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
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
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.