FBI Says Man Planned to Bomb National Mall on Election Day
12 October, 2018, 12:23
Federal authorities were holding a NY man who they said planned to blow himself up on Washington's National Mall on Election Day in November to promote his ideology that requires government leaders to be randomly selected.
According to NBC New York, local authorities and the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided Paul Rosenfeld's upstate home and found eight-pounds of explosives that would eventually be used in the makeshift bomb.
Paul Rosenfeld, 56, was arrested on Tuesday after the Department of Justice was tipped off by an unidentified person in Pennsylvania who claimed Rosenfeld sent text messages and letters stating that he "planned to build an explosive device" that would go off on November 6 as a way to "draw attention to his political belief in 'sortition'".
Officials said he planned to use the bomb to kill himself and gain attention for a political belief called sortition, in which politicians are chosen at random for office instead of being elected.
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.
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Armed with a search warrant, agents conducted a search of Rosenfeld's home on October 9 and found a functional explosive device weighing some 200 pounds.
Paul Rosenfeld, 56, was arrested in Rockland County after authorities got a tip from an unidentified individual in Pennsylvania that Rosenfeld was allegedly communicating with about his plot.
It was not immediately clear whether Rosenfeld had an attorney.
FBI Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney said that "Rosenfeld's alleged plot could have claimed the lives of innocent bystanders and caused untold destruction".
ROsenfeld was charged with unlawfully manufacturing a destructive device, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. 'Fortunately, his plans were thwarted by the quick action of a concerned citizen and the diligent work of a host of our law enforcement partners and the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force'. It was taken to a "safe location" in the county, officials said. He faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.