"Yesterday afternoon New York City police officers arrested a 27-year-old al-Qaeda sympathizer who was plotting to bomb police patrol cars and also postal facilities, as well as targeted members of our armed forces returning from abroad," Bloomberg said at a news conference.
"The suspect was a so-called lone wolf motivated by his own resentment of the presence of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as inspired by al-Qaeda propaganda. He was not part of a larger conspiracy emanating from abroad," Bloomberg said.
Pimentel, a U.S. citizen of Dominican Republic origin living in the Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, was charged with "conspiring to build a bomb for terrorist purposes and for possessing a weapon, a pipe bomb, that he is alleged to have intended to use to wage his campaign of violence," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said.
"The defendant stated his belief in violent jihad and harbored a violent ideology," Vance said.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Pimentel was a follower of U.S.-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in September.
Pimentel lived most of his life in Manhattan, and police had been monitoring his activities since May 2009, Kelly said.