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List of unsuccessful terrorist plots in the United States post-9/11

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Title: List of unsuccessful terrorist plots in the United States post-9/11  
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Subject: September 11 attacks, Terrorism in the United States, Airport security repercussions due to the September 11 attacks, The Falling Man, Delta Air Lines Flight 1989
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List of unsuccessful terrorist plots in the United States post-9/11

After the initiation of the War on Terrorism following the attacks of September 11, 2001, several Islamic Extremist terrorist plots aimed at civilian and military targets have failed to succeed. The following is a list of unsuccessful Islamic terrorist plots in the Post-9/11 United States.

Bush administration (First term)

Date Target Description Arrest location Suspect(s) Status
December 22, 2001 American Airlines Flight 63 A man was put into custody after attempting to detonate a shoe bomb.[1] Paris to Miami Richard Colvin Reid Serving a life sentence without parole [2]
May 8, 2002 ? A man was arrested after returning from Pakistan for allegedly attempting to build a dirty bomb.[3] Chicago, Illinois José Padilla Sentenced to 17 years in prison [4]
March 13, 2003 Brooklyn Bridge A man was arrested and accused of giving aid to al-Qaeda and attempting to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge [5] Columbus, Ohio Iyman Faris Sentenced to 20 years in Prison [6]
June 2003 ? Eleven members of the Virginia Jihad Network were arrested and accused of training for holy war around the globe.[7] Northern Virginia Ali al-Timimi, Ali Asad Chandia, et al. All sentenced to 20 or less years in prison [8]
August 2004 New York Stock Exchange, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and the Citigroup Center Security in the United States was put on high alert after a plot to destroy the New York Stock Exchange and other financial institutions in New Jersey and Washington surfaces.[9] United Kingdom Dhiren Barot Sentenced to life in prison [10]
August 28, 2004 34th Street-Herald Square subway station Two men were arrested after attempting to bomb the New York City Subway on the day before the 2004 Republican National Convention[11] New York, New York Shahawar Matin Siraj and James Elshafay Sentenced to 30 years in prison [12]
August 2004 Pakistani diplomat Two men were arrested at an Albany mosque after attempting to gain possession of a shoulder-fired grenade launcher to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat.[13] Albany, New York Yassin Aref and Mohammed Hossain Both sentenced to 15 years in prison [14]

Bush administration (Second term)

Date Target Description Arrest location Suspect(s) Status
June 2005 ? A man and his father were arrested after lying to the FBI about involvement in a jihadist camp in Pakistan.[15] Lodi, California Hamid and Umer Hayat Hamid was sentenced to 24 years in prison [16]
August 2005 Los Angeles-area military bases, synagogues and other places Four men running an Islamic prison gang were arrested after allegedly attempting to destroy Los Angeles-area places.[17] Los Angeles, California Kevin James, et al. James sentenced to 16 years in prison [18]
December 2005 Williams Natural Gas (Wyoming), Transcontinental Pipeline, Standard Oil refinery A man was arrested on suspicion that he had plans to destroy several sites.[19] Pennsylvania Michael Curtis Reynolds Sentenced to 30 years in prison [20]
February 2006 Troops in Iraq, Toledo, Ohio citizens Three men were arrested for allegedly planning to build bombs for use by terrorists in Iraq.[21] Toledo, Ohio Mohammad Zaki Amawi, et al. Amawi was sentenced to 20 years in prison, the others 13 and 8 years, respectively.[22]
April 2006 Washington D.C.-area buildings Two men from the U.S. state of Georgia, were arrested after videotaping Washington-area buildings and sending the tapes to a London-based jihadist website.[23] Toronto, Ontario Syed Haris Ahmed and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee Ahmed sentenced to 13 years in prison, Sadequee sentenced to 17.[24]
June 2006 Sears Tower and FBI offices Seven men were arrested after allegedly plotting to bomb Sears Tower and FBI offices.[25] Atlanta, Georgia Narseal Batiste, et al. Five of the men were convicted. Batiste was sentenced to 13 years in prison.[26]
July 2006 PATH tunnels A man was arrested after allegedly attempting to bomb New York and New Jersey subway tunnels and flood the financial district.[27] New York, New York Assem Hammoud
May 7, 2007 Fort Dix Six men were arrested after attempting an attack on the Fort Dix military base.[28] Fort Dix, New Jersey Dritan Duka, et al. Four of the men received life sentences, one man received five years in prison and the other received 33 [29]
June 3, 2007 John F. Kennedy International Airport Four men were arrested in New York after a plot is revealed to bomb the fuel line of JFK airport.[30] New York, New York Abdul Kadir, et al. Kadir sentenced to life imprisonment.[31]

Obama administration (First term)

