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Terrorism 2000/2001

Terrorism 2000/2001

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U.S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Rescue workers draping American flag at Pentagon after 9/11 attack

 

Cover: Firefighters and military personnel drape an American flag over the Pentagon after the September 11 attack.

American Flag at Pentagon After 9/11 AttacksIn Memoriam of special agents John O'Neal and Leonard Hatton

Foreword

Expanding Focus

As the events of September 11, 2001, demonstrated with brutal clarity, the terrorist threats facing the United States are formidable. Between 1991 and 2001, 74 terrorist incidents were recorded in the United States. During this same time frame, an additional 62 terrorist acts being plotted in the United States were prevented by U.S. law enforcement. As troubling as these statistics are, they only hint at the full scope of the terrorist threat confronting U.S. interests. For every successful terrorist attack mounted in the United States, nearly 20 (19.83) anti-U.S. attacks are carried out around the world. Between 1996 and 2001, these overseas attacks killed 75 Americans and wounded an additional 606.

During the past two decades, the U.S. Government has expanded the FBI’s authority to investigate terrorist activities against U.S. interests overseas. Specifically, the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, the Omnibus Diplomatic Security and Antiterrorist Act of 1986, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, and Presidential Decision Directive 39 have served to extend FBI investigative authority beyond U.S. borders when U.S. interests are harmed or threatened. Since 1984 the FBI has carried out over 300 extraterritorial investigations, in close cooperation with the U.S. Department of State and with the assistance of host governments. These investigations include some of the FBI’s most complex and high-profile cases, including investigations into the September 11 attacks, as well as the bombings of Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia in 1996, two U.S. embassies in East Africa in 1998, and the USS Cole in the Yemenese port of Aden in October 2000. The growing internationalization of crime, including the crime of terrorism, has led the FBI to expand its international presence. By the year 2001, the FBI had legal attache (LEGAT) offices in 44 countries around the world. At the same time, the increasing scope of terrorist threats—from bombing plots of domestic and international extremists to threats involving weapons of mass destruction to the growing menace of computer intrusion crime and threat of cyberterrorism—led the FBI, in November 1999, to create the Counterterrorism Division to help focus its operational capabilities upon the full range of activities in which violent extremists engage. The Counterterrorism Division works closely with other FBI components and with other agencies to counter current and emerging terrorist threats.

Since the mid-1980s, the FBI has published Terrorism in the United States, an unclassified annual report summarizing terrorist activities in this country. While this publication provided a good overview of the terrorist threat in the United States, its limited scope proved not conducive to conveying either the breadth and width of the terrorist threat facing U.S. interests or the scale of the FBI’s response to international terrorism worldwide. To better reflect the nature of the threat and the scope of our response, the FBI is, therefore, expanding the focus of its annual terrorism report. Terrorism provides an overview of terrorist incidents and preventions taking place in the United Sates and its territories, just as Terrorism in the United States did. In addition, however, Terrorism discusses FBI investigations overseas, and thus provides a more comprehensive picture of the totality of the FBI’s response to international terrorism. While this expanded focus is intended to provide a more complete overview of FBI terrorism investigations into acts involving U.S. interests around the world, Terrorism is not intended as a comprehensive annual review of worldwide terrorist activity. For such a comprehensive overview of global terrorism issues, see the report Patterns of Global Terrorism, published annually by the U.S. Department of State.

This inaugural issue of Terrorism provides annual overviews for the years 2000 and 2001. The FBI hopes you find Terrorism 2000/2001 to be a helpful resource, and thanks you for your interest in the FBI’s Counterterrorism Program. A full-text and graphics version of this issue, as well as recent back issues of Terrorism in the United States, is available for on-line reference at the FBI’s home page at www.fbi.gov.

Federal Bureau of Investigation
Counterterrorism Division

FBI Policy and Guidelines

In accordance with U.S. counterterrorism policy, the FBI considers terrorists to be criminals. FBI efforts in countering terrorist threats are multifaceted.

Information obtained through FBI investigations is analyzed and used to prevent terrorist activity and, whenever possible, to effect the arrest and prosecution of potential perpetrators. FBI investigations are initiated in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Domestic terrorism investigations are conducted in accordance with The Attorney General’s Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise, and Domestic Security/Terrorism Investigations. These guidelines set forth the predication threshold and limits for investigations of U.S. persons who reside in the United States, who are not acting on behalf of a foreign power, and who may be conducting criminal activities in support of terrorist objectives.
  • International terrorism investigations are conducted in accordance with The Attorney General Guidelines for FBI Foreign Intelligence Collection and Foreign Counterintelligence Investigations. These guidelines set forth the predication level and limits for investigating U.S. persons or foreign nationals in the United States who are targeting national security interests on behalf of a foreign power.

Although various Executive Orders, Presidential Decision Directives, and congressional statutes address the issue of terrorism, there is no single federal law specifically making terrorism a crime. Terrorists are arrested and convicted under existing criminal statutes. All suspected terrorists placed under arrest are provided access to legal counsel and normal judicial procedure, including Fifth Amendment guarantees.

Definitions

There is no single, universally accepted definition of terrorism. Terrorism is defined in the Code of Federal Regulations as “...the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” (28 C.F.R. Section 0.85)

The FBI further describes terrorism as either domestic or international, depending on the origin, base, and objectives of the terrorist organization. For the purpose of this report, the FBI uses the following definitions of terrorism:

l Domestic terrorism refers to activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any state; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. [18 U.S.C. § 2331(5)]

  • International terrorism involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state, or that would be a criminal violation if committed within the jurisdiction of the United States or any state. These acts appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping and occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the United States or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum. [18 U.S.C. § 2331(1)]

The FBI Divides Terrorist-Related Activity into Two Categories:

  • A terrorist incident is a violent act or an act dangerous to human life, in violation of the criminal laws of the United States, or of any state, to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
  • A terrorism prevention is a documented instance in which a violent act by a known or suspected terrorist group or individual with the means and a proven propensity for violence is successfully interdicted through investigative activity.

Note: The FBI investigates terrorism-related matters without regard to race, religion, national origin, or gender. Reference to individual members of any political, ethnic, or religious group in this report is not meant to imply that all members of that group are terrorists. Terrorists represent a small criminal minority in any larger social context.

Terrorism 2000/2001

Undeterred by its thwarted efforts to target U.S. and other interests in late 1999 during the millennial time frame, the Al-Qaeda terrorist network carried out two separate attacks against the United States in 2000 and 2001. The first of these, a suicide bombing of the U.S. naval destroyer USS Cole in the Yemenese port of Aden on October 12, 2000, claimed the lives of 17 U.S. sailors. The second, a coordinated suicide attack using four hijacked U.S. commercial aircraft as missiles on September 11, 2001, resulted in the deaths of 2,783 innocent people. The September 11 attack represents the most deadly and destructive terrorist attack in history and claimed more lives than all previous acts of terrorism in the United States combined. The attack of September 11 represented the first successful act of international terrorism carried out in the United States since the bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993.

In response to the September 11 attack, the FBI launched the largest terrorism investigation ever conducted, working in close cooperation with other U.S. and foreign intelligence agencies. On October 7, 2001, the United States initiated military action against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which had provided safe-haven to Al-Qaeda leader Usama bin Laden and his followers since 1996. By year’s end, U.S. forces were working with anti-Taliban Afghan fighters to target Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan.

