A man who police said had assembled three pipe bombs while under police surveillance has been arrested in New York. The man, identified as Jose Pimentel, 27,lives in Washington Heights, Manhattan. Police raided his apartment at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, the Daily News said.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said via Twitter on Sunday that the suspect had been under surveillance since May, 2009, and is an "al Qaeda sympathizer.” Other sources said the FBI had declined to take on the investigation, which was carried out by the police and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
Pimentel is a U.S. citizen born in the Dominican Republic who is unemployed and obtained only materials about bomb-making posted on the Internet by al Qaeda, officials said. Potential targets included U.S. post offices and U.S. troops returning to the United States, they said.
"The suspect was a so-called 'lone wolf motivated by his own resentment of the presence of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as inspired by Al Qeada propaganda,” the mayor said Sunday night at a press conference.
Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said the attack was the 14th terror plot foiled by authorities since 9-11.
In response to the news, Faiza N. Ali, community affairs director of the New York chapter of the Council of American Islamic Relations, tweeted "two years of monitoring or two years of planting seeds to keep their jobs safe?" Debbie Almontasser, the woman who was forced to resign as principal of the Khalil Gibran Academy Arabic-culture charter school after comments she made about the term intifada, added "All the same to the NYPD."