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Jose Pimentel Arrested in NY Bomb Plot

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on November 21, 2011 12:02 PM

Jose Pimentel, 27, was arrested on Sunday in a NY bomb plot that sought to target local police and soldiers returning from abroad. The al-Qaeda sympathizer has been described as a "lone wolf," with no clear link between him and known terrorists.

Police had been watching Pimentel for two years, but sped up their investigation when they realized he was close to carrying out his plan. Just before his arrest, he had been recorded drilling holes in pipes that he planned to use as bomb casings.

New York authorities have charged Jose Pimentel with possession of a bomb for terrorism, conspiracy, soliciting support for a terrorist act and being a felon in possession of a weapon, reports CNN. Though he also violated a number of federal laws, there are no plans to file charges in federal court.

This may have something to do with reports that the FBI twice declined to get involved in the investigation. The Bureau had determined that Pimentel, who wanted to change his name to Osama Hussein, was not a serious threat, notes the Associated Press.

As his lawyer suggests, he was very outspoken, posting on message boards and visiting terrorist websites. He even learned how to build bombs from an online al-Qaeda publication.

But because the FBI chose not to get involved, all evidence pertaining to the NY bomb plot is in the hands of local authorities. It will likely be easier for them to handle the Jose Pimentel case as opposed to federal prosecutors.

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