Paul Rosenfeld, a 56-year-old resident of Hudson Valley, has been taken into FBI custody after investigators uncovered a plot to detonate a bomb in Washington D.C. on Election Day.
According to court documents, the suspect has no prior criminal history, but he does have fringe political beliefs. Rosenfeld believes in an election system called sortition, which was used in ancient times. Such a system involves selecting elected officials by random casting or drawing of lots. The suspect reportedly wanted to bring attention to these political beliefs.
One reporter from Pennsylvania reported that the suspect had threatened to blow himself up at the National Mall because he does not like the direction the United States is going. He said he would do this act on Election Day to help bring attention to his beliefs. After reporting the suspect’s statements to the police, he was promptly pulled over by FBI agents.
According to authorities, the suspect immediately confessed to planning the bombing. The suspect had already gone so far as to order black powder online, which he intended to use to build a homemade basement bomb. After searching his home, police did find about eight pounds of the powder. The suspect allegedly did not want to hurt anyone. Despite this, the FBI believes the suspect’s plot could have hurt innocent bystanders and caused destruction. FBI agents have charged Rosenfeld with one count of the unlawful manufacture of a destruction device and one count of interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive.