Home About Us Ten Years After: The FBI Since 9/11 Investigative Accomplishments

Major Terrorism Preventions, Disruptions, and Investigations

Cases since 2001 illustrating the FBI's role with partner agencies in major terrorism preventions, disruptions, and investigations

Investigative Highlights
Major Terrorism Preventions, Disruptions, and Investigations 


AP PhotoSince the 9/11 attacks, the FBI has worked hard to become an intelligence-driven organization capable of preventing the next terror attack. The Bureau’s efforts since 9/11 include many accomplishments, most executed in tandem with local law enforcement and intelligence community partners.

We use our growing suite of investigative and intelligence capabilities to neutralize terrorist cells and operatives here in the U.S., to help dismantle extremist networks worldwide, and to cut off financing and other forms of support provided by terrorist sympathizers.

Cases that highlight our efforts and the work of our partners in the past decade include:


2011


 

October 2011: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called “underwear bomber,” pleads guilty in federal court in Detroit for trying to blow up an airplane carrying 290 passengers and crew on behalf of Al Qaeda. Details

October 2011: Two men are charged in New York for their alleged participation in a plot directed by elements of the Iranian government to murder the Saudi Ambassador to the United States with explosives while the Ambassador was in the United States. Details

October 2011: A 26-year-old Boston-area man is arrested and charged in connection with his plot to damage or destroy the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, using large remote controlled aircraft filled with C-4 plastic explosives. Details

July 2011: A Brooklyn man is convicted of conspiring to commit murder overseas and support the terrorist organization al Shabaab. Betim Kaziu traveled from Brooklyn to Cairo, Egypt in February 2009 to wage violent jihad against U.S. troops in the Middle East and the Balkans. Details 

July 2011: A Somali national is charged in New York with providing material support to al Shabaab and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, two designated foreign terrorist organizations. Details 

June 2011: Two men are arrested for allegedly planning an attack with grenades and machine guns on a military processing center in Seattle. Details

May 2011: An Iraqi citizen who allegedly carried out numerous improvised explosive device attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and another Iraqi national are arrested in Kentucky on federal terrorism charges. Details 

May 2011: Six individuals are indicted in Florida on charges of conspiring to provide material support to a conspiracy to murder, maim, and kidnap persons overseas. Details 

May 2011: Usama bin Laden, on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list since 1999 for the bombings in 1998 of U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, is killed in Pakistan during a “targeted operation” by the U.S.  Details

May 2011: Michael C. Finton, aka Talib Islam, is sentenced to 28 years in prison for attempted murder of federal employees and attempted use of explosives in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at the federal building in Springfield, Illinois. Details

April 2011: Farooque Ahmed, a naturalized U.S. citizen, is sentenced for his role in a plot he believed included al Qaeda and to plan multiple bombings of Metrorail stations in the Washington area. Instead, it was a sting. Details

February 2011: Zachary Chesser, aka Abu Talhah Al-Amrikee, is sentenced for communicating threats against the writers of the South Park television show, soliciting violent jihadists to desensitize law enforcement, and attempting to provide material support to al Shabaab. Details

February 2011: Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, a citizen of Saudi Arabia and resident of Texas, is arrested for attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. His potential targets allegedly included the Dallas address for former President George W. Bush. Details

February 2011: Colleen R. LaRose, aka “Jihad Jane,” pleads guilty to charges of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists, conspiracy to kill in a foreign country, making false statements, and attempted identity theft. She and her co-conspirators recruited men on the Internet to wage violent jihad in South Asia and Europe. Details

January 2011: Awais Younis, of Virginia, is indicted for threatening to bomb the Metro rail system in statements he made on Facebook. Details


2010


 

December 2010: Antonio Martinez, aka Muhammad Hussain, parks what he thought was an explosives-filled vehicle in front of a military recruiting center near Baltimore and tried to detonate it remotely. The bomb was fake, provided by our undercover agents working the case. Details

November 2010: Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia and resident of Oregon, is arrested after he attempted to detonate what he believed to be an explosives-laden van that was parked near the tree lighting ceremony in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. Details

October 2010: Four men are found guilty of plotting to detonate explosives near a synagogue and Jewish community center in the Bronx, New York., and to shoot military planes with Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles. Three were sentenced in June 2011. Details

August 2010: In Minnesota, Alabama, and California, two Americans are arrested and 12 others, including five U.S. citizens, are charged with terrorism offenses and providing material support to the Somali-based terrorist organization al Shabaab. Details

August 2010: Paul Gene Rockwood, Jr., of Alaska, is sentenced to eight years in prison for making false statements to the FBI in a domestic terrorism investigation. A strict adherent to the violent ideology of cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, he shared ideas about committing acts of domestic terrorism with others, including the possibility of using mail bombs. Details

