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‘I’m Sorry,’ Mother Of Bomb Plot Suspect Tells New York

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Jose Pimentel, a 27-year-old “al-Quiada sympathizer,” was accused yesterday of plotting to bomb police stations and post offices in New York. Today his mom, Carmen Sosa, is apologizing for the situation.

“I didn’t raise my son in that way,” she told reporters outside her upper Manhattan home where Pimentel lived and constructed his homemade explosives. “I feel bad about the situation.” She also said the NYPD “handled it well.”

Pimentel was born in the Dominican Republic but spent most of his life in Manhattan. His mother said he was raised Roman Catholic but in 2004 converted to Islam and went by the name Muhammad Yusuf. After his arrest on Sunday, Pimentel insisted that “Islamic law obliged all true Muslims to wage war against the United States.”

When a teary-eyed Sosa was asked what she would say to her son if she could, she responded, “I don’t know what’s going on. I just want peace. I just want to say I love him. .. I cannot sleep. It’s hard for you to know what I’ve been through. I don’t know him. He dropped out of school … He’s had a lot of jobs but he’s not working now.”

Fortunately, Pimentel was caught just one hour before his homemade pipe bomb would be operation, according to reports. Even so, you can’t help but shudder when you think what could have been – and how many other ‘Pimentels are lurking out there.

In the meantime, I can’t stop thinking about his mother – something who seems totally “normal” and who nonetheless ends up with a terrorist living under her roof. It reminds me of the book (and film) We Need To Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver, in which a teenage boy commits a Columbine-like massacre at his high school; it focuses heavily on Kevin’s mom and the whole idea that such a troubled child could be raised by loving, law-abiding parents. It also makes me think of the London riots this past summer, and of the parents who turned in their own children as suspects.

Sosa claims she had no idea what her son was up to – and I believe her. I just can’t imagine how she must feel right now knowing she did her best to raise a moral person and yet learning that her child had every intention of murdering innocent people. It’s just heart-breaking to think about.

(Photo: CBS New York)