A Dominican Republic native living in Washington Heights is under arrest for conspiring to build a bomb for terror purposes and possessing a weapon with the intent of waging a campaign of violence in the name of al-Qaeda, New York City authorities announced Sunday night.
Jose Pimentel, 27, was arrested by New York City police on Saturday.
Investigators say Pimentel had also planned to use a bomb to kill U.S. military personnel returning from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had also allegedly expressed a desire to bomb police patrol cars and postal facilities.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says Pimentel, a convert to Islam, was apparently motivated by the killing on September 30 of al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen by a U.S. drone strike.
Kelly says authorities moved quickly to arrest Pimentel over the weekend because he was in the process of constructing a bomb.
District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., says that Pimentel, on his website, discussed the duty of every Muslim to wage war against the West.
Authorities say Pimentel lived in upstate Schenectady for several years before moving to New York City. Police had been monitoring him since he first expressed hostilities toward the U.S. in 2009.
"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-Qaeda propaganda," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in Sunday's announcement.
Investigators say they found statements made by Pimentel on his website and on other blogs voicing his support for al-Qaeda and the cause of violent jihad.
He allegedly learned to build bombs from information found on the Internet.
This is the 14th plot targeting New York City that authorities have thwarted since the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.