July 2010: Charges are announced against five members of an al Qaeda plot to attack targets in the United States and United Kingdom. The charges reveal that the plot uncovered in 2009 against New York’s subway system was directed by senior al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan. Details

June 2010: Faisal Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Pakistan, pleads guilty in Manhattan federal court for driving a car bomb into Times Square on May 1, 2010. He was sentenced to life in prison in October 2010. Details

June 2010: Tarek Mehanna, of Massachusetts, and Ahmad Abousamra, of Syria, are charged in Boston in a superseding indictment with one count each of conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, al Qaeda. Details

May 2010: Hosam Maher Husein Smadi pleads guilty in Dallas for his attempted bombing of a downtown Dallas skyscraper in September 2009. The case was investigated by the FBI’s North Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force. Details

May 2010: Khalid Ouazzani, of Kansas City, pleads guilty to his role in a conspiracy to provide material support to the terrorist organization al Qaeda. Details

March 2010: Six Michigan residents, along with two residents of Ohio and a resident of Indiana, are indicted in Detroit on charges related to their militia group’s plan to kill an unidentified member of local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who gather for the funeral. Details

March 2010: David Coleman Headley, a U.S. citizen of partial Pakistani descent, pleads guilty to a dozen federal terrorism charges, admitting that he participated in planning the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, as well as later planning to attack a Danish newspaper. Details

March 2010: Raja Lahrasib Khan, a Chicago taxi driver and native of Pakistan who claims to be acquainted with an alleged terrorist leader in Pakistan, is arrested on charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization for allegedly attempting to provide funds overseas to al Qaeda. Details

February 2010: The Justice Department, FBI, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service announce that the investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks is formally concluded. The investigation found that the late Dr. Bruce Ivins acted alone in planning and executing the attacks. Details

September 2010: Aafia Siddiqui is sentenced in New York to 86 years in prison for the attempted murder and assault of U.S. nationals and U.S. officers and employees in Afghanistan. Details

January 2010: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23-year-old Nigerian national, is charged in Michigan for his alleged role in the attempted Christmas day bombing of Northwest Airlines flight 253 from Amsterdam to Detroit. The investigation is being conducted by the Detroit Joint Terrorism Task Force. Details


2009


 

December 2009: Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, of Roswell, Georgia, and Syed Haris Ahmed, of Atlanta, are sentenced in Atlanta on terrorism-related charges. In the span of a year the pair went from being extremist wannabes to trusted brothers of terrorist operatives across the globe. Details

September 2009: Najibullah Zazi, of Colorado, is charged in New York with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction—explosive bombs—in the U.S. The investigation is being conducted by the New York and Denver FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces. He pleaded guilty in Feb. 2010. In July 2011, his father was convicted of obstructing a terrorism investigation. Details

July 2009: Seven individuals in North Carolina are charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and conspiring to murder, kidnap, maim, and injure persons abroad. Details

May 2009: Oussama Abdullah Kassir, a citizen of Sweden, is found guilty In New York of charges relating to his participation in an effort to establish a jihad training camp in Bly, Oregon and his operation of several terrorist websites. Details

May 2009: Ali al-Marri, a 43-year-old dual national Saudi and Qatari citizen, pleads guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support to al Qaeda. Details

May 2009: Five of the “Liberty Six” suspects are convicted of conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda and conspiracy to levy war against the U.S. by discussing and planning attacks on targets in the U.S., including the Sears Tower in Chicago and the FBI building and other federal buildings in Florida. Details

April 2009: Animal rights extremist Daniel Andreas San Diego, wanted for allegedly bombing two San Francisco-area office buildings in 2003, is added to FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. Details

February 2009: Christopher Paul, aka Abdul Malek, of Ohio, is sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiring with others to use a weapon of mass destruction, namely explosive devices, against targets in Europe and the United States. Details


2008


 

November 2008: Five former leaders of a U.S.-based Muslim charity, The Holy Land Foundation for relief and Development, are convicted in Dallas, Texas of funneling more than $12 million to the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. The case represented the largest victory to date against terrorist financing in the U.S. since the 9/11 attacks. Details

June 2008: Mohammad Amawi, Marwan El-Hindi, and Wassim Mazloum, the “Toledo Terror Cell,” are convicted of conspiracy to commit terrorist acts against Americans overseas, including U.S. armed forces in Iraq, and conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Details

March 2008: Hassan Abu-Jihaad, a U.S. Navy sailor, is convicted on twin national security crimes: espionage and material terrorism support. The former signalman aboard the USS Benfold had been secretly in touch with al Qaeda financiers in 2001, sharing classified details about the movements of U.S. ships. Details

