30 Terrorist Attacks and Plots by Homegrown Jihadists
May 2002 Muslim convert Jose Padilla is arrested at O’Hare Airport in Chicago on suspicion of planning to explode a radioactive “dirty bomb.” He becomes the first American citizen arrested on U.S. soil to be declared an “enemy combatant.”
May 2003 Iyman Faris, a Pakistani-born naturalized U.S. citizen, pleads guilty to surveilling the Brooklyn Bridge and sending coded E-mail messages to Al Qaeda operatives about a highly improbable plan to destroy the bridge by severing its cables.
June 2003 Eleven men from Northern Virginia — known as the “Paintball” terrorists — are accused of being part of a jihadist network that sought to wage war against nations deemed hostile to Islam. Two others are later charged, including spiritual leader Ali al-Timimi, an Iraqi-American U.S. citizen. Eleven of the men are U.S. citizens.
June 2003 U.S.-born Muslim Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, raised in Northern Virginia, is arrested in Saudi Arabia on charges that he plotted to assassinate President George W. Bush and launch a 9/11-style attack in the U.S.
August 2004 Just days before the GOP national convention, James Elshafay, a U.S. citizen,and a Pakistani immigrant are arrested on charges of planning to bomb a subway station near Madison Square Garden in New York City.
August 2004 Two Albany, N.Y., men are arrested as the result of an FBI sting operation involving a plot to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat with a shoulder-fired missile in New York City. Yassin M. Aref, an imam at the Masjid As Salam mosque in Albany, is a refugee from Kurdistan. Mohammed Mosharref Hossain is an immigrant from Bangladesh who had lived in the U.S. for decades.
August 2005 Four men are charged with planning to attack Jewish institutions, military installations and the airport in Los Angeles. Leader Kevin James, a U.S. citizen and Muslim convert, formed a jihadist group and recruited one of the other defendants while in prison.
December 2005 A Pennsylvania man, Michael Curtis Reynolds, is charged with plotting to blow up a Wyoming natural gas refinery. He sought to enlist Al Qaeda operatives to engage in attacks on pipelines and refinery targets.
March 2006 Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Iran, drives an SUVinto a crowd at a popular student gathering spot at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
April 2006 Two Atlanta men are charged with conspiring to support foreign terrorists. Authorities say Virginia-born Ehsanul Islam Sadequee and Syed Haris Ahmed, a naturalized citizen from Pakistan, videotaped targets in the Washington, D.C., area, including the U.S. Capitol, the World Bank and a fuel farm.
June 2006 Seven men, led by former Chicago delivery truck driver Narseal Batiste, are arrested for plotting to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, the FBI building in North Miami Beach and other government buildings in Dade County, Fla. The group includes five U.S. citizens. December 2006 Derrick Shareef, an American Muslim convert, is arrested in Rockford, Ill., on charges he planned to set off hand grenades at a mall just days before Christmas.
May 2007 Six men— including Mohamad Ibrahim Shnewer, a U.S. citizen from Jordan, and Serdar Tatar, a Turkish-born legal permanent resident — are arrested in a plot to attack and kill soldiers at Fort Dix in New Jersey with assault rifles and grenades.
June 2007 Russell Defreitas, a U.S. citizen from Guyana and former airline cargo handler, isarrested as the ringleader in a plot to blow up a jet fuel artery running through residential neighborhoods near JFK Airport in New York.
June 2008 Christopher Paul, a U.S. citizen from Columbus, Ohio, is arrested on terrorism charges after joining Al Qaeda overseas and plotting to launch bomb attacks in the U.S.
November 2008 Muslim convert Bryant Vinas, the U.S.-born son of immigrants from Peru and Argentina, is arrested in Pakistan on U.S. terrorism charges after receiving Al Qaeda training and helping fire rockets at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan. He later admits plotting with Al Qaeda to bomb the Long Island Rail Road.
May 2009 Three U.S.-born citizens — James Cromite, David Williams and Onta Williams — and a Haitian immigrant are arrested for conspiring to blow up a Bronx synagogue and Jewish center with car bombs while simultaneously shooting down a military plane with a Stinger missile.