Domestic terrorist groups continued to plan and commit terrorist activity in 2000 and 2001. In keeping with a longstanding trend, in fact, domestic extremists carried out the majority of terrorist incidents in both years.

This inaugural edition of Terrorism highlights significant terrorism-related events occurring in the United States, as well as selected FBI investigative efforts overseas. Additionally, this report provides a wide range of statistical data relating to terrorism in the United States during the past two decades. This material is presented to provide readers with a historical framework for the examination of contemporary terrorism issues.

2000 In Review

The FBI recorded eight terrorist incidents and one terrorist prevention in the United States and its territories in 2000. Each of the eight terrorist incidents was perpetrated by domestic terrorists. Likewise, the terrorist plot prevented by law enforcement was being planned by a domestic terrorist. No acts of international terrorism were carried out in the United States in 2000.

All of the terrorist incidents that occurred in the United States during calendar year 2000 were carried out by special interest terrorists, specifically animal rights and environmental extremists. Three of the incidents have been attributed to the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), an extremist animal rights movement that has carried out numerous terrorist attacks in the United States since 1987. Three incidents have been attributed to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), an extremist environmental movement active in the United States during the past 20 years. An additional incident, an arson fire in Olympia, Washington, was claimed by a group calling itself Revenge of the Trees (ROTT) in a statement released through the North American ELF Press Office. The remaining incident, a series of arson fires in Phoenix, Arizona, has been attributed to Mark Warren Sands, a lone environmental extremist who was arrested and indicted in 2001.

No deaths or serious injuries resulted from terrorist activity carried out in the United States in 2000.

The terrorist prevention recorded in 2000 was being planned by Mark Wayne McCool, a right-wing, antigovernment extremist who was plotting to attack the federal building in Houston, Texas, when he was arrested by the Houston Joint Terrorism Task Force in March 2000.

Terrorist Incidents

January 3, 2000

Incendiary Attack
Petaluma, California
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

At approximately 1:00 a.m., on January 3, 2000, unknown suspects set three separate fires on the grounds of the Rancho Veal Corporation in Petaluma, California. Subsequent investigation determined that an accelerant, believed to be diesel fuel, was used in the attack. The fires damaged office space, two trucks, and an equipment storage facility, resulting in an estimated $150,000 in damages. On March 16, 2000, the North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office released a communique stating that a cell of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a terrorist animal rights movement, claimed responsibility for the fires. A similar act of attempted arson had been claimed by the ALF against the Rancho Veal Corporation in February 1997.

January 15, 2000

Incendiary Attack
Petaluma, California

(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

Early on the morning of January 15, 2000, a driver reporting for work at the Petaluma Farms chicken and egg processing plant in Petaluma, California, discovered fires in the cabs of two delivery trucks. Subsequent investigation determined that the fires had been deliberately set. A preliminary estimate of the damage was at $20,000. A search by fire department personnel of remaining company vehicles and the Petaluma Farms property uncovered 6 additional improvised incendiary devices which had failed to ignite. The North American Animal Liberation Front Press Office released an anonymous communique on March 16, 2000, stating that an Animal Liberation Front (ALF) cell had claimed responsibility for the incendiary attack.

January 22, 2000

Destruction of Property by Arson
Bloomington, Indiana
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

Early on the morning of January 22, 2000, firefighters responded to a fire at a residence under construction in Bloomington, Indiana. The fire caused an estimated $200,000 in damage, completely destroying the residence. A spray-painted message, “No sprawl ELF,” was left on a construction sign at the site. Extremists affiliated with the Earth Liberation Front (ELF), a terrorist environmental movement, claimed responsibility for the fire two days later.

May 7, 2000

Arson
Olympia, Washington
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

Arson Attack in Olympia in May 2000On May 7, 2000, an arson occurred at the Olympia, Washington, headquarters of Holbrook, Inc., a small timber company, causing an estimated $150,000 in damage. In a statement released through the North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office, a group calling itself Revenge of the Trees (ROTT) claimed responsibility for the act stating, “ROTT takes credit for gutting this timber company... Logging is just one aspect in this capitalistic industrialized system that is destroying all things wild. We will not stop until this whole stinking system rots.”

July 2, 2000

Destruction of Property by Arson
North Vernon, Indiana
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

During the evening hours of July 2, 2000, a truck and trailer were destroyed by fire at the Rose Acre Farms, Inc., an egg-laying operation. Small pieces of wood were placed in the wheel well of the tractor and trailer and ignited with a flammable accelerant, causing an estimated $100,000 in damage. The words “polluter, animal exploiter, your turn to pay” were spray-painted on the wall of the farm’s feed mill. Below were the letters “ALF”; however, no official claim by the Animal Liberation Front has been made.

July 20, 2000

Vandalism and Destruction of Property
Rhinelander, Wisconsin
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

On July 20, 2000, the ELF destroyed more than 500 trees and caused significant damage to seven vehicles at the U.S. Forestry Science Laboratory in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. The message “ELF is watching the U.S. Forest Service,” was spray-painted on U.S. Forest Service vehicles with green and black paint. Etching creme was also spread on the windshields of the vehicles. The attack caused more than $1 million in damage and resulted in a ten- to fifteen-year setback in the laboratory’s research. Self-proclaimed ELF spokesperson Craig Rosebraugh claimed responsibility for the attack on behalf of the ELF, declaring “We are everywhere and nowhere and we are watching.”

December 2000

Multiple Arsons
Phoenix, Arizona
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

During the month of December 2000 a total of 11 homes under construction in the Phoenix, Arizona, area were destroyed by arson. These luxury homes were being built along the border of the North Phoenix Mountain Preserves, a 25,000-acre area of land designated for public uses such as hiking, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities. Each of the arsons occurred during evening hours and was committed at similar points in the targeted homes’ construction. Written warnings left at three of the arson sites were signed as either the “Coalition to Save the Preserve” or the “C.S.P., North Phoenix Mountain Preserves Unit.” Property damage associated with the arsons is estimated to be in excess of $5 million.

On June 14, 2001, Mark Warren Sands was indicted and arrested without incident in Phoenix on nine counts of arson and nine counts of use of a fire to commit a felony, to include conspiracy to interfere with commerce with threats of violence. FBI investigation determined that Sands had fabricated the CSP. On November 7, 2001, Sands entered a guilty plea to eight counts of extortion and two counts of the use of fire to commit a federal felony. The arson charge was dismissed. Sands’ sentencing was scheduled for early 2002.

December 9, 19, and 30, 2000

Multiple Arsons
Suffolk County, Long Island, New York
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

In December 2000 a group of high school-aged activists adhering to the extremist environmental ideology espoused by the ELF set a series of arson fires at residences under construction in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York. On December 9, 2000, the activists set fire to a home under construction using milk-type containers filled with gasoline and topped with gasoline-soaked sponges and incense sticks as burn-down fuses. Three other homes were targeted on the same date; however, the incendiary devices placed in those homes failed to ignite.

On December 19, 2000, another fire was intentionally set in a home under construction. Gasoline poured over debris piled in the rear corner of the house was later determined to be the cause of the fire.

