New York ‘lone wolf’ was one hour away from finishing his bomb
She also praised the New York Police Department, saying, “I think they handled it well.”
Officials with the NYPD, which conducted the undercover investigation using a confidential informant and a bugged apartment, said the department had to move quickly because Pimentel was about to test a pipe bomb made out of match heads, nails and other ingredients bought at neighborhood hardware and discount stores.
Two law enforcement officials said Monday that the NYPD’s Intelligence Division had sought to get the FBI involved at least twice as the investigation unfolded. Both times, the FBI concluded that Pimentel lacked the mental capacity to act on his own, they said.
The FBI thought Pimentel “didn’t have the predisposition or the ability to do anything on his own,” one of the officials said.
The officials were not authorized to speak about the case and spoke on condition of anonymity. The FBI’s New York office and the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan both declined to comment on Monday.
Pimentel’s lawyer, Joseph Zablocki, said his client was never a true threat.
“If the goal here is to be stopping terror … I’m not sure that this is where we should be spending our resources,” he said.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly defended the handling of the case Monday, saying the NYPD kept federal authorities in the loop “all along” before circumstances forced investigators to take swift measures using state charges.
“No question in my mind that we had to take this case down,” Kelly said. “There was an imminent threat.”
Added Kelly: “This is a classic case of what we’ve been talking about �� the lone wolf, an individual, self-radicalized. This is the needle in the haystack problem we face as a country and as a city.”
Authorities described Pimentel as an unemployed U.S. citizen and “al-Qaida sympathizer” who was born in the Dominican Republic. He had lived most of his life in Manhattan, aside from about five years in the upstate city of Schenectady, where authorities say he had an arrested for credit card fraud.
His mother said he was raised Roman Catholic. But he converted to Islam in 2004 and went by the name Muhammad Yusuf, authorities said.
Using a tip from police in Albany, the NYPD had been watching Pimentel using a confidential informant for the past year. Investigators learned that he was energized and motivated to carry out his plan by the Sept. 30 killing of al-Qaida’s U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, police said.
Pimentel was under constant surveillance as he shopped for the pipe bombmaterials. He also was overheard talking about attacking police patrol cars and postal facilities, killing soldiers returning home from abroad andbombing a police station in Bayonne, N.J., authorizes said.
When the USA deliberately BOMBED itself - March 21st 1944
During the dead of winter, March 21st 1944; Miles City, Montana; local residents woke to their quaint little town being overrun and submerged by the rising frozen waters of the Yellowstone river. Ice jams were building quickly, raising the subzero river water levels over 16 feet. As the blocks of ice, slush and freezing waters flooded into the city, residents were forced to flee their homes for safer grounds.
Miles City Mayor L.S. Keye knew immediate action must be taken, and brought in explosive experts from a nearby town. Two local pilots took a small aircraft over the river and attempted to drop and detonate 50 pound homemade bombs on the Yellowstone ice jam , but unfortunately it had little effect.
Mayor L.S. Keye then decided to do the unthinkable, and placed an urgent request to the Governor’s office. His request was short, and to the point “Send in the Bombers!”
At a USAAF base in Rapid City S.D., the crew of an Army Air Force B-17 were quick to accept the unusual mission, and preparations to bomb an American city were fast underway. The crew hastily began fusing and loading 250-pound bombs into the bomb bay of their USAAF Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Shortly thereafter, the loaded bomber with her crew of eight, took to the skies in a harsh blizzard and low ceilings.
The plan was to deliver the bombs to Miles City where the load would be transferred to a waiting Dive-Bomber to execute the bomb delivery. As the lone B-17 was nearing Miles City, low clouds forced the plans to be changed. Under a blanket of 1000 foot overcast skies, the B-17 was then ordered to handle the bombing run themselves.
Originally planned to release the load at 10,000 feet, the low overcast forced the bomber crew to take their ship lower. At 1930 hours, in heavy snow, winds and cold, the bomber appeared over the river and executed two dummy bombing runs as crowds of locals watched in amazement. On the third pass, the B-17 released a test bomb that exploded precisely on target. Unsure of the effect, the crew brought their bomber around again.
Making a two more passes, releasing all six of the 250 lb. bombs. Hundreds of residents watched motionless, and none speaking a word. The entire town, their homes and their families future hung in the balance as they watched the bombs fall. Seconds later a huge plume of ice, mud and water exploded skyward from the frozen Yellowstone river.
The ice jam quickly broke apart, and the frozen waters slowly receded, saving the small town. The next morning, local residents were thrilled to watch as the water levels had dropped a full 10 feet from the day before.
That night the crew of the B-17 were welcomed by the thankful and relieved residents of Miles City Montana. The entire crew were put up at the local hotel, and each received a well-deserved steak dinner.
The next morning, the crew departed, and the B-17 made a final victory pass low over the town at 50 feet over the rooftops, rocking their wings as they flew back home to Rapid City SD… and so the story goes of the only time the continental United States was bombed.