Bomb Plot New York Suspect Didn't Seem Threatening, Neighbors Say
The bomb plot New York suspect Jose Pimentel didn't appear to be a radical or a threat to public safety, his loved ones and neighbors say.
Pimentel's mother, Carmen Sosa, was shocked by her son's arrest and unable to understand how he could have turned into a radical Muslim.
"I didn't raise him that way," said Sosa, 56, as reported by the Los Angeles Times. "I want to apologize to the city. I love the city. I'm very disappointed with what my son was doing."
Pimental's neighbors say they didn't suspect he was a radical Muslim at all. Sean McKenna, a Columbia graduate student in urban studies, said Pimentel was always on the building's stoop smoking and sometimes making small talk with neighbors, the Los Angeles Times reports.
"He was the only person in the building I knew ... and he wasn't talking jihad," said McKenna, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
A former junior high school classmate named Michael Echevaria visited the neighborhood often to see his grandmother, the Los Angeles Times reports. He said Pimentel was always hanging out on the stoop.
"I thought that he was either homeless or a drug dealer at this point," Echevaria told the Los Angeles Times.
Pimental was arrested Saturday on charges of plotting to blow up U.S. targets, such as American troops returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and launch a one-man holy war in New York City, the Los Angeles Times reports.