On December 30, 2000, fires were reported at three homes under construction in a nearby area. The assailants used plastic water bottles filled with gasoline, topped with gasoline-soaked sponges, to start the blazes. Incendiary devices placed in two other homes failed to ignite. Spray-painted messages, including “BURN THE RICH,” “STOP URBAN SPRAWL,” and “IF YOU BUILD IT WE WILL BURN IT E.L.F.,” were found on several of the homes. Additionally, a spray-painted figure of an elf was found on the garage of one of the homes.

On January 15, 2001, members of the FBI-New York City Police Department Joint Terrorism Task Force interviewed five high school students, including George Mashkow and Jared McIntyre. Following these interviews, task force members seized from the home of Jared McIntyre items and devices used in the vandalism and arsons. On January 19, 2001, acting on information obtained during the interviews of McIntyre and Mashkow, the task force secured a search warrant for the home of another activist, Matthew Rammelkamp. The search resulted in the seizure of empty water bottles, literature relating to ALF and ELF, and cans of spray paint. On February 9, 2001, Jared McIntyre pled guilty to malicious destruction by arson. On February 14, 2001, George Mashkow, age 17, and Matthew Rammelkamp, age 16, pled guilty to malicious destruction by arson. The same day a grand jury returned an indictment against Conor Cash, age 19, who was subsequently arrested and held for trial.

Terrorism Preventions

March 9, 2000

Planned Bombing
Houston, Texas
(Prevention of one act of Domestic Terrorism)

On March 9, 2000, the Houston Joint Terrorism Task Force (HJTTF) arrested Mark Wayne McCool, who was planning to attack the federal building in Houston, Texas. Before his arrest, McCool served as the self-proclaimed “colonel” and leader of the Texas Militia and Combined Action Program (TMCAP), an organization which advocated a violent revolution against the U.S. Government.

In 1999 McCool, David Nelson, a TMCAP “major,” and Michael Joffrion, the former “secretary of defense” for the antigovernment group the Republic of Texas (ROT), conspired to destroy the federal building in Houston, which they believed housed offices of the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. McCool believed that the United Nations had constructed a tunnel from the federal building to the nearby shipping canal and had stored a large cache of military hardware in a secret storage area under the building. In late October 1999 McCool disbanded the TMCAP after a falling out with Michael Joffrion. At approximately the same time David Nelson disassociated himself from antigovernment activities. Despite the dissolution of the TMCAP, however, McCool maintained his interest in acquiring explosives, including military-style rockets.

Investigation by the HJTTF revealed that McCool acquired approximately 100 pages of bomb-making instructions. In addition, he possessed a copy of The Turner Diaries, in which he marked passages describing the ammonium nitrate bombing of FBI Headquarters by a fictionalized group of antigovern-ment terrorists.

On March 9, 2000, McCool was arrested without incident after he purchased 1.5 pounds of authentic C-4 and an SKS collapsible rifle from an undercover FBI Special Agent. A later search of McCool’s home and vehicle yielded a list of ROT members, a homemade silencer, and an illegal sawed-off shotgun.

On March 16, 2000, McCool was indicted for possession of illegal weapons and possession of explosives. On June 5, 2000, in a negotiated plea, McCool pled guilty to one count of possession of explosives and on August 21, 2000, he was sentenced to six months’ incarceration and three years’ supervised release. He was also fined $100.

Significant Events

May 11, 2000

Mourad Topalian Pleads Guilty

On May 11, 2000, Mourad Topalian, a suspected leader of the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide, pled guilty to storage of stolen explosives and owning two machine guns.

In September 1996, the manager of a public storage facility in Bedford, Ohio, uncovered a cache of TNT and blasting caps, as well as firearms, in one of the facility’s self-service lockers. Investigators eventually traced the locker to Topalian.

On January 24, 2001, Topalian received a sentence of 37 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

June 6, 2000

Two Men Plead Guilty to Firing into Eric Robert Rudolph Command Post

On June 6, 2000, Eddie Dewayne Carringer and Wayne Henry Burchfield pled guilty to firing into the command post coordinating the search for accused serial bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. A third man, William Claude Lidseen, pled guilty to making false statements regarding the shooting to investigators. The shooting occurred on November 11, 1998, at the Southeast Bomb Task Force in Andrews, North Carolina. A bullet pierced the wall of the building and brushed past the head of an FBI Special Agent; no one was injured. On February 8, 2001, Burchfield was sentenced to 13 years and five months in prison for his role in the shooting. On June 6, 2001, Carringer was sentenced to 18 years and four months in prison. On July 25, 2001, Lidseen was sentenced to a two-year prison term, followed by three years of supervised release.

July 21, 2000

Suspected Hizballah Cell Disrupted

On July 21, 2000, members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) in Charlotte, North Carolina, arrested 18 members of a suspected cigarette-smuggling ring. Another individual suspected of helping the Charlotte smuggling ring was arrested the same day in Detroit, Michigan. The smuggling proceeds are alleged to have been sent to support the activities of Hizballah, a terrorist organization which operates primarily from Lebanon. Charges included several Immigration and Naturalization Service violations as well as visa fraud, money laundering, racketeering, and material support for a terrorist organization. Eight of the suspects have been denied bail. In 2000, one female subject pled guilty to visa and marriage fraud charges and was sentenced to probation. In 2001, six subjects (three male, three female) pled guilty to visa and marriage fraud charges with sentences ranging from time served to probation. One female subject was found guilty of marriage fraud by jury trial. Charges of marriage fraud were dismissed against one female, a U.S. citizen. One nonindicted Lebanese female was voluntarily deported. The remaining subjects were awaiting trial at the end of 2001.

July 28, 2000

Florida Militia Leader Sentenced for Terrorist Plots

On July 28, 2000, Donald Beauregard, leader of the Southeastern States Alliance, was sentenced to a five-year prison term for plotting terrorist attacks against power plants and government offices in the states of Florida and Georgia. The plot, which was thwarted by law enforcement in December 1999, involved stealing explosives from a National Guard Armory to use in terrorist attacks which would result in blackouts throughout Florida and Georgia.

September 27, 2000

IRA Gun-Smugglers Sentenced

On September 27, 2000, three members of a gun-smuggling ring that shipped weapons to Northern Ireland were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to five years. Connor Claxton, Anthony Smyth, and Martin Mullen were convicted of buying weapons and shipping them to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) in Northern Ireland. The 59-count indictment charged that the men conspired to aid terrorists by purchasing weapons and ammunition and mailing them to Northern Ireland for use by the IRA.

November 15, 2000

Eric Robert Rudolph Indicted for Bombings in Birmingham and Atlanta

On November 15, 2000, Eric Robert Rudolph was indicted for the bombing at the 1996 Olympics which killed one woman and injured 120 people, as well as two other Atlanta-area explosions and a bombing at an abortion clinic in Alabama.

December 17, 2000

Terry Nichols’ Appeal Denied

On December 17, 2000, a federal appeals court denied convicted Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols’ request for a new trial. The appeal alleged that the FBI had withheld information that could have helped his case. The three-judge panel ruled that any information withheld by the FBI would not have provided a “reasonable chance of changing the outcome” of the case. Nichols is serving a life sentence for his role in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people.

