The New York City terrorism plot followed a solitary online path to violent radical Islam, family members and law enforcement officials say.Jose Pimentel, 27, is being held without bail on state terrorism charges after his arrest on Saturday.Jose Pimentel is a Manhattan man who was arrested on Nov. 20, 2011 on charges of plotting to build and detonate bombs in New York.
Mr. Pimentel, a Dominican-born Muslim convert who is also known as Muhammad Yusuf, was said to have been fascinated by the American-born Muslim militant Anwar al-Awlaki. Officials said that Mr. Pimental began plotting a bomb attack in August 2011. But it was the death of Mr. Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in Yemen in September, that refocused his efforts, they said.He had been under police surveillance for more than two years and was arrested after he had come close to completing at least three bombs. Police say he plotted, as an al-Qaeda sympathizer, to use explosives to attack post offices, police buildings and US military-service members.
Pimentel's defense lawyer, Joseph Zablocki, said that Pimentel, who had a minor criminal record for credit card theft wasn't a serious threat.While the police department kept the FBI informed of the case, a person familiar with the investigation said federal officials were unsure about how much of a threat Pimentel posed and how large a role the informant played in moving him to act.Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said that Mr. Pimentel was not part of a conspiracy, had no known contacts abroad and, in the mayor’s words, “appears to be a total lone wolf.”