Man charged over USA mid-term elections 'bomb plot'

Sergio Conner
October 12, 2018

A man who planned to blow himself up in Washington DC on the day of next month's mid-term elections has been held and charged, USA prosecutors say.

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.

The Department of Justice said Wednesday that authorities thwarted a NY man's plan to blow himself up on Election Day to bring attention to his political beliefs.

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Prosecutors said Rosenfeld's aim was to kill himself with the bomb and draw attention to a political system known from ancient Greece called sortition, in which public officials are chosen by a lottery rather than elected.

He said he used approximately 8 pounds of black powder to build a large bomb in the basement of his home, adding that he installed components in the explosive device to make sure he was killed in the blast planned for November 6., according to the complaint.

Rosenfeld made his first appearance in federal court in NY on Wednesday, charged with unlawfully manufacturing a destructive device and also interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive.

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In August and September, Rosenfeld sent text messages and letters to someone in Pennsylvania telling of his plans to detonate a bomb on the Mall, authorities said.

Rosenfeld also admitted to building smaller bombs and conducting test detonations, prosecutors said. The FBI says in court filings that Rosenfeld confessed to ordering large quantities of black powder over the internet.

According to NBC New York, police and Federal Bureau of Investigation agents showed up at the home of Paul Rosenfeld in Orangetown, New York Wednesday morning with a search warrant.

He stated, among other things, that he used approximately eight pounds of black powder to construct a large explosive device in the basement of the Residence, and that he installed certain components in the explosive device to ensure that he was killed in the blast.

FBI Assistant Director in Charge William F. Sweeney said that "Rosenfeld's alleged plot could have claimed the lives of innocent bystanders and caused untold destruction".

The 56-year-old had an initial court appearance before a magistrate at a federal courthouse in White Plains on Wednesday afternoon. He faces up to 10 years in prison on each count.

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