December 20, 2000

Five Suspects Indicted in Embassy Bombing Conspiracy

On December 20, 2000, a grand jury in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) returned an indictment against five suspects in the case of the United States v. Usama bin Laden, et al. The five suspects, Saif Al-Adel, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah, Ahmed Mohamed Hamed Ali, and Anas Al-Libi were charged in the overall conspiracy, led by Usama bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda organization, to kill U.S. nationals and engage in other illegal acts. In addition, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah has been charged for his role as the mastermind of the August 7, 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

 

Pie chart showing terrorism by event from 1980-2001. 482 total events, with bombings highest at 324, and kidnappings and rocket attacks lowest at 2 each.

Terrorism by Event 1980 - 2001

Bombings 324

Arson 33

Other 22

Assassinations 21

Shootings 19

Sabotage/Malicious Destruction 19

Robberies 15

Hostile Takeovers 10

Assaults 6

WMD 6

Hijackings/Aircraft Attacks 3

Kidnappings 2

Rocket Attacks 2

Total Incident or Planned Acts 482

  • Figure includes the events of September 11, 2001, which are counted as one terrorist incident.

October 12, 2000

Bombing of USS Cole, Aden, Yemen

USS ColeOn October 12, 2000, two suicide pilots of a small bomb-laden boat pulled alongside of the USS Cole at midship, offered friendly gestures to several crew members, and detonated their explosives. The U.S. destroyer, en route to the Persian Gulf, was making a prearranged fuel stop at the port of Aden, Yemen, when the attack occurred. The blast ripped a hole in the side of the USS Cole approximately 40 feet in diameter and killed 17 U.S. Navy personnel. At least 40 other crew members were injured.

Numerous FBI field offices and legal attaches, several hundred FBI agents and support staff, and Joint Terrorism Task Force personnel took part in the investigation into the bombing of the USS Cole. The FBI also established a cooperative working relationship with the Government of Yemen. Investigation revealed that the USS Cole bombing followed an unsuccessful attempt on January 3, 2000, to bomb another U.S. Navy ship, the USS The Sullivans. In this earlier incident, the boat sank before the explosives could be detonated; however, the boat and the explosives were salvaged. The boat was then refitted and the explosives were tested and reused in the USS Cole attack.

The suspects in the bombing of the USS Cole were believed to have ties to Al-Qaeda and the Islamic Army of Aden, an extremist group opposed to the Yemeni Government and the presence of U.S. and other Western influences in Yemen. By year’s end, Yemeni authorities had arrested eight suspects, including Jamal Muhammad Ahmad Al-Badawi and Fahad Muhammad Ahmad Al-Quso, two of the alleged masterminds of the USS The Sullivans and the USS Cole attacks. Al-Badawi and Al-Quso are known Al-Qaeda operatives who trained in Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan during the 1990s. Other suspects, including alleged key coconspira-tors Tawfiq Mohummad bin Saleh bin Roshayed bin Attash and Mohammed Hamdi Mohammed Sadiq Al Ahdal, remain fugitives.

2001 In Review

The FBI recorded 14 terrorist incidents and two terrorist preventions in the United States and its territories in 2001. Twelve of the 14 recorded incidents were carried out by domestic terrorists. One incident, the terrorist attack of September 11, was perpetrated by international terrorists. At this time, the other incident, an unsolved series of anthrax-tainted letters sent through the U.S. postal system, cannot yet be characterized as either domestic or international in nature. The two terrorist plots prevented by law enforcement in 2001 were being planned by domestic extremists.

Eight of the terrorist incidents that occurred in the United States in 2001 have been attributed to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). A claim of responsibility for an additional incident, arson fires set at an automobile dealership in Eugene, Oregon, was issued by the North American ELF Press Office on behalf of an “anonymous group.” One incident was claimed by the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). Two terrorist incidents, separate bank robberies in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Morgantown, West Virginia, have been attributed to Clayton Lee Waagner, a special interest extremist who was arrested in December 2001 for numerous crimes related directly and indirectly to his anti-abortion activities. The terrorist attack of September 11, 2001, involving the hijacking of four commercial airliners which were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a remote field in Pennsylvania, marked the first successful international terrorist attack in the United States since the bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993. The attack was carried out by 19 members of Al-Qaeda, an international terrorist network headed by Usama bin Laden. A series of parcels containing the biological agent anthrax sent through the U.S. postal system during fall 2001 remains under investigation by the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. As noted, to date, this terrorist incident has not been definitively classified as either domestic or international in nature.

A total of 2,788 people lost their lives in the United States in terrorist attacks that occurred during 2001. The September 11 attack resulted in 2,783 deaths, making it the most deadly act of terrorism ever committed. In addition to the fatalities, an unknown number of persons was injured. The subsequent series of anthrax mailings resulted in five deaths, with an additional 17 individuals receiving treatment for anthrax exposure. No other terrorist attacks carried out in the United States in 2001 resulted in deaths or serious injuries.

The two terrorist plots prevented by law enforcement in 2001 were being planned by domestic extremists. Ronald Mike Denton was planning to attack his former place of employment, the Chevron Oil Refinery at El Segundo, California, when he was arrested in March 2001. In December 2001 Irving David Rubin and Earl Leslie Krugel, members of the extremist Jewish Defense League, were arrested as they were in the final stages of planning attacks against the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California, and the local office of U.S. Congressman Darrell Issa.

Terrorist Incidents

January 2, 2001

Arson
Glendale, Oregon
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

During the early morning hours of January 2, 2001, an office of the Superior Lumber Company in Glendale, Oregon, was damaged by a suspicious fire. Investigation later revealed that two five-gallon plastic containers filled with diesel fuel were used to start the fire. Damage to the facility was estimated at $400,000. Through an anonymous letter to the news media, the ELF claimed responsibility for the arson, calling the lumber company “a typical earth raper contributing to the ecological destruction of the Northwest.”

February 20, 2001

Arson
Visalia, California
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

In the early morning of February 20, 2001, the Tulare County (California) Fire Department responded to a suspicious fire at the Delta and Pine

Land Company in Visalia. Damage to the facility was estimated to exceed $200,000. On February 25, 2001, the ELF claimed responsibility for the arson via an “Urgent News Advisory” on its web site. The advisory described how the arson was carried out. In its claim of responsibility, the ELF stated that the company was targeted due to its work with genetically engineered seeds.

March 9, 2001

Tree Spiking
Culpeper, Virginia
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

On March 9, 2001, an employee of the Rockhill Lumber Company in Culpeper, Virginia, discovered leaflets that had been nailed to various trees along a logging path located on the company’s tree-harvesting property. The leaflets, marked with “Earth Liberation Front,” were attached to the trees using six-inch gutter spikes. According to the leaflets, the spikes had been placed in the trees to prevent them from being cut down.

Bar graph of terrorism in the U.S. from 1980-2001, with 482 total incidents

 

 

Pie Chart of Terrorism by Group Class from 1980-2001

Terrorism by Group Class 1980 - 2001 Total 482

International 164

Left-Wing 130

Right-Wing 85

Special Interest 81

Individual 14

Unknown 8

  • Figures include terrorist incidents, suspected terrorist incidents, and preventions, (The Jewish Defense League has been deemed a right-wing terrorist group.).

