A Dominican immigrant and religious convert to Islam has pleaded guilty to a terrorism charge, after being accused of building homemade bombs to wage holy war in New York City.
Jose Pimentel, 29, was promised a sentence of 16 years in prison after prosecutors indicted him for “building pipe bombs to be used against our citizens” in 2011, reports the Associated Press. His charge was attempted criminal possession of a weapon as a crime of terrorism.
Authorities have called Jose Pimentel’s case a striking example of the threat of domestic terrorism plots, while his lawyers portrayed the case as over-eager policing, arguing that Pimentel would never have begun gathering the parts to allegedly make pipe bombs if the police hadn’t sent informants to engage him.
Pimentel, also known as Muhammad Yusuf, was raised in the United States and converted to Islam in 2004, when he began maintaining a website that praised Osama bin Laden and listing reasons to “nuke the USA,” said prosectors.