FBI believes NY plot accused not a serious threat

The FBI officials were conspicuous by their absence when NY Mayor announced the arrest of `al Qaeda sympathiser`.

Last Updated: Nov 22, 2011, 18:11 PM IST

New York: The FBI and the NYPD seem to be at
odds with each other as one claimed that the arrest of
"al Qaeda sympathiser" prevented attacks in the city while the
other doubted the "lone wolf`s" capability to carry out a
terror plot since he seemed "mentally unstable".

The FBI officials were conspicuous by their absence when
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the arrest of
"al Qaeda sympathiser" Jose Pimentel in a late evening press
conference on Sunday.

The federal investigative agency was not convinced that
the "lone wolf" was a serious threat.

In a press conference, Bloomberg accompanied by Police
Commissioner Ray Kelly and District Attorney Cyrus Vance
announced that Pimentel planned to carry out terror attacks in
the city targetting police officials and military personnel
returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

However, the officials from the Federal Bureau of
Investigation were not present in the news conference.

Kelly explained that while FBI was "fully informed" about
the case, the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the
District Attorney`s office had to "act quickly" and make the
arrest as 27-year-old Pimentel was close to finishing making
pipe bombs.

A law enforcement official told PTI that "FBI chose not
to take on the case and it was decided that Pimentel`s arrest
would be made at the state level."

The FBI was doubtful over whether Pimentel would be
capable of carrying out a terror plot on his own as they
believed him to be mentally unstable, the official said.

An FBI official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said
Pimentel was "NYPD`s intelligence case and FBI need not
interfere in the case."

Terrorism cases are generally handled by federal
authorities.

PTI