By Jim Kouri
Officers from the New York City Police Department’s Intelligence Division arrested a suspected al-Qaeda associate who planned to kill U.S. troops returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. He also plotted the bombing of police targets and post offices as part of his one-man reign of terror.
New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg held a press conference and announced the arrest of Jose Pimentel, a resident of Manhattan, who Bloomberg described as “a 27-year-old Al Qaeda sympathizer.”
Mayor Bloomberg added that it’s believed Pimental was receptive to Islamic terrorist propaganda and that he resented the actions of U.S. troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere in the Middle East and northern Africa.
Bloomberg told reporters that Pimenthal is what’s termed a “lone wolf terrorist.” Instead, the mayor claims, Pimentel represents the kind of threat about which FBI Director Robert Mueller warned the U.S. Congress.
According to one detective with the NYPD Intel Division, Pimentel is a naturalized U.S. citizen who came to the United States from the Dominican Republic. The NYPD detectives discovered Pimentel plotting to bomb police patrol cars and also postal facilities, but his main objective was to kill U.S. military members who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“With tens of thousands of U.S. troops returning from Iraq next month [December], this suspect had a enormous number of targets,” the detective said during a deep background interview with the Law Enforcement Examiner.
The source also noted that the investigation and arrest were handled by the NYPD Intelligence Division and not the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. The FBI knew about the plot and arrest, but took no part in the apprehension of the suspect Pimenthal.
Pimentel, a/k/a Muhammad Yusuf, is accused by the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office of being in possession an explosive substance when he was apprehended.
The charges accuse him of conspiracy going back at least to October 2010, and include first-degree criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism, and soliciting support for a terrorist act. He is to be arraigned Monday morning, according to the Examiner source.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly stated that Pimentel while lived mostly in upper-Manhattan, he resided in Westchester County for five years.