SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Dominican authorities said Tuesday they are investigating the background of an immigrant accused of plotting to attack police stations and post offices in New York.
Police Chief Jose Armando Polanco said the investigation is ongoing even though suspect Jose Pimentel Sosa left the Dominican Republic at a young age and has no criminal past in the Caribbean country.
U.S. authorities have said that Pimentel, who faces terrorism-related charges, is an "al-Qaida sympathizer" who converted to Islam in 2004 and went by the name Muhammad Yusuf. He was born in the Dominican Republic but lived most of his life in Manhattan.
His father, Juan Jose Pimentel, told Dominican TV News SIN that he believes his son is innocent and the victim of bad luck.
"They want to set an example with terrorism (charges)," he said, referring to New York authorities.
He said that Pimentel changed when he got divorced about two years ago.
"He became a recluse, he was depressed," he said.
Pimentel last visited the Dominican Republic in 2007.
New York authorities said Pimentel was overheard talking about attacking police patrol cars and postal facilities, killing soldiers returning home from abroad and bombing a police station in Bayonne, New Jersey.