Man charged with building bomb to detonate in Washington

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New York : A New York man has been charged with building a 200-pound bomb he allegedly planned to detonate on Washington's National Mall on Election Day, according to an official statement.

The statement from the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York said on Wednesday that Paul Rosenfeld, 56, appeared in federal court on Wednesday after law enforcement agents found an explosive device in his basement on Tuesday, CNN reported.

Rosenfeld was pulled over while driving, and in an interview with law enforcement agents, he admitted to purchasing black powder online, transporting it to his house in New York from New Jersey and constructing an explosive device in his basement, it said.

The explosive device was removed by FBI bomb technicians, and law enforcement also found a system built to trigger explosions in his home.

A series of letters and text messages sent during August and September also showed Rosenfeld intended to detonate the device as a way to bring attention to a political ideology called "sortition", according to the statement, which it describes as a "theory that advocates the random selection of government officials".

Rosenfeld has been charged with one count of unlawfully manufacturing a destructive device and one count of interstate transportation and receipt of an explosive.

Each charge has a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.