March 30, 2001

Arson
Eugene, Oregon
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

On March 30, 2001, 37 new sport-utility vehicles at a dealership in Eugene, Oregon, were destroyed by arson. Subsequent investigation determined that more than 20 two-gallon containers filled with gasoline were placed under the vehicles and ignited. Damage is estimated at approximately $1 million. On April 1, 2001, Craig Rosebraugh of the North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office announced a claim for the arson by an “anonymous group.” The claim cited “Free” and “Critter,” two environmental activists who were convicted and incarcerated for an arson that had previously been set at the same dealership.

April 15, 2001

Arson
Portland, Oregon
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

During the early morning hours of April 15, 2001, a fire was reported at the Ross Island Sand and Gravel company in Portland, Oregon. The Portland police and fire bureaus responded and discovered three concrete-mixing trucks on fire. The remains of incendiary devices were later found under each of the trucks. A fourth device was found intact near one of the burned vehicles. The ELF claimed responsibility for the arson in a news release issued on April 23, 2001.

May 17, 2001; November 9, 2001

Bank Robberies
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Morgantown, West Virginia
(Two acts of Domestic Terrorism)

On February 22, 2001, anti-abortion extremist Clayton Lee Waagner escaped from a county jail in Clinton, Illinois, where he was being held after a December 6, 2000 conviction on federal charges for possession of a firearm by a felon and interstate transportation of a stolen motor vehicle. Waagner was scheduled to be sentenced in a federal court on March 16, 2001. Prior to his escape, Waagner stated that if he got out of prison he would continue his mission to stalk and kill abortion providers.

On September 7, 2001, Waagner was involved in a “hit and run” accident in Memphis, Tennessee. Responding police officers discovered various items in the stolen vehicle Waagner had abandoned at the scene, including a pipe bomb and bomb-making components. Additional bomb-making components were later discovered in a hotel room Waagner abandoned in Tunica, Mississippi.

Between October 15 and October 17, 2001, Waagner allegedly mailed more than 300 anthrax threat letters to reproductive health clinics on the East Coast. The envelopes, marked “Time Sensitive” and “Urgent Security Notice Enclosed,” bore the return addresses of the U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Secret Service. The letters, signed “Army of God-Virginia Dare Cell,” contained a white powdery substance that tested negative for anthrax. Between November 5 and November 8, 2001, a second wave of anthrax threat letters, again signed “Army of God - Virginia Dare Cell,” were mailed to reproductive health clinics. In addition, bomb threats were telephoned to businesses located in the buildings that house the national headquarters of Planned Parenthood and the National Abortion Federation. After his arrest on December 5, 2001, Waagner indicated to investigators that he was in the process of preparing a third wave of fabricated anthrax threat letters to abortion providers. Waagner also stated that he intended to place the pipe bomb recovered from the vehicle in Memphis at a local Planned Parenthood office.

Waagner is believed to have committed several bank robberies to support his illegal anti-abortion activities and his fugitive status. By year’s end, he had been formally charged with two: the May 17, 2001 robbery of a bank in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and the November 9, 2001 robbery of a bank in Morgantown, West Virginia. Each of these robberies has been designated as an act of domestic terrorism.

Terrorist Activity by Region Graph

 

Terrorist Activity by Region 1980 - 2001

  • Although designated as a single act of international terrorism, the aircraft attacks of September 11, 2001, have been designated as one terrorist incident in the Northeastern region and one terrorist incident in the Southern region for the purposes of this graph. Similarly, although the anthrax mailings that occurred from September through November 2001 have been categorized as a single act of terrorism, the incidents have been designated as one terrorist incident in the Northeastern region and one terrorist incident in the Southern region for the purposes of this graph.

May 21, 2001

Arson
Seattle, Washington
(One act of Domestic Terrorism
)

On May 21, 2001, a fire was intentionally set at the University of Washington’s Center for Urban Horticulture. The office of an associate professor specializing in hybrid poplar tree research appeared to be the primary target of the arson; however, fire also damaged other parts of the center, causing approximately $3 million in damage. Five-gallon containers filled with gasoline and electronic timers were used to start the fire. The ELF claimed responsibility for the arson, as well as another arson involving similar incendiary devices set the same day at the Jefferson Poplar Farm, in Clatskanie, Oregon.

May 21, 2001

Arson
Clatskanie, Oregon
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

During the early morning hours of May 21, 2001, a fire was reported at the Jefferson Poplar Farms, a facility which conducts research on hybrid poplar trees, in Clatskanie, Oregon. Two buildings and several vehicles were destroyed by the fire. A third building was spray-painted with graffiti reading “ELF” and “You cannot control what is wild.” Damages were estimated at $800,000. Three intact incendiary devices, similar to devices used on the same morning at the University of Washington Horticulture Center, were found near a fourth building at the Clatskanie facility. The ELF claimed responsibility for both arsons.

July 24, 2001

Destruction of Property
Stateline, Nevada
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

On July 24, 2001, unidentified individuals scaled at least three towers supporting the gondola transportation system of the Heavenly Valley Ski Resort in Stateline, Nevada. These individuals affixed a large piece of wood to the gondola cable using zip ties, apparently in an attempt to derail the gondola. When the gondola operators commenced operation on the morning of July 25, 2001, a sensor cable attached to two other towers snapped, signaling a problem and causing immediate cessation of operations. At the base of one of the towers, individuals had spelled “ELF” using the same type of zip ties that were used on the cable. This potentially life-threatening incident resulted in approximately $2,000 in lost revenue for the ski resort.

September 11, 2001

Aircraft Attack
New York, New York; Arlington, Virginia;
Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania
(One act of International Terrorism)

On the morning of September 11, 2001, four U.S. commercial airliners were hijacked by four coordinated teams of terrorists. The 19 hijackers who carried out the operation were affiliated with Al-Qaeda, a worldwide terrorist network that had previously attacked U.S. military and diplomatic targets. The hijackers used knives, boxcutters, and possibly pepper spray to attack passengers and flight crews and to commandeer the aircraft. After taking control of the aircraft, the hijackers flew toward preselected targets on the U.S. East Coast. Three of the commandeered aircraft reached their destinations, destroying the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and badly damaging the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. The fourth aircraft crashed into a remote field in Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania, as passengers attempted to regain control of the airplane. All of the passengers on each of the aircraft were killed in the attack, as were more than 2,500 people in the twin towers and the Pentagon. In total, 2,783* people died in the September 11 attack, making it the most deadly act of terrorism ever committed. The September 11 attack also marked the first known suicide terrorist attack carried out in the United States since the FBI began keeping terrorist records.

The coordinated attack began shortly after American Airlines (AA) flight 11 departed Logan International Airport, Boston, Massachusetts, bound for Los Angeles, California, at 7:59 a.m. Eighty-one passengers and 11 crew members were onboard the Boeing 767 aircraft. Minutes into the cross-country flight, a team of five terrorists—Mohamed Atta, Abdul Aziz al Omari, Satam al Suqami, Waleed al Sheri, and Wail al Shehri—commandeered the aircraft. At 8:13 a.m., AA flight 11 diverted from its charted course. It is believed that Mohamed Atta, who had obtained flight training in the United States during the prior two years, had taken over the aircraft’s controls, redirecting it toward New York City. At approximately 8:46 a.m., AA flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Less than two hours later, at 10:25 a.m., the North Tower collapsed.

