The man was not affiliated with any terror organization and had no plans to harm anyone else. But the FBI did point out that countless bystanders could have been injured or killed had he succeeded in his attempts to detonate the bomb.
Police and FBI agents searched a Hudson Valley, New York, home Wednesday and arrested the 56-year-old man living there after learning about his alleged plan to build a bomb and blow himself up in Washington, D.C., on Election Day, two law enforcement officials told News 4 New York.
Court documents say Paul Rosenfeld wanted to draw attention to his belief in an ancient election system called "sortition," a method of choosing political officials at random.
Officials tell News 4 Rosenfeld had no criminal history but had told a reporter in Pennsylvania he planned to blow himself up on the National Mall around Election Day because he was angry about the country's direction.
FBI agents pulled over Rosenfeld while he was driving on Tuesday, and he confessed to the plot, telling them he ordered black powder over the Internet and built a bomb in his basement.