News

FBI: Man planned to detonate 200-pound bomb on Election Day

Posted: Updated:

By JIM MUSTIAN
Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) - Federal authorities have charged a New York man with building a 200-pound 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.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsSlideshowsMore>>

  • Just Married in New Jersey

    Just Married in New Jersey

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding.

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

    News 12 New Jersey wants to announce your wedding. If you were married in the past 90 days, please submit your photos via Twitter or Instagram using #JustMarriedNJ.  

  • Your 2018 New Jersey Fall Fun Photos

    Your 2018 New Jersey Fall Fun Photos

    Wednesday, September 5 2018 2:18 PM EDT2018-09-05 18:18:06 GMT
    Send us your Fall Fun Pics!Send us your Fall Fun Pics!

    Is fall your favorite season? Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 New Jersey want to see your Fall Fun pics! Send them via Twitter or Instagram with the #NJFallFun and they might end up on air or on News12.com.

    Is fall your favorite season? Are you and your family doing fun things this fall? Whether you're out apple or pumpkin picking, at a farm or corn maze or just hanging around in your home or yard, News 12 New Jersey want to see your Fall Fun pics! Send them via Twitter or Instagram with the #NJFallFun and they might end up on air or on News12.com.

  • Workers wanted: Companies hiring for the holidays

    Workers wanted: Companies hiring for the holidays

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.
    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season.

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season. 

    Companies around the nation are hiring seasonal workers for the holiday shopping season. 

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."