Federal authorities have arrested and charged a NY man who they say planned to build a 200-pound bomb and detonate it on Election Day on the Mall.
Prosecutors say Paul Rosenfeld, 56, bough approximately eight pounds of black powder in New Jersey and transported it to NY to construct a large explosive device in the basement of his Tappan, N.Y. residence.
They say he wanted to draw attention to his belief in "sortition" - a political theory that advocates the random selection of government officials.
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On Tuesday, the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided his home in Rockland County and found a workable bomb in his basement.
Rosenfeld, 56, of Tappan, N.Y., was charged Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of NY with unlawfully manufacturing a destructive device and with interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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"Officials tell News 4 Rosenfeld had no criminal history but had told a reporter in Pennsylvania he planned to blow himself up on the National Mall around Election Day because he was angry about the country's direction", adds the article.
Rosenfeld also admitted to building smaller bombs and conducting test detonations, prosecutors said.
Along with the 200-pound explosive, "law enforcement agents also found, among other things, a fusing system for triggering explosive devices and what appeared to be empty canisters of black powder", according to officials. FBI Director Christopher Wray says agents are now investigating about 1,000 homegrown terror threats across the country.
Law enforcement agents say the huge explosive device was found at the suspect's home in Tappan, New York state, on 9 October. "Had he been successful, Rosenfeld's alleged plot could have claimed the lives of innocent bystanders and caused untold destruction". The FBI says in court filings that Rosenfeld confessed to ordering large quantities of black powder over the internet.
The 56-year-old had an initial court appearance before a magistrate at a federal courthouse in White Plains on Wednesday afternoon. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
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He went on to say that he was specifically addressing reporter Frank Isola and he doesn't want to hear from Isola again. But you know, man, it's hometown love, man - you ain't gotta do me like that. "I didn't say anything bad about you, man.