78°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

New York man charged in Election Day bomb plot

NEW YORK — Federal authorities have charged a New York man with building a 200-pound (90-kilogram) bomb they say he planned to detonate on Election Day on the National Mall in Washington.

Paul Rosenfeld, 56, of Tappan, was charged Wednesday with unlawfully manufacturing a destructive device and interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive.

Prosecutors said he planned to use the bomb to kill himself and draw attention to a political system called sortition, in which public officials are chosen randomly rather than elected.

It was not immediately clear whether Rosenfeld had an attorney. A message left with the federal public defender’s office in White Plains, which often represents newly arrested criminal defendants, wasn’t immediately returned.

The FBI raided Rosenfeld’s home Tuesday and found a functional bomb in his basement that consisted of black powder inside a plywood box, according to a criminal complaint.

Agents also found empty canisters of black powder often used in firearms and artillery, the complaint said.

The FBI said in court filings that Rosenfeld, after being pulled over on Tuesday, confessed to ordering large quantities of black powder over the internet and having the substance delivered to “a location in New Jersey.”

Rosenfeld took the black powder to New York, constructed smaller explosive devices and conducted test detonations, according to the criminal complaint.

William Sweeney Jr., the assistant director of the FBI’s New York field office, said in a statement that Rosenfeld intended to “detonate a large explosive to kill himself and draw attention to his radical beliefs.”

“Had he been successful, Rosenfeld’s alleged plot could have claimed the lives of innocent bystanders and caused untold destruction,” Sweeney said in the statement. “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.”

Rosenfeld had an initial court appearance before a magistrate at a federal courthouse in White Plains on Wednesday afternoon.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Judge could block billions for Trump’s planned border wall

A federal judge is expected to decide Friday whether to block the White House from spending billions of dollars to build a wall on the Mexican border with money secured under President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency.

Missouri governor signs bill banning abortions at 8 weeks

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday signed a bill that bans abortions on or beyond the eighth week of pregnancy without exceptions for cases of rape or incest, making it among the most restrictive abortion policies in the nation.

GOP conservative blocks overdue $19B disaster bill, for now

A House GOP conservative complaining of Washington’s free-spending and opaque ways temporarily blocked a long-overdue $19 billion disaster aid bill on Friday.

 
West Point to graduate record number of black female cadets

The class of cadets preparing to jubilantly toss their caps in the air at the U.S. Military Academy’s graduation ceremony Saturday includes 34 black women, a record number that’s a sign of concerted efforts to diversify West Point’s Long Gray Line.

Abortion opponents widely divided over rape, incest issues

Even as the anti-abortion movement celebrates the sweeping bans passed in several states, it’s divided by a widening rift over whether those prohibitions should apply to victims of rape and incest.

CEOs get $800K pay raise, leaving workers further behind

Pay for CEOs at S&P 500 companies rose to a median of $12 million last year, including salary, stock and other compensation, according to data analyzed by Equilar.