January 2008: Mohammed Jabarah is sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to terrorism charges stemming from his participation in a plot to bomb U.S. embassies in Singapore and the Philippines. Jabarah trained in al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and spent time with Usama bin Laden, to whom he swore an oath of allegiance. Details


2007


 

December 2007: Kevin James, who formed a radical Islamic organization while in a California prison, pleads guilty to terrorism conspiracy charges, admitting his group conspired to attack U.S. military facilities and Jewish facilities in Los Angeles. Details

November 2007: Derrick Shareef, of Illinois, pleads guilty to one count of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He planned to set off several grenades in garbage cans at a shopping mall, but was arrested by agents of the FBI’s Chicago Joint Terrorism Task Force. Details

September 2007: Hamid Hayat, of Lodi, California is sentenced in connection with a series of terrorism charges related to his attendance at a jihadi training camp in Pakistan and his 2005 return to the U.S. with the intent to “wage violent jihad.” The case was investigated by the Sacramento FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Details

August 2007: Jose Padilla and co-defendants are convicted of conspiracy to murder, kidnap, and maim individuals in a foreign country, conspiracy to provide material support, and providing material support to terrorists. Padilla was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison. Details

June 2007: Four individuals, including a former airport cargo worker at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), are charged with conspiring to attack JFK airport by planting explosives to blow up the airport’s major jet-fuel supply tanks and pipeline. The plot was foiled well before it came to fruition. Details

May 2007: A 17-month FBI undercover investigation leads to charges against six men who allegedly tried to amass a small arsenal for a planned attack on soldiers at the U.S. Army base at Fort Dix in New Jersey. Our Philadelphia Division and the South Jersey Joint Terrorism Task Force led the investigation. Details


2006


 

September 2006: Adam Gadahn, also known as “Azzam the American,” is indicted on federal charges of treason and providing material support to a terrorist group for making a series of propaganda videotapes for al Qaeda, including one in which he praised the hijackers involved in the 9/11 attacks. A $1 million reward is offered for Gadahn, who is on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists list. Details

May 2006: Zacarias Moussaoui is sentenced to six consecutive life terms after pleading guilty in April 2005 to various terrorism violations, admitting that he conspired with al Qaeda to hijack and crash planes into prominent U.S. buildings as part of the 9/11 attacks. Details

May 2006: Shahawar Matin Siraj is convicted in Brooklyn of conspiring to plant explosive devices at the 34th Street subway station in Manhattan in 2004, just prior to start of the Republican National Convention at nearby Madison Square Garden. Details

January 2006: Indictments are handed down against 11 people charged with acts of domestic terrorism on behalf of the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) and Animal Liberation Front (ALF) for 17 attacks over a five-year period. The FBI’s Portland field office consolidated cases from seven independent field office investigations and dubbed it “Operation Backfire.” Details


2005


 

November 2005: Ahmed Omar Abu Ali is convicted on all counts of an indictment charging him with, among other violations, providing material support to al Qaeda, conspiracy to assassinate the U.S. President, and conspiracy to commit air piracy and conspiracy to destroy aircraft. Ali was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Details

September 2005: “Homegrown terrorist” Gary Nettles is convicted on two counts of plotting to destroy a federal courthouse in Chicago. He had confided his plan with a fellow inmate in Mississippi in 2003. The convict reported the conversation to our office in Jackson, Mississippi, which notified our Joint Terrorism Task Force in Chicago, spurring a 10-month multi-agency investigation that involved more than 200 law enforcement officers. Details

August 2005: Four men—including three U.S. citizens and one lawful resident from Pakistan—are indicted for planning terrorist strikes against U.S. military facilities, Israeli government facilities and Jewish synagogues in the Los Angeles area. Details

April 2005: British national Hemant Lakhani is convicted in New Jersey on charges of attempting to sell shoulder-fired missiles to what he thought was a terrorist group intent on shooting down U.S. airliners. Lakhani was arrested following an undercover sting and sentenced to 47 years in prison. Details

April 2005: Three British nationals are charged for allegedly entering the U.S. in 2000 and 2001 to conduct surveillance of buildings in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C. as part of a conspiracy to damage and destroy the buildings. Details


2004


 

September 2004: FBI opens case on Tennessee farmer Demetrius Van Crocker, who hatched plan to bomb a government building An FBI undercover operation turned up weapons and right-wing paraphernalia. He was later sentenced to 30 years in prison. Details

August 2004: Yassin M. Aref and Mohammed Hossain are arrested in New York on charges of money laundering and conspiring to support a terrorist group in connection with a possible plot to kill a Pakistani diplomat. Both were sentenced to 15 years in prison in March 2007. Details

