FBI says man with 200-pound bomb had Election Day plot

Paul Rosenfeld 56

Paul Rosenfeld 56

Federal authorities were holding a NY man who they said planned to blow himself up on Washington's National Mall on Election Day in November to promote his ideology that requires government leaders to be randomly selected.

Rosenfeld "concocted a twisted plan to draw attention to his political ideology by killing himself on the National Mall", U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said in a statement.

A series of letters and text messages sent during August and September also show Rosenfeld meant to detonate the device as a way to bring attention to a political ideology called "sortition," according to the news release, which it describesas a "theory that advocates the random selection of government officials".

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Prosecutors say he planned to use the bomb to kill himself and draw attention to a political system called sortation, in which public officials are chosen randomly rather than elected.

The home of Paul Rosenfeld is shown Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, in Tappan, N.Y. The FBI raided Rosenfeld's home Tuesday and found a functional bomb in his basement that consisted of black powder inside a plywood box, according to a criminal complaint.

"In the basement, law enforcement agents found what appeared to be a functional explosive device weighing approximately 200 pounds", the release said.

According to charging documents, Rosenfeld's plan to detonate the bomb in Washington.

Rosenfeld took the black powder to NY, constructed smaller explosive devices and conducted test detonations, according to the criminal complaint. He agreed to answer the officer's questions and said he ordered large quantities of black power - an explosive substance - over the Internet, which he transported from a location in New Jersey to his home in Tappan.

'Had he been successful, Rosenfeld's alleged plot could have claimed the lives of innocent bystanders and caused untold destruction, ' Sweeney said in the statement.

ROsenfeld was charged with unlawfully manufacturing a destructive device, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Rosenfeld was said to have sent letters and text messages to a Pennsylvania reporter in August and September detailing his deadly plot, which was thwarted when the reported alerted the authorities.

"At this time I can state that there is no danger to the public and that the Orangetown Police Department, along with county assets and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, were serving an arrest warrant based on threats that were made to targets, not in the local area", said Day.

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