At approximately 7:58 a.m., United Airlines (UA) flight 175, a Boeing 767 aircraft, departed Boston’s Logan International Airport bound for Los Angeles, with 51 passengers and 9 crew members onboard. Shortly after takeoff, the plane was hijacked by five terrorists—Marwan al Shehhi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Ahmed Alghamdi, Hamza Alghamdi, and Mohand Alshehri. It is believed that Marwan al Shehhi, who received flight training in the United States during the prior two years, took over controls of the aircraft, flying it toward New York City. At 9:05 a.m., UA flight 175 struck the South Tower of the World Trade Center, which collapsed 50 minutes later at 9:55 a.m.

At 8:20 a.m., AA flight 77, a Boeing 757 aircraft, departed Dulles International Airport in Herndon, Virginia, en-route to Los Angeles, with 58 passengers and six crew members on-board. Among the passengers were five hijackers—Hani Hanjour, Khalid al-Mihdar, Nawaf al-Hazmi, Salem al-Hazmi, and Majed Moqed—who subdued the passengers and crew and commandeered the flight. It is believed that Hani Hanjour, who began pilot training in 1996 in the United States, took over controls of the aircraft. At 8:55 a.m., the aircraft began an unauthorized turn to the southeast, to return toward the Washington, D.C., area. At 9:37 a.m., AA flight 77 crashed into the southwest side of the Pentagon. In addition to the 64 victims aboard the aircraft, 125 people in the Pentagon died as a result of the crash and resulting fire.

At 8:42 a.m., UA flight 93, a Boeing 757 aircraft, departed Newark (New Jersey) International Airport en-route to San Francisco, California, with 37 passengers and seven crew members on-board. Among the passengers was a team of four hijackers—Ziad Samir Jarrah, Saeed Alghamdi, Ahmad Ibrahim A. al Haznawi, and Ahmed Alnami. The aircraft reached a cruising altitude of more than 35,000 feet by 9:15, and the automatic pilot was engaged. At approximately 9:28 a.m., a manual override to change altitude and direction was executed. The aircraft climbed to more than 40,000 feet and turned from its westerly direction to the southeast. Although the automatic pilot remained engaged for the remainder of the flight, the aircraft descended gradually to an altitude of 5,000 feet. Ziad Samir Jarrah, the only hijacker with flight training, having obtained a pilot’s license in the United States during the prior two years, is believed to have taken over the controls of the aircraft after the hijacking. As the aircraft descended, passengers were herded to the rear of the airplane, where at least one of the hijackers told passengers to place telephone calls to their loved ones. Through these telephone calls and recordings from the cockpit voice recorder and air traffic control tapes, investigators were able to piece together some details from the final moments of UA flight 93. Passengers set in motion a plan to regain control of the flight—possibly by throwing scalding water on the hijackers. UA flight 93 crashed into a remote field in Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania, at approximately 10:03 a.m. The crash resulted in the deaths of all 33 passengers and seven crew members.

* This number does not include the 19 hijackers, all of whom died in the attack.

Aerial Views of 9/11 Crash Sites


September-November 2001

Bacillus Anthracis Mailings
New York, New York; Washington, D.C.; Lantana, Florida
(One act of Terrorism)

In the fall of 2001, the United States was subjected to the most significant bioterrorist attack in the nation’s history. A total of four anthrax-tainted parcels were recovered, including letters mailed to NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw, the editor of The New York Post, and U.S. senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. The anthrax-tainted letters killed five people and and infected more than a dozen others who were treated and recovered. As a precautionary measure, an additional 20,000 people were given antibiotics and 21 buildings, including offices of the U.S. House Representatives and the U.S. Senate and postal facilities, were temporarily shut down due to contamination.

Anthrax, an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, is characterized by several clinical forms, including cutaneous (skin lesions), pulmonary (inhalation), and intestinal (ingestion). Victims of anthrax experience symptoms similar to that of a common flu. If left untreated, infected persons can die within days of becoming symptomatic.

The first victim of anthrax exposure, Robert Stevens, was employed with American Media Incorporated (AMI), the nation’s largest publisher of tabloid newspapers. Stevens sought medical treatment after he began experiencing flu-like symptoms on September 30, 2001; on October 4, 2001, laboratory results indicated pulmonary anthrax; and on October 5, 2001, within three days of being hospitalized, Stevens died. Days later, a second victim, also an employee of AMI, became ill with pulmonary anthrax. The second victim was treated promptly with antibiotics and recovered fully. Although no anthrax-tainted parcels were recovered at the AMI facility, swabbings indicated the presence of Bacillus anthracis at a number of locations within the AMI building; the facility was closed and at year’s end was undergoing additional testing.

Anthrax-tainted letters

Anthrax-tainted letters

In September 2001, letters were mailed to The New York Post and to NBC News Anchor Tom Brokaw. The letters were postmarked in Trenton, New Jersey, on Tuesday, September, 18, 2001–exactly one week after the September 11 attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. A CBS employee and the seven-month-old baby of an ABC producer also tested positive for cutaneous anthrax suggesting that additional letters may have been sent to the New York offices of CBS and ABC; however, no letters were recovered from these locations.

In October 2001 letters were addressed to U.S. senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. Both letters contained anthrax powder along with references to “September 11, 2001,” “Anthrax,” and “Allah.” When the Senator Daschle letter was opened by a staff member, a small cloud of anthrax spilled out of the envelope. The U.S. Capitol Police and FBI were notified, and the area was vacated and secured immediately.

The letter to Senator Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, was recovered from a quarantined postal facility on November 16, 2001. The envelope included the same fictitious return address hand-printed on the Daschle letter: 4th Grade, Greendale School, Franklin Park, NJ 08852. All four anthrax-tainted letters were mailed in envelopes that were prestamped and embossed with a blue “Federal Eagle” design on the front. These envelopes can be purchased only in U.S. Post Offices, via the Internet, or through catalogue phone order. Additionally, the four letters were all processed at the Hamilton Distribution Center located in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, and were postmarked in Trenton, New Jersey.

Anthrax testingAlthough the four recovered letters bore many similarities, significant variations exist between the letters sent to senators Daschle and Leahy and those sent to the media. The two letters mailed to the senators contained a more refined form of anthrax powder. The text of the letters also varied between the two sets of letters. The two known letters addressed to the media included the following language: “9/11/01 // THIS IS NEXT // TAKE PENACILIN NOW // DEATH TO AMERICA // DEATH TO ISRAEL // ALLAH IS GREAT” (double slashes inserted for clarity and indicate line breaks in the text). The letters sent to the senators stated “YOU CAN NOT STOP US. WE HAVE THIS ANTHRAX. YOU DIE NOW. ARE YOU AFRAID? DEATH TO AMERICA. DEATH TO ISRAEL. ALLAH IS GREAT.” These letters are being examined by FBI Laboratory personnel as part of the ongoing investigation.

By the end of 2001, 11 cases of pulmonary anthrax were confirmed, seven cases of cutaneous anthrax were confirmed, and four additional cases remain suspect. Five of the 18 confirmed anthrax cases resulted in death. Each of the deaths resulted from pulmonary (inhalation) anthrax. These are the first known deaths in the United States resulting from criminal use of a biological agent.

