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Police: Greenwich Village Man Planned To ‘Blow Up’ Washington Square Park Arch

Morgan Gliedman and Aaron Greene (credit: CBS 2)

Morgan Gliedman and Aaron Greene (credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A man accused of keeping bomb-making materials in his Greenwich Village apartment told acquaintances late last year that he planned to blow up the Washington Square Park arch, police said Thursday.

The acquaintances have also informed police that in another encounter with Aaron Greene, they saw him sprinkle white powder on the sidewalk inside the park and ignite it, said Paul Browne, chief spokesman for the New York Police Department.

“He had told an acquaintance of his who asked him what he was up to. He sort of conversationally said he was making bombs and when they asked what for, he said it was to blow up the arch,” Browne told WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell.

Investigators believe the powder was hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, or HMTD, a highly explosive ingredient used in bomb making that was discovered last month in the apartment Greene shared with his girlfriend, Morgan Gliedman, Browne said.

HMTD was believed to have been used during the 2005 London bombings.

Though Greene’s motives remain unclear, investigators have uncovered undated letters that he wrote, including one with the words “kill them all” and signed with a Nazi SS lightning bolt symbol still used by neo-Nazi groups, police said. Other witnesses also have told police that they heard him boast that his grandfather was a Nazi, they added.

There was no immediate response to a message left Thursday with an attorney for Greene.

Greene, 31, and Gliedman, 27, were arrested last month after a police search of their home turned up papers titled “The Terrorist Encyclopedia” and “Deadly Homemade Weapons.” Officials also found 7 grams of HMTD forcing the evacuation of three buildings in Greenwich Village.

In the living room, there also was a sawed-off shotgun, a commercial replica of a grenade launcher and ammunition, and chemical precursors to HMTD, police said.

Based on statements made by Greene about another cache of weapons, police searched the Orangeburg, N.Y., home of one of his childhood friends, a suspended jail guard, on Wednesday, Browne said.  Officers found 21 more guns, two stun guns, a switchblade knife and a set of brass knuckles, Cornell reported.

Gliedman is the daughter of a prominent real estate agent and a top-rated New York oncologist, CBS 2 reported. She was nine months pregnant at the time of her arrest and went into labor while in custody. She gave birth to a daughter, Melanie, on Dec. 31. Gliedman was released on $150,000 bond on Wednesday and ordered to enter a 30-day drug rehab program.

Greene is being held without bail. Both are due back in court on Jan. 29.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)