The mother of an "al-Qaeda sympathizer" who plotted to bomb targets in New York City apologized to New Yorkers Monday at a press conference. Her son, Jose Pimentel, was arraigned in state court on terrorism-related charges.
"I didn't raise my son in that way," Carmen Sosa said outside her Manhattan home, as reported by the Associated Press. "I feel bad about this situation."
Manhattan resident Pimentel, 27, was allegedly close to enacting his plan to bomb city police cars and post offices before being arrested, CBS news reported.
Pimentel, a US citizen originally from the Dominican Republic, was also reportedly targeting US troops returning from abroad.
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Speaking at a press conference with New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, the chief prosecutor for Manhattan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Pimentel had been taken into custody in Washington Heights on Saturday.
Bloomberg said there was no evidence to suggest he was working with anyone else, adding: "he appears to be a total lone wolf."
Media reports allege that Pimentel learned how to build a pipe bomb after reading al-Qaeda's Inspire magazine, published by radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who died in a US drone attack in September, in Yemen.
During the press conference Kelly said Pimentel had begun plotting his attacks in August, but the death of Awlaki refocused his efforts, the New York Times reported.
Kelly said that at the time of his arrest Pimentel, who is also known as Muhammad Yusuf after converting to Islam, had been under police surveillance for more than two years.
He had come close to completing at least three bombs.
Kelly added that Pimentel planned to detonate mailboxes before embarking on a bombing campaign around New York City:
“Once his bombing campaign began, Mr. Pimentel said the public would know that there were mujahideen in the city to fight jihad here.”
At Pimentel's arraignment, his lawyer Joseph Zablocki said his client had a very public online profile, and that his behavior was not that of a conspirator, and “not the way you go about committing a terrorist attack,” CBS reported.
Pimentel was denied bail and was remanded in police custody.