NY man built bomb for Election Day detonation in Washington, officials say

The skyline of Washington DC including the US Capitol building Washington Monument Lincoln Memorial and National Mall is seen from the air

A NY man was arrested Wednesday over charges that he planned to blow himself up with a homemade bomb around Election Day in Washington, D.C.

The Department of Justice said Wednesday that authorities thwarted a NY man's plan to blow himself up on Election Day to bring attention to his political beliefs.

Rosenfeld had previously constructed several smaller explosive devices for practice, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors say 56-year-old Paul Rosenfeld planned to detonate the explosive in Washington, hoping to kill himself and draw attention to his political beliefs.

The home of Paul Rosenfeld in Tappan, New York, where federal authorities found a functional bomb in his basement.

Assistant Director-in-Charge of the FBI's NY office, William Sweeney, Jr., said had Paul Rosenfeld, 56, been successful, he "could have claimed the lives of innocent bystanders and caused untold destruction".

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Federal agents also found empty black powder canisters and a fusing system that could trigger an explosive.

Rosenfeld was pulled over while driving, and in an interview with law enforcement agents, he admitted to purchasing black powder online, transporting it to his house in NY from New Jersey and constructing an explosive device in his basement, the news release said.

Rosenfeld sent letters and text messages to a person in Pennsylvania ― identified by NBC News as a reporter ― in which Rosenfeld detailed his plan to blow himself up, authorities said.

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". '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'.

"At this time I can state that there is no danger to the public and that the Orangetown Police Department, along with county assets and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were serving an arrest warrant based on threats that were made to targets, not in the local area", said Day.

Rosenfeld made his first appearance in NY federal court earlier Wednesday. He faces up to 20 years behind bars if convicted.

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