How very, very disrespectful. What will probably follow in the coming days are stories of how Pimentel was “radicalized,” claims that he was a “decent fellow,” and possible claims of mental illness. Those are popular in jihadist cases. “New York bomb suspect monitored for two years, officials say,” by Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister for CNN, November 21:
(CNN) — New York Police Department counterterrorism officials say they were first alerted to the activities of Jose Pimentel, accused of plotting to detonate pipe bombs in the city, about two-and-a-half years ago.
One official told CNN they were notified about Pimentel’s activities by law enforcement sources in upstate New York in May 2009. By then, the official says, he was already “radicalized.”
The NYPD used an informant to make contact with Pimentel, to befriend him and monitor his activities.
They wanted to get a sense of his intentions, to “wash him out,” as the official put it.
Pimentel – a native of the Dominican Republic and a convert to Islam – was arraigned in New York Sunday. He faces five charges, including criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree as a crime of terrorism, and soliciting or providing support for an act of terrorism.
According to a senior counterterrorism source, Pimentel had expressed a desire to go to Yemen at some point in 2010, and sent an email to the al Qaeda cleric and propagandist Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a drone strike in September of this year. He did not receive a reply, the source said.
The official told CNN that Pimentel was prolific online – maintaining a website called True Islam.
A website called trueislam1.com which is mentioned in the criminal complaint against Pimintel includes tributes to well-known al Qaeda figures and other jihadist leaders.
Its introduction ends: “May Allah bless all the Muslims, may he give us victory over the disbelieving people, and may he guide all those non Muslims, who visit this site to Islam.”
A YouTube channel (mujahidfisabillilah1’s channel) that links to the website describes its owner as “a Sunni Muslim BROTHER [sic] from the Dominican Republic currently living in Harlem, New York. Allah has guided me out of darkness and into the light.”
Pimentel was in touch and interacting with other Islamist radicals online and was aware of Revolution Muslim, a New York-based group sympathetic to the aims of al Qaeda, but was “not directly connected” to them, the official said.
Many apparantly like-minded individuals posted messages on his YouTube site in the last several months. A message posted on the site one day ago stated: “May Allah Reward you for all your efforts and hard work. Ameen.”
Counterterrorism officials became alarmed about Pimentel’s activities in September, when they “received indications that the suspect was going operational.”
That was before al-Awlaki was killed.
In October, officials say, Pimentel’s activities began to accelerate, when he began to acquire simple bomb-making materials. They say he began building his bomb in the apartment of the informant, rather than at his home, where he lived with his mother and grandmother….