Man indicted on terror charges in NYC bomb case
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Last Updated: Thursday, March 01, 2012, 16:11
New York: A Muslim convert charged with building a pipe bomb to try to attack police, soldiers and other government targets has been indicted on terror charges, according to an indictment filed in the rare state-level terror case.

It accuses Dominican Republic-born Jose Pimentel of both the initial terror charges against him, weapons possession and conspiracy as terror crimes, according to the document. It also includes attempted weapons possession as a terror crime.

He "attempted to build explosive devices as part of his plan to use violence to influence the foreign policy of the United States government by intimidation and coercion, specifically by committing acts of violence against United States military personnel and others," the indictment says.

It outlines conversations, computer research on bomb-making, shopping trips to secure supplies that included clocks and Christmas lights and finally efforts to assemble the explosive over several days before Pimentel's November 19 arrest.

His lawyers, Lori Cohen and Susan J Walsh, called the case one of "police overreaching" and a self-serving informant who honed in on a broke, lonely and curious 27-year-old. "This case, whatever it is, certainly is not terrorism," they said in a statement.

The Manhattan district attorney's office had no immediate comment. Pimentel, who is being held without bail, is now scheduled to be arraigned next month, court records show. A court date that had been set for today was cancelled.

Pimental, an al Qaeda sympathiser and Muslim convert, was busy assembling his homemade bomb when he was arrested, authorities said. He later told police that he believed Islamic law obligates all Muslims to wage war against Americans to retaliate for US military action in the Middle East, police said. He also wanted to undermine support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the indictment.

Also known as Muhammad Yusuf, Pimentel maintained a website detailing his belief in jihad, or holy war, and told the informant he wanted to attack targets that included police cars and stations, post offices and soldiers returning home from abroad, authorities said.

He and the informant had discussed his violent intentions as far back as August, with Pimentel consulting bomb-building instructions he'd found online, some from an al Qaeda publication, the indictment said. After several shopping excursions to hardware stores, a supermarket and a dollar store, Pimentel and the informant began stripping Christmas light wires, scraping match heads, drilling pipe and otherwise preparing the weapon in November, the indictment said.

The effort culminated "in the successful construction of one explosive device and the attempted construction of two others," it says.


First Published: Thursday, March 01, 2012, 16:09

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