October 14, 2001

Arson
Litchfield, California
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

During the early morning of October 14, 2001, a fire was reported at the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Corral in Litchfield, California. Upon arrival, firefighters encountered a large hay barn fully engulfed in flames. A search of the property, consisting of several corrals housing more than 100 horses, revealed that fences had been cut and gates opened, in an apparent attempt to allow the horses to escape. Three intact improvised incendiary devices similar to those used in previous arsons attributed to the ELF were also recovered. The ELF claimed responsibility for the arson, which caused damages estimated between $75,000 and $85,000.

November 12, 2001

Burglary and Vandalism
San Diego, California
(One act of Domestic Terrorism)

On November 12, 2001, the San Diego (California) Police Department responded to a burglary and vandalism report at Sierra Biomedical. A Sierra Biomedical van was covered with red paint and graffiti referencing the ALF. It was subsequently determined that toxic chemicals believed to be acid and bleach had been deliberately poured throughout the research facility. Additional graffiti in black spray paint stating that “VIVISECTION IS FRAUD” and “THE ALF WAS HERE” was also found at the facility. Damages were estimated to exceed $500,000. The ALF claimed responsibility for this incident via an e-mail sent to the vice president and general manager of Sierra Biomedical.

Terrorism Preventions

March 29, 2001

Planned Bombing
Los Angeles, California
(Prevention of one act of Domestic Terrorism)

On March 29, 2001, Ronald Mike Denton was arrested for threatening to attack the Chevron Oil Refinery at El Segundo, California. He was indicted on three counts: interference with commerce by threats or violence, threat to use a weapon of mass destruction, and mailing threatening communications. Investigation revealed that Denton had been employed by the Chevron Refinery for approximately 12 years. Dissatisfied with working conditions and promotion decisions, he was placed on stress leave. As a condition of his leave, Denton was required to undergo outpatient psychiatric treatment. During his sessions, Denton repeatedly threatened to destroy the refinery and surrounding communities. At the time of his arrest, several firearms were found in his bedroom, including an SKS assault rifle, 1,400 rounds of jacketed ammunition, and books on how to create explosives and survive as a fugitive.

Additionally, placards and Chevron employee identification cards that allowed Denton access to the refinery were found in his automobile. Illegal fireworks were also found, which could have facilitated Denton’s detailed plan to detonate seven liquid petroleum gas spheres, some of which held up to 6,272,692 pounds of highly volatile fuel. Had Denton carried out his planned attack, financial losses could have exceeded $4.8 billion.

December 11, 2001

Planned Bombing
Los Angeles, California
(Prevention of one act of Domestic Terrorism)

On December 11, 2001, Irving David Rubin and Earl Leslie Krugel were arrested by the Los Angeles Joint Terrorism Task Force for conspiring to build and place improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, California, and the local office of Congressman Darrell Issa. Rubin and Krugel were subsequently charged with conspiracy to destroy a building by means of an explosive, as well as possession of a destructive device during and in relation to a crime of violence. Rubin and Krugel were active members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), a violent extremist Jewish organization. Statements by Rubin and Krugel indicated that they had planned the attack against the mosque to demonstrate the militancy of the JDL. Krugel further indicated that the attack was planned to provide a “wake up call” to the Muslim community. It was determined that Rubin and Krugel had already acquired the necessary components to build an IED, including pipes, fuses, and smokeless powder.

Significant Events

January 19, 2001

Former San Joaquin Leader, Donald Rudolph, Pleads Guilty to 1999 Propane Plot

On January 19, 2001, Donald Rudolph pled guilty to withholding knowledge of a conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction in connection with a 1999 plot to destroy a propane storage facility near Elk Grove, California. Rudolph also pled guilty to conspiring to kill a U.S. district judge. The plot to attack the propane storage facility was disrupted on December 3, 1999, when members of the Sacramento Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested Kevin Ray Patterson and Charles Dennis Kiles. Patterson, Kiles, and Rudolph were associated with an antigovern-ment group active in the central region of the state. When arrested, Patterson and Kiles were in possession of detonation cord, blasting caps, grenade hulls, and various chemicals, including ammonium nitrate. They were also in possession of numerous weapons. Patterson and Kiles were awaiting trial at year’s end.

January 24, 2001

Buford O’Neal Furrow enters Guilty Plea in Shooting at North Valley Jewish Community Center

On January 24, 2001, Buford O’Neal Furrow pled guilty to the murder of Joseph Ileto, a U.S. postal employee, and to shooting several children at the North Valley Jewish Community Center. The attack took place on August 10, 1999, when Furrow fired gunshots into the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Granada Hills, California. While fleeing the scene, Furrow shot and killed Joseph Ileto. On March 26, 2001, Furrow was sentenced to five life sentences plus 110 years and required to pay $690,000 in restitution to his victims.

Terrorist Activity by Classification 1980 - 2001

Domestic Acts of Terrorism 345

International Acts of Terrorism136

Total 481*

Bar Graph of Terrorist Activity by Classification 1980-2001


January 31, 2001

Verdicts Handed Down in the Pan Am 103 Bombing Case

On January 31, 2001, a special three-judge Scottish court announced its verdict in the trial of two former Libyan intelligence operatives charged with the downing of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, on December 21, 1988. The trial of the two men began in Camp Zeist, The Netherlands, on May 3, 2000. The court convicted one defendant, Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi, of 270 counts of murder. (The defendants were charged with one count of murder for each person who perished in the bombing.) The other defendant, Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, was acquitted on all charges and released by the court. Al-Megrahi was sentenced to a mandatory life sentence; he is appealing the court’s decision. The bombing killed all 259 passengers onboard and an additional 11 individuals on the ground. The two subjects had been accused of being agents of the Libyan Intelligence Service and were given refuge in Libya until April 5, 1999, when Libya agreed to turn the suspects over for trial. By year’s end, the Libyan Government had continued to deny involvement in the bombing.

February 27, 2001

Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) Members Arrested in Los Angeles

On February 27, 2001, federal, state, and local officials in Los Angeles executed three search warrants and arrested seven individuals on charges of alleged material support of a terrorist organization, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The individuals arrested are alleged to have knowingly conspired to support the MEK by conducting fund raising, financial transactions, and other activities in support of the MEK organization.

April 6, 2001

Ahmed Ressam Convicted

Driver’s License Photo of Ahmed RessamOn April 6, 2001, after a three-week trial in Los Angeles, California, Algerian-born Ahmed Ressam was found guilty on nine criminal counts emanating from a plot to detonate explosives at the Los Angeles International Airport during the U.S. Millennium celebrations. The charges carry a maximum prison sentence of 130 years, and Ressam awaited sentencing at year’s end. In June 2001, Ressam agreed to cooperate with the U.S. Government in the investigation.

On December 14, 1999, authorities arrested Ressam for possession and transportation of explosives found in his rental car as he attempted to enter the United States from Canada at Port Angeles, Washington. The search revealed over 100 pounds of white powder–later determined to be urea sulfate–as well as approximately eight ounces of a highly volatile nitroglycerine mixture and fusing systems components. Other items found in Ressam’s car were a number of forms of identification linked to at least seven aliases–including one used at the Port Angeles border entry point–and maps and guidebooks indicating that he was targeting the Los Angeles airport. A hotel reservation for Ressam near the Seattle Center resulted in a cancellation of the New Year’s celebration at the Space Needle.

