Al-Qaeda man arrested in New York for planning attacks

New York, Nov 21: A 27-year-old "al-Qaeda sympathiser" who planned to carry out terror attacks in the US targetting police and military personnel returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan has been arrested, US officials said.

Jose Pimentel of Washington Heights in Manhattan faces terrorism related charges, including conspiring to build a bomb for terrorist purposes and possessing a bomb. Pimentel, arrested by New York City police officers on Saturday from an apartment, is an "Al-Qaeda sympathiser who was plotting to bomb police patrol cars and also postal facilities, as well as target members of our Armed Forces returning from abroad" using pipe bombs, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference.

"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. He was not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad," Bloomberg said. The terror suspect represents "exactly the kind of threat" authorities have warned about, as American military and intelligence agencies have eroded al-Qaeda's ability to launch large-scale attacks, the Mayor said.

Pimentel, an unemployed native of the Dominican Republican, is a US citizen. He was under police surveillance since 2009 and his extreme positions "made some of his like- minded friends nervous," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. The commissioner said that Pimentel even talked about changing his name to Osama Hussein in honour of two of his deceased idols al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.


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