On October 9, the FBI arrested Paul Rosenfeld—a New York resident—for planning to commit suicide on Election Day, November 6, with a homemade bomb at the National Mall in Washington, DC. According to media reports, Rosenfeld was acting alone, has no current ties to international or domestic terrorist or extremist groups, and had no intention of harming others during the planned suicide. At this time, there is no further threat to the public, according to authorities.
Rosenfeld’s motivation behind the suicide-bombing is linked to a political ideology known as “sortition,” which advocates the random selection of government officials, according to the criminal complaint. Rosenfeld disclosed his plan to a reporter in Pennsylvania, stating he was “angry about the country's direction.”
Press reports indicate authorities removed a 200-pound bomb from Rosenfeld’s home in Tappan, New York, about 30 miles north of Manhattan. Rosenfeld—who admitted to testing smaller devices in preparation for his suicide—will appear in federal court tomorrow to face charges, including the unlawful manufacture of an explosive device.
The Washington Regional Threat Analysis Center will continue to monitor election-related threats and plans to disseminate a threat assessment prior to November 6.