Man arrested in NY bomb threat; wrote to someone in PA about plan

National News

Police have arrested a man in the New York bomb threat.

CBS reporter, Ali Bauman, reported on the incident.

Federal investigators found a 200 pound bomb in a quiet Tappan, New York house. They believe the homeowner was planning to blow himself up as a radical political statement.

Paul Rosenfeld, 56, is accused of building an explosive device in the basement over the past two months.

According to the criminal complaint, Rosenfeld sent letters and text messages in August and September to someone in Pennsylvania.

Rosenfeld outlined his plan to detonate a bomb at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on November 6, election day, to bring attention to his political belief in sortition, where government officials are chosen at random, rather than elected.

“He was just one of those people, very nice but just an unassuming person,” said neighbor John Steiner.

Federal investigators say they searched the home after getting a tip from a concerned citizen. In the basement, they found a functional explosive device equipped with a firing switch and what appeared to be several empty canisters of black powder.

“Could’ve killed a lot of people, taken out most of this block I would say,” said neighbor Brian McPartland.

Prosecutors say Rosenfeld admitted to ordering “large quantities of black powder over the internet” and transporting it from New Jersey to his home in Tappan.

The complaint alleged Rosenfeld intentionally installed certain components of the home-made bomb “to ensure that he was killed in the blast” and that he admitted to making and setting off several test bombs prior.

“I’ve lived two doors down from him for 10 years,” said Steiner. “They seemed like very nice people. They were always nice to me and my family.”

Authorities believe Rosenfeld was working alone.

The FBI director said agents are currently investigating about 1,000 homegrown terror threats across the country.

“Those cover the waterfront of extremist ideologies from right left and everything in between,” said FBI Director, Christopher Wray.

The complaint also alleged Rosenfeld admitted he built and detonated several test bombs prior.

Sources told CBS 2 Rosenfeld adamantly insisted he didn’t intend to harm anyone except himself in the planned explosion, even though the bomb was capable of injuring and possibly killing others especially in a crowded area.

The FBI said it transported the bomb to a secure location.

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