Federal officials have charged a New York man with manufacturing an explosive device, saying he planned to set off a 200-pound bomb at the National Mall in Washington on Election Day, killing himself and possibly many others.
Paul Rosenfeld, 56, was arrested on Tuesday after the Department of Justice was tipped off by an unidentified person in Pennsylvania who claimed Rosenfeld sent text messages and letters stating that he “planned to build an explosive device” that would go off on Nov. 6 as a way to “draw attention to his political belief in ‘sortation.’”
Sortation is an ancient Greek method of randomly selecting government officials, According to Fox News.
Agents say he created the 200-pound bomb, as part of a plan to blow himself up in Washington, D.C. Officials said he wanted to carry out the plot on Election Day to draw attention to his political beliefs.
At a Senate hearing Wednesday morning, FBI Director Christopher Wray said his agents are investigating about 1,000 homegrown terror threats in all 50 states.
“Those cover the waterfront of the full range of extremist ideologies from right to left and everything in between,” Wray said.
Rosenfeld made his first appearance in New York federal court earlier Wednesday. The FBI says they do not believe he is part of any larger terrorist organization. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Thankfully the bomb was safely removed from the man’s basement, NBC reported. Rosenfeld confessed to the plot, telling the agents he ordered black powder over the internet and built a bomb in his basement, court papers say.
Rosenfeld also told the agents that he installed certain components in the device to ensure that he was killed.
Investigators scoured his home and discovered a bomb that weighed 200 pounds but included only eight pounds of explosive black powder, court papers say. The extra weight was due to plywood crating and other components used to transport the device.