July 2004: Abdurahman M. Alamoudi, a naturalized U.S. citizen, pleads guilty to three criminal violations relating to his activities supporting and financing terror organizations. Details

April 2004: Matthew Hale, the leader of a racist neo-Nazi group formerly known as World Church of the Creator, is found guilty of trying to have a judge killed. Details

April 2004: Randall T. Royer and Ibrahim Ahmed al-Hamdi are sentenced to lengthy prison terms for their roles in an alleged “Virginia Jihad” terrorist cell, which conducted weapons training in Virginia. Details

February 2004: Members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, including Professor Sami Al-Arian, are arrested by the FBI and charged under Racketeering Influence and Corrupt Organizations with operating a racketeering enterprise from 1984 that engaged in violent activities. Al-Arian was sentenced in 2006 to 57 months in prison. Details

January 2004: Special Agent George Piro conducts his first interview of Saddam Hussein, who had been captured in December 2003. Piro spent five to seven hours a day for months with the former Iraqi dictator, taking advantage of every small opportunity that presented itself, including listening to Hussein’s poetry. Details


2003


 

December 2003: The last of the “Lackawanna Six” defendants is sentenced in Buffalo, New York on charges of providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization, based on their attendance at an al Qaeda-affiliated training camp in 2001. Details

November 2003: Nuradin M. Abdi, of Ohio, is arrested for conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. The Somali national planned to travel to Ethiopia to obtain military-style training in preparation for violent jihad. He was sentenced in 2007 to 10 years in prison. Details

October 2003: Lyman Faris, also known as Mohammad Rauf, of Ohio, is sentenced to 20 years in prison for providing material support and resources to al Qaeda and conspiracy for providing the terrorist organization with information about possible U.S. targets for attack. Details

September 2003: Muhammad Bilal and Ahmed Bilal plead guilty in Portland, Oregon to charges of conspiracy to provide services to the Taliban. During the summer of 2001, they and others trained in Oregon and Washington state to prepare for jihad in Afghanistan or elsewhere. The investigation was conducted by the Portland FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Details

May 2003: Eric Robert Rudolph, is charged in connection with the bombing of a health clinic in Alabama and the fatal bombings at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, is captured. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2005. He was one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted fugitives. Details

April 2003: Earnest James Ujaama pleads guilty in Seattle to a charge of conspiracy to provide goods and services to the Taliban. Ujaama delivered currency and other items to Afghanistan and entered the country with the assistance of Taliban officials. The case was investigated by the Seattle FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. Details

March 2003: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a key planner in the 9/11 attacks, is apprehended. The FBI worked with other agencies to disrupt his financial network in the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan and gained valuable information from him. Details


2002


 

October 2002: “Beltway snipers” John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo are arrested by a team of Maryland State Police, Montgomery County SWAT officers, and agents from our Hostage Rescue Team. During the month, 10 people were randomly gunned down and three critically injured. Among the fatally injured victims was FBI intelligence analyst Linda Franklin. Details

July 2002: John Walker Lindh pleads guilty in July 2002 to one count of supplying services to the Taliban and a charge that he carried weapons while fighting on the Taliban’s front lines in Afghanistan against the Northern Alliance. Lindh was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Details

April 2002: “Operation White Terror,” a case that spanned three continents, demonstrates the interrelationship of national security and criminal investigations and the use of drug money to fuel terror. Details


2001


 

December 2001: Terrorist Richard Reid hides explosives in his black hiking boots, hoping to blow up an American Airlines flight over the Atlantic Ocean. The FBI Laboratory examined the homemade shoe bombs and made a precise reconstruction of the bomb to test it. Reid pleaded guilty in 2003 and was sentenced to life in prison. Details

September 2001: Letters laced with anthrax appear in the U.S. mail. Five Americans were killed and 17 were sickened in what became the worst biological attacks in U.S. history. The ensuing investigation by the FBI and its partners—code-named “Amerithrax”—was one of the largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement. Details

September 2001: The investigation of the 9/11 attacks—code-named “PENTTBOM”—begins. At the peak of the case, more than half our agents worked to identify the hijackers and their sponsors and, with other agencies, to head off any possible future attacks. The attack and crash sites also represented the largest crime scenes in FBI history. Details

10.14.10

How We've Changed
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- Just the Facts: Overview of a Changed Organization
- Investigative Accomplishments: Terrorism | More
- Telling the Story
- Reference Materials

 

Inside the Investigation
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- Response and Recovery
- By The Numbers
- The Flights
- FBI Heroes

 

The Day Everything Changed
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