At a Sunday evening press conference, Mayor Bloomberg announced that a would-be terrorist bomber was thwarted from a plot to detonate devices in New York City. Jose Pimentel allegedly bought bomb-making materials at Home Depot and had begun building the explosives with the intention of targeting government workers and returning military personnel.
27-year-old Pimentel was thought to be working alone and was arrested yesterday afternoon. Bloomberg said he planned to bomb police cars and postal facilities in addition to members of the Armed Forces returning from service abroad. Pimentel lives in Washington Heights and was described as an “Al Qaeda sympathizer” by Bloomberg. “He was not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad.”
A video of a duplicate bomb, made by police officials, was shown destroying a car to the gathered press.
Authorities plan on charging Pimentel with “terrorism-related” charges.
Police commissioner Ray Kelly said Pimentel was an “unemployed native of the Dominican Republic” and “a U.S. citizen.” He also mentioned that he had planned to change his name to “Osama Hussein” and make a pilgrimage to Yemen. Pimentel allegedly followed bomb-making instructions from Anwar al-Awlaki’s Inspire Magazine.
The NYPD had been keeping track of Jose Pimentel since 2009.
“We had always planned to take him into custody before he could detonate a fully-operational bomb,” Kelly said.