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U.S. Man Charged Over Alleged Terrorist Bomb Plot

Jose Pimentel in a Manhattan court on November 20
Officials in New York City have announced the arrest of a man who was allegedly plotting a terrorist-style bombing attack targeting U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Officials identified the suspect as 27-year-old Jose Pimentel, a U.S. citizen who was born in the Dominican Republic, and said he had been arrested on November 19 in the Manhattan borough of New York.

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg described the suspect as an "Al-Qaeda sympathizer," but said he apparently had no direct contacts with members of the terrorist network.

The mayor described the suspect as a "lone wolf" -- meaning, he has no affiliations with foreign terrorist organizations.

"The suspect was a so-called lone wolf motivated by his own resentment of the presence of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as inspired by Al-Qaeda propaganda," Bloomberg said. "He was not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad. He represents exactly the kind of threat FBI Director Robert Mueller and his experts have warned about, as American military and intelligence agencies have eroded Al-Qaeda's ability to launch large-scale attacks."

Officials said investigators believe the suspect got instructions on building a pipe bomb from a magazine published by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The suspect is also described as a follower of the U.S. Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in late September.

Officials said that in addition to American soldiers, the suspect allegedly planned to attack police officers and post offices.

Court documents say the suspect faces three terrorism-related counts and other charges. He could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted.

compiled from agency reports

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