A New York man who wanted to detonate a bomb at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on the day of the midterm elections was charged on Wednesday. He wanted to draw attention to a belief that politicians should be chosen at random.
A New York man who allegedly wanted to detonate a bomb at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on the day of the midterm elections was charged Wednesday, Newsweek reports. Paul Rosenfeld, 56, of Tappan, confessed to federal officials he was planning to detonate a device on November 6. Investigators said the motivation was to draw attention to his belief that politicians should be chosen at random—an ancient process known as “sortition.” Federal officials were tipped off to his plot by an person in Pennsylvania who received letters and text messages, tracked back to Rosenfeld. The notes stated that he was planning to construct an explosive device and set it off.
On Tuesday, a judge authorized a search warrant for Rosenfeld’s home. The same day, Rosenfeld was apprehended while he was driving. An FBI court filing said that Rosenfeld had ordered “large quantities of black powder” over the internet, which he then transported from a location in New Jersey back to his home. He said he made small explosive devices and conducted test detonations. Agents found at Rosenfeld’s home a seemingly functional explosive device weighing approximately 200 pounds. They also found a fusing system for triggering devices, and black powder.