Published: Fri, October 12, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Man planned to detonate 90kg bomb on National Mall on Election Day

Man planned to detonate 90kg bomb on National Mall on Election Day

A NY state man built a 200-pound bomb in his basement and planned to detonate it in Washington on Election Day, according to federal authorities who arrested him.

Authorities say in a court complaint that the Federal Bureau of Investigation found a functional bomb in Rosenfeld's basement during a raid Tuesday.

He allegedly bought large quantities of black powder over the internet to build a large bomb in his basement, and had previously made and tested other small bombs.

Rosenfeld "concocted a twisted plan to draw attention to his political ideology by killing himself on the National Mall", U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement.

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

Paul Rosenfeld, 56, of Tappan, meant to kill himself in the explosion and draw attention to his political beliefs, prosecutors said.

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"Had he been successful, Rosenfeld's alleged plot could have claimed the lives of innocent bystanders and caused untold destruction", said FBI Assistant Director in Charge William Sweeney.

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 made his first appearance in federal court in NY on Wednesday, charged with unlawfully manufacturing a destructive device and also interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive.

Along with the 200-pound explosive, "law enforcement agents also found, among other things, a fusing system for triggering explosive devices and what appeared to be empty canisters of black powder", according to officials.

Rosenfeld was said to have sent letters and text messages to a Pennsylvania reporter in August and September detailing his deadly plot, which was thwarted when the reported alerted the authorities. He is also charged with interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive, which also has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. It was taken to a "safe location" in the county, officials said.

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