Terror suspect Jose Pimentel apparently thought he could get off easily when New York City police arrested him for allegedly building a bomb he intended to use against Americans.
“Am I going to get a desk-appearance ticket? I’m not a terrorist,” the New York Post
quotes the 27-year-old as telling police after his arrest Saturday in Harlem.
Authorities allege radical Islamic philosophy has influenced Pimentel and that he was planning to kill police as well as members of the U.S. military as they returned from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has been on investigators’ radar since May 2009, with a confidential informant tracking his activites. He was arrested while building a bomb in his mother’s apartment, police say.
Authorities finally moved in on Pimentel, also known as Muhammad Yusuf, because of his increasingly odd behavior and his bomb-making progress. When he was arrested, the bomb required just an hour more of tinkering before it could be used, according to police.
“There was no question we had to take this case down,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. “This was an imminent threat.”
Pimentel’s mother, Carmen Rosa, issued an apology to the city, saying, “I’m sorry for what my son did. I just want to say I love him. I didn’t raise him that way — he changed.
Rosa said her son started having problems around 2009, when he lost his job, wife, and son. Sources told the Post he had beaten his ex-wife for refusing to wear a traditional Muslim head scarf and convert to Islam, and that he made his young son watch jihadist videos.
Pimentel is being held without bail and under maximum security in Manhattan.
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