NY arrests Awlaki follower on bomb-making plan

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – New York police arrested a  follower of late Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki on suspicion of  building a pipe bomb he planned to use against U.S. soldiers  returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, officials said today.
Jose Pimentel, 27, was charged with three terrorism-related  counts and two other counts, court documents said.
A U.S. citizen born in the Dominican Republic, Pimentel was  arrested on Saturday in a Manhattan apartment while putting the  bomb together, police said. They called him a “lone wolf” who  had converted to Islam and became a radical.
In an interview with New York police, Pimentel admitted he  “took active steps to build the bomb, including shaving the  match heads and drilling holes in the pipes” and was “one hour  away from completing it,” said the criminal complaint filed by  the Manhattan District Attorney.
Pimentel, who has not been charged federally, faces life in  prison if convicted.
He was under surveillance since May 2009 and considered New  York police cars, a New Jersey police station and U.S. post  office among his potential targets, officials said.
As a reader of the online magazine “Inspire” published by  al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Pimentel took instructions  from an article “How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your  Mom,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told a news conference.
“We think an event that really set him off was the  elimination of Anwar al-Awlaki,” Kelly said. “His actions  became a lot more intense after Sept. 30.”

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