Date Target Description Arrest location Suspect(s)
May 20, 2009 New York City Synagogues/ U.S. Military Aircraft Four men were arrested in New York after a plot is revealed to blow up two synagogues and shoot down a U.S. Military Aircraft.[32] New York, New York James Cromitie, et al.
September 19, 2009 New York City Subway Zazi, a native of Afghanistan who lived in Colorado, was arrested and convicted of plotting to bomb the New York City Subway system. He was trained by al-Qaeda in Pakistan. 5 others were also indicted on related charges. " [33] New York, New York Najibullah Zazi, et al.
September 24, 2009 Federal Building, Springfield, IL A 29 year old was arrested on charges that he intended to bomb the Paul Findley Federal Building in Springfieldl, IL. [34] Springfield, Illinois Michael Finton
September 24, 2009 Dallas skyscraper A 19-year-old was arrested on charges that he intended to bomb a downtown Dallas skyscraper.[35] Dallas, Texas Hosam Maher Husein Smadi
October 16, 2009 Various overseas targets Colleen LaRose, also known as JihadJane and Fatima LaRose, is an American citizen charged with terrorism-related crimes, including conspiracy to commit murder and providing material support to terrorists. Lars Vilks was a named target in response to drawings of Muhammad.[36] Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Colleen LaRose, et al.
December 25, 2009 Northwest Airlines Flight 253 A man was arrested after Northwest Airlines passengers jumped him to avoid his detonating an explosive device above the city of Detroit.[37] Detroit, Michigan Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab
May 1, 2010 Times Square A Pakistani American who attempted the May 1, 2010, Times Square car bombing. He was arrested after he had boarded Emirates Flight 202 to Dubai. On June 21, 2010, in Federal District Court in Manhattan he confessed to 10 counts arising from the bombing attempt.[38] New York, New York Faisal Shahzad
October 27, 2010 Arlington Cemetery station A Pakistani-born Virginia man was arrested and accused of casing Washington-area subway stations in what he thought was an al-Qaeda plot to bomb and kill commuters.[39] Arlington, Virginia Farooque Ahmed
September 28, 2011 The Pentagon and United States Capitol Building Rezwan Ferdaus is a U.S. citizen, born and raised in Massachusetts, of Bangladeshi descent, who was arrested by the FBI on September 28, 2011, for allegedly plotting to attack The Pentagon and United States Capitol with remote-controlled model aircraft packed with explosives. He was also charged with supporting al-Qaeda and plotting attacks on U.S. soldiers abroad, by making IED detonators.[40] Arlington, Virginia; Washington, D.C. Rezwan Ferdaus
January 7, 2012 Tampa and various other targets Sami Osmakac is a man who allegedly plotted an attack, to avenge what he felt were wrongs done to Muslims, in the area around Tampa, Florida. Osmakac, an Albanian from Kosovo and a naturalized US citizen, was arrested January 7, 2012, for the alleged attack plan, which involved bombing nightclubs, detonating a car bomb, using an assault rifle, wearing an explosive belt in a crowded area, and taking hostages.[41] Tampa, Florida Sami Osmakac
February 17, 2012 United States Capitol A Moroccan man who was arrested by the FBI)for allegedly plotting to carry out a suicide bombing on the United States Capitol. El Khalifi thought he was working with al-Qaeda operatives, but was actually in contact with undercover FBI agents. He was sentenced to prison for 30 years in September 2012.[42] Washington, D.C. Amine El Khalifi
October 17, 2012 New York Federal Reserve A Bangladeshi man was charged with trying to blow up the Federal Reserve building in New York. While Nafis believed he had the blessing of al-Qaeda and was acting on behalf of the terrorist group, he has no known ties, according to federal officials.[43] New York, New York Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis

Obama administration (Second term)

Date Target Description Arrest location Suspect(s)
September 11, 2015 9/11 Memorial event in Kansas City. Missouri A Jewish American man, Joshua Ryne Goldberg, posing as an Australian ISIS supporter, attempted to get an FBI confidential informant to detonate a bomb at a Kansas City, Missouri September 11 attacks memorial event. Goldberg attempted to persuade the confidential informant to coat the shrapnel of the bomb in rat poison in order to maximize casualties. [44][45][46][47] Orange Park, Florida Joshua Ryne Goldberg

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  34. ^ "FBI arrest 29-year-old who changed his name to Talib Islam as he tried to blow up U.S. court", The Daily Mail, 25 September 2009, accessed August 1, 2015
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Further reading

  • New America Foundation: Homegrown Terrorism Cases, 2001-2013
  • List Of Foiled Terrorist Plots Since 9/11,, 2007-06-03, Retrieved 2008-01-13
  • James Jay Carafano, U.S. Thwarts 19 Terrorist Attacks Against America Since 9/11, The Heritage Foundation, 2007-11-13, Retrieved 2009-12-30
  • Detroit Terror Plot Makes 28 Plots Foiled Since 9/11, The Heritage Foundation, 2009-12-26, Retrieved 2009-12-30
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