Here’s a telling detail in the most recent terrorism arrest in New York:
Mr. Pimentel, 27, who lived with his uncle in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood after his mother threw him out recently, appears to be unstable, according to several of the people briefed on the case, three of whom said he had tried to circumcise himself.
The government’s informant in the case spent two years with Pimentel before he was able to get together the money and know-how to build a pipe bomb. The FBI didn’t think they had a case, but the NYPD has charged him with terrorism and conspiracy. Even if you buy the notion that this obviously disturbed individual was going to blow up churches and synagogues, there’s no mention of any terrorism ring in the media stories I’ve seen. I don’t see the conspiracy, unless cutting off one’s own foreskin is a super-secret new Al Qaeda tactic. My guess is that the NYPD is desperate to show that their Intelligence Division is worth the money that’s been poured into it since 9/11.