example of New York City because we are an iconic city ... this is a city that people would want to take away our freedoms gravitate to and focus on," Bloomberg said.

The New York Police Department's Intelligence Division was involved in the arrest. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Pimentel spent most of his years in Manhattan and lived about five years in Schenectady.

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Associated Press writer Colleen Long contributed to this report from New York. AP writer Samantha Gross contributed to this report.