Yesterday afternoon, New York City authorities arrested and charged a Washington Heights resident, 27-year-old Jose Pimentel, of terrorism-related acts. The suspect, who’d been tracked by the NYPD since May of 2009, had purchased explosive materials with the intention of targeting police stations, post offices, and U.S. soldiers in New York City. He’s been officially charged of conspiracy, first-degree criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism, and soliciting support for a terrorist act.
Pimentel, a U.S. citizen from the Dominican Republic, is an Al Qaeda sympathizer but appears to be motivated by individual desires, not by a group-oriented plot — during the press conference held this evening, Mayor Bloomberg said that Pimentel is “not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad.” He later said that authorities replicated the explosives Pimentel was using and tested them, showing a video of a car being blown up. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance went on to give more details of the case. “He [Pimentel] was a reader of Al Qaeda’s slick online magazine Inspire — and inspire him it did,” Vance said.