New York arrests man trying to build bomb: reports
Published: Sunday, 20 Nov 2011 | 7:39 PM ET Text Size
NEW YORK - New York police arrested a man for trying to build a pipe bomb with instructions from an al Qaeda magazine that he planned to use against U.S. military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, media reported on Sunday.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a joint news conference with Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the chief prosecutor for Manhattan, set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
The case was "terror related" but there was no imminent threat because the suspect was under arrest, a law enforcement official said, declining to be identified before the official announcement.
The suspect was a Hispanic man who was took instructions on building a pipe bomb from Inspire magazine published by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, CNN reported without identifying its source.
He was caught drilling into a pipe in his mother's New York apartment after having been under surveillance by the New York Police Department for more than two years, CNN said.
He intended to target U.S. military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, CNN said.
The New York Times quoted one law enforcement official as saying it was a "lone wolf scenario," meaning the suspect was believed to be acting on his own.
Since the September 11 attacks by al Qaeda militants in 2001, New York City has considered itself a prime target and has developed extensive intelligence and counterterrorism divisions within the New York Police Department.
New Yorkers have grown accustomed to heightened security and regular announcements that authorities have foiled plots to attack the city.
Most planned attacks -- such as the September 2009 arrest of Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-born man who was a permanent U.S. resident living in Colorado, who plotted a suicide bomb attack on the New York subway system -- were aspirational. Zazi later pleaded guilty.
But some, such as the May 2010 failed attempt to bomb Times Square, were closer to being carried out. In that case, a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, Faisal Shahzad, drove a sport utility vehicle packed with a crude bomb into the heart of Times Square on a crowded Saturday evening. The bomb failed to go off and was discovered by passersby. He was later arrested and pleaded guilty.