Jose Pimentel, the 'lone wolf' terrorist arrested for plotting to blow up police stations and postal offices with homemade bombs, smoked marijuana with the NYPD's cooperating informant in the case, and was likely high when making some of the incriminating statements recorded by police, Talking Points Memo has confirmed.
And The New York Times reports Pimentel, who's facing up to 25 years in prison for criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree as a crime of terrorism, also tried to circumcise himself. Pimentel converted to Islam two years ago and Muslims are typically encouraged to be circumcised.
These factors and others are drawing skepticism to the arrest of Pimentel, 27, a Dominican-born U.S. citizen, and the bombast with which Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly announced his arrest. The FBI declined to help the NYPD twice on the case, citing numerous concerns. From The Times:
In the task force, investigators were concerned that the case raised some entrapment questions, two people said. They added that some investigators wondered whether Mr. Pimentel had the even small amount of money or technical know-how necessary to produce a pipe bomb on his own, had he not received help from the informer.
Pimentel's attorney Joseph Zablocki told CBS, "I don't think this case is nearly as strong as the people believe, He has this very public online profile... This is not the way you go about committing a terrorist attack."
And when asked about an entrapment defense, Zablocki said, "I don't know whether there's an entrapment issue at this point, It's not outside the realm of possibility that there are other people involved."
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. announced Pimentel's arrest at a dramatic press conference Sunday night, showing a video demonstration of the destruction caused by the same type of bomb Pimentel is said to have been building. The video showed a car being blown up.
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