A man who planned to blow himself up in Washington DC on the day of next month’s mid-term elections has been held and charged, US prosecutors say.

They say Paul Rosenfeld, 56, built a 200lb (91kg) explosive device and wanted to detonate it on the National Mall in the capital on 6 November.

They say he wanted to draw attention to his belief in “sortition” – a political theory that advocates the random selection of government officials.

He could be jailed for 20 years.

Mr Rosenfeld – who waived his right to remain silent – was charged with two counts of manufacturing and transporting explosives on Wednesday, the prosecutors say.

“Had he been successful, Rosenfeld’s alleged plot could have claimed the lives of innocent bystanders and caused untold destruction,” said Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Read more about Mr. Rosenfeld’s destructive plans here.