NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The man accused of trying to build pipe bombs to blast New York Police Department cars, post office vehicles also wanted to target the USS Intrepid, sources told CBS 2.
Jose Pimentel was behind bars Monday night, being held without bail because, sources said, he had grandiose plans to blow up people and places in the metropolitan area, including the Intrepid Air and Space Museum.
He wasn’t planning to sink the ship, sources told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer, but wanted to explode a pipe bomb on the deck, where it could maim and kill because of shrapnel inside.
He allegedly bought the components for the bombs at different stores – including a Home Depot in the Bronx.
Pimentel, who was arraigned Sunday night, was an hour away from finishing three pipe bombs when cops nabbed him.
Prosecutors say Pimentel, an American citizen, became a radicalized jihadist, taking his inspiration from slain cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki and Osama bin Laden.
Pimentel had been on the NYPD’s radar screen for two years but Al-Awlaki’s death on September 3th in a drone attack accelerated his actions, according to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
“He appears to be a total lone wolf,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a Sunday night news conference. “He was not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad.”
1010 WINS’ John Montone reports
LINK: Jose Pimentel complaint
“Pimentel talked about killing U.S. servicemen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly. “He talked about bombing post offices in and around Washington Heights and police cars in New York City, as well as a police station in Bayonne, New Jersey.
Pimentel was apparently unaware that he was under tight surveillance by the NYPD since 2009. Officials say Pimentel was arrested Saturday after he was putting the finishing touches on a third bomb.
Police released a video which shows a similar pipe bomb powerful enough to blow the roof off a car.
Prosecutors say Pimentel was responsible for a website which included posts entitled “Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom’s Home,” “The Prepatory Manual of Explosives,” and “The RPG System” to name a few. Some of the content on the site was apparently from the Al Qaeda English-language propaganda magazine “Inspire.”
“I don’t think this case is nearly as strong as the people believe,” said Pimentel’s attorney Joseph Zablocki. “He has this very public online profile. … This is not the way you go about committing a terrorist attack.”
“I don’t know whether there’s an entrapment issue at this point,” said Zablocki. “It’s not outside the realm of possibility that there are other people involved.”
Federal sources said that they declined to get involved in the Pimentel case and police said the defendant himself tried to weasel out after he was arrested.
“He said words to the effect that he did make these devices, but that he decided not to use them just moments before the police came through the door,” Kelly said.
CBS News reported the case was handled entirely by the NYPD, without the involvement of the FBI or other federal authorities. The absence of federal involvement may also reflect on the overall strength of the case, CBS News reported.
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