The pieces are starting to come together on Jose Pimentel, the 27-year-old Manhattan man accused of plotting to bomb U.S. troops returning from war as well as New York police and post offices.
New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg described Pimentel as an “al-Qaeda sympathizer” and a “lone wolf,” motivated by his resentment of U.S. troops in Afghanistan and by terrorist propaganda. Pimentel allegedly told an informant that bombings would show the public “there was mujaheddin in the city ready to wage Jihad.”
Pimentel is an American citizen who came to the United States from the Dominican Republic at 8. He later began to call himself Muhammad Yusuf, but also spoke at times of changing his name to Osama Hussein — a mash-up name of his two heroes, Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
While there are no clear links between Pimentel and al-Qaeda, he pledged support for the organization on his Web site TrueIslam1.com.
Pimentel was very public about his activities, according to his lawyer. So public that authorities have been tailing him for more than a year. In that time, Pimentel rarely left his home, except to buy coffee and cigarettes — “one cigarette at a time, when he couldn't afford a pack,”according to ABC News, and his mother did not allow him to smoke in the apartment.
Authorities said he also smoked smoked marijuana and drank, and attended Muslim religious services infrequently.
Pimentel has a prior arrest for criminal possession of stolen property.
He was denied bail Monday and remained in police custody.