June 2009 A U.S.-born Muslim convert allegedly shoots and kills an Army private and wounds another at the U.S. Army-Navy Career Center in Little Rock, Ark. Abdulhakim Muhammad, born in Memphis as Carlos Leon Bledsoe, claims ties to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
September 2009 North Carolina resident Daniel Boyd, a U.S. citizen, is indicted along with his son and one other person in a plot to attack the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Va. Boyd, who trained with terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan, obtained armor-piercing ammunition and maps of the base.
September 2009 Najibullah Zazi, a legal U.S. resident from Afghanistan, is arrested in New York City for plotting a suicide bombing of the city’s subways. He and two others planned to strap on explosives and board trains at Grand Central Station and Times Square during rush hour. Authorities charge 11 others in the Al Qaeda-orchestrated plot.
September 2009 A U.S. citizen who had converted to Islam while in prison is arrested after allegedly driving a van he thought was loaded with explosives to a federal building in Springfield, Ill. Prosecutors say Talib Islam, who changed his name from Michael C. Finton, tried to detonate the fake, FBI-provided bomb with a cell phone.
October 2009 Pharmacist Tarek Mehanna, a dual U.S. and Egyptian citizen from a Boston suburb, is arrested on charges he plotted with two other men to kill two U.S. politicians and shoot people at a shopping mall.
November 2009 U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the son of Palestinian immigrants who was born and raised in Virginia, allegedly opens fire at the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood in Texas. Thirteen people are killed and another 43 are injured. Hasan, a psychiatrist who was about to be deployed to Afghanistan, is shot and taken into custody.
May 2010 Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, parks an SUV containing a crude incendiary device near Times Square in New York City. A T-shirt vendor alerts police after seeing smoke coming from the vehicle. A bomb squad defuses the device, which contains three 20-gallon propane tanks.
October 2010 Farooque Ahmed, a Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, is charged after conspiring with undercover FBI agents posing as Al Qaeda operatives to bomb subway stations in Washington, D.C.
November 2010 Somali-born U.S. citizen Mohamed Osman Mohamud is arrested moments after trying to detonate a van he believed to be packed with explosives during a Christmas tree lighting in Portland. The dummy explosives were supplied by the FBI in a sting operation.
December 2010 A Baltimore man is arrested after allegedly trying to blow up a military recruiting station in Catonsville, Md. Antonio Martinez, a U.S. citizen who recently converted to Islam, parked an SUV in front of the station, but the bomb was a fake supplied by an FBI informant.
May 2011 Two North African immigrants from Queens are arrested in a sting operation for plotting to attack an undetermined Manhattan synagogue and the Empire State Building. Algerian immigrant Ahmed Ferhani, a permanent U.S. resident, and Mohammed Mehdi Mamdouh, a naturalized Moroccan, are accused by state prosecutors of attempting to purchase a hand grenade and guns to attack the synagogue.
June 2011 Two men are arrested for allegedly planning a suicide raid against a military processing center in Seattle. Prosecutors say the men hoped to use grenades, machine guns and assault rifles to kill soldiers and recruits they believed would eventually fight Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan. Muslim convert Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh are both U.S.-born citizens.
July 2011 Army private Naser Jason Abdo, who grew up in a Dallas suburb, is arrested on charges that he plotted to attack soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas with guns and a bomb. Police say they found weapons and instructions for making a bomb.
Sources: Christian Science Monitor, Congressional Research Service, The New York Times, Seattle Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post
Credits: Alan Diaz/Ap Images (Padilla); Ap Images (Faris); Alex Wong/Getty Images (Ali); Kei Uesugi/Getty Images (Subway); Shawn Rocco/Ap Images (Azar); Ap Images (Sadequee); Richard Miller/Ap Images (Ahmed); Andy Austin/Ap Images (Shareef); Christine Cornell/Ap Images (Defreitas); New York Daily News/Getty Images Danny Johnston/Ap Images (Muhammad); Ed Andrieski/Ap Images (Zazi); Ap Images (Islam); Ap Images (Hasan); Jay Janner/ Ap Images (Fort Hood); Ap Images (Shahzad); Ap Images (Car) Ap Images (Ahmed); Ap Images (Mohamud); Ap Images (Martinez); Ap Images From Facebook