NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Muslim convert who was accused of building a pipe bomb in New York City to try to attack police, soldiers and other government targets has pleaded not guilty to terror charges.

Jose Pimentel appeared Tuesday in a Manhattan courthouse. He’s facing charges including weapons possession and conspiracy as terror crimes, brought under a rarely used state terror law.

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Defense lawyer Susan Walsh says jurors will see the case “for what it really is” once they hear both sides of it. She and fellow lawyer Lori Cohen say police overreached and used a self-serving informant to go after a down-on-his-luck loner.

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An indictment says the 27-year-old Dominican immigrant conducted computer research on bomb-making, made shopping trips to secure supplies and finally started assembling a pipe bomb before his Nov. 19 arrest.

Authorities said he maintained a website detailing his belief in holy war, or jihad, and told an informant he wanted to attack targets that included police cars and stations, post offices and soldiers returning home from abroad.

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