Investigation by the FBI and other domestic and foreign law enforcement agencies revealed that Ressam had attended Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and was acting with others as part of a terrorist cell based in Canada. The investigation led to the December 30, 1999 arrest in New York of an Algerian man, Abdelghani Meskini. Testimony given by Meskini purported that he had conspired with Algerian-born Mokhtar Haouri to provide material support to Ressam’s plot to smuggle explosives into the United States. Meskini signed a plea agreement in a federal court in Manhattan, and he agreed to testify against other suspects accused of participating in the millennial bombing plot. Haouri was extradited to the United States from Canada to stand trial, and on July 13, 2001, he was found guilty on the charge of conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist act and four counts of bank, credit card, and document fraud. Haouri was acquitted on the charge of aiding and abetting a terrorist act. He awaited sentencing at year’s end.

The investigation relating to associates of Ressam, Meskini, and Haouri continues. On April 6, 2000, the Department of State announced a $5 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Abdelmajid Dahoumane for his role in the millennial bombing plot. Dahoumane was arrested in Algeria in August 2000, where he remains in custody for terrorism-related charges in that country.

On August 27, 2001, Abu Doha, a 37-year-old Algerian, was indicted on eight counts, including conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, for his role in the plot. The indictment alleges that Doha met with Usama bin Laden to plan an attack against a major airport in the United States and that Doha coordinated the attack with Ressam. Doha awaits extradition from the United Kingdom to stand trial in the United States.

On December 12, 2001, Samir Ait Mohamed, a 32-year-old Algerian man living in Canada, was indicted in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on charges of conspiracy to commit an act of international terrorism and to provide material support to a terrorist act; these charges carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Mohamed allegedly tried to obtain weapons for Ressam’s use in commiting bank robberies to raise money for the millennial bombing plot. Mohamed was arrested on November 15, 2001, by Canadian authorities in British Columbia and awaits extradition to the United States to face trial.

June 11, 2001

Execution of Timothy McVeigh,
Convicted Oklahoma City Bomber,
First Federal Execution in 38 Years

In accordance with the sentence rendered by a unanimous jury on June 13, 1997, Timothy McVeigh died by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, at Terra Haute Prison, Indiana, for bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. McVeigh was convicted on June 2, 1997, on 11 counts of murder and conspiracy for launching an attack against the U.S. Government, which resulted in an explosion that killed 168 people, including 19 children.

Shortly after McVeigh waived his rights to appeal his conviction and sentence on December 28, 2000, his execution was scheduled for May 16, 2001. The original execution date was postponed to allow McVeigh’s attorneys to review additional documents turned over to the court by the FBI. This evidence had not been available to the court during the 1997 trial. After two appeals to extend McVeigh’s stay of execution were denied, on June 7, 2001, McVeigh requested that his death sentence be carried out. McVeigh was executed on June 11, 2001, at 7:00 a.m. with an audience comprised of 25 witnesses and 300 survivors and relatives of the victims who perished in the Oklahoma City bombing. The McVeigh execution marked the first use of the death penalty by the federal government in 38 years.

June 21, 2001

Fourteen Suspects Indicted in Khobar Towers Bombing

On June 21, 2001, the Eastern District of Virginia filed 46 charges against 14 suspects (13 Saudis and one Lebanese) arising from the June 25, 1996 truck bomb attack on the Khobar Towers military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Nineteen American servicemen were killed and 372 other Americans and Saudis were injured. All 14 suspects, Ahmed Al-Mughassil, Ali Al Houri, Hani Al-Sayegh, Ibrahim Al-Yacoub, Abdel Karim Al-Nasser, Mustafa Al-Qassab, Sa’ed Al-Bahar, Abdallah Al-Jarash, Hussein Al-Mughis, Ali Al-Marhoun, Saleh Ramadan, Mustafa Al Mu’alem, Fadel Al-Alawe and the unnamed Lebanese male, were indicted for conspiracy based on their connection to Saudi Hizballah.

July 5, 2001

FBI Arrests Aryan Nations Leader in Ohio

On July 5, 2001, Special Agents from the FBI’s Cincinnati field office arrested Danny William Kincaid, leader of the Ohio chapter of the Aryan Nations, on federal weapons violations and for possession of an explosive device. Kincaid was arrested after a 13-month investigation by federal agents. He is charged with the illegal sale of at least 15 firearms. Kincaid was awaiting trial at year’s end.

September 20, 2001

Office of Homeland Security Announced

In a speech before both houses of Congress on September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush announced the creation of the Office of Homeland Security. The President named former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge as its acting Director. The Office of Homeland Security and its Director will report directly to the President and will be responsible for coordinating matters related to security pre-paredness.

September 23, 2001

Signing of Executive Order 13224 to Block Terrorist Assets

On September 23, 2001, President Bush issued Executive Order 13224 in response to terrorist acts committed by foreign terrorists against the United States. EO 13224 identifies Specially Designated Global Terrorist Entities and Individuals that are considered a threat to the United States’ national security, and enables the U.S. Government to block their assets in any financial institution in the United States or held by any U.S. person. EO 13224 also expands U.S. Government authority to permit the designation of individuals and organizations that associate with, finance, or provide other support services to designated terrorists.

September 28, 2001

U.N. Security Council Passes Binding Counterterrorism Resolution

As a result of the September 11 terrorist attack, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved Resolution 1373 on September 28, 2001, as an international attempt to collectively prevent terrorist acts and identify countries that provide safe-havens or support for terrorist groups. In order to combat terrorism, each U.N. member is required to take specific measures.

October 18, 2001

Sentencing of Four Al-Qaeda Members Convicted of Bombing U.S. Embassies

On October 18, 2001, following a 6-month trial, four Al-Qaeda members received life sentences without parole for their roles in a conspiracy to kill Americans which resulted in the August 1998 vehicle bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In addition, each was ordered to pay $7 million in restitution to the victims’ families and $26 million in restitution to the U.S. Government. Mohamed Rashed Daoud Al-Owhali, Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, Wadih El-Hage, and Mohamed Sadeek Odeh were convicted on May 29, 2001, in the Southern District of New York on a variety of charges related to the embassies’ bombing plot that included murder, conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, and conspiracy to destroy buildings or property of the United States. El-Hage was the only U.S. citizen held accountable for the attacks. The four were originally scheduled to be sentenced in September 2001, but sentencing was delayed due to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11.

In the previous year, on October 20, 2000, a former U.S. Army sergeant, Ali Mohamed, pled guilty to assisting in the 1998 plot to bomb the U.S. embassies. Mohamed, a 48-year-old native of Egypt, implicated Usama bin Laden in the plot, stating that in 1993, he was asked by bin Laden to survey potential U.S. targets in Nairobi. In a statement to the court, Mohamed said, “these targets were selected to retaliate against the United States for its involvement in Somalia.” Two other terrorists, Mamdouh Mahmud Salim and Mohamed Sulieman Al-Nalfi were charged separately in the Southern District of New York for their roles in the 1998 bombings. After allegedly attacking and critically wounding a corrections officer at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on November 2, 2000, Salim was severed from the trial and will be tried separately on attempted murder charges in connection with the assault. Mohamed Sulieman Al-Nalfi was arrested in Africa on November 10, 2000. Charged with conspiracy to kill U.S. nationals, Al-Nalfi is in custody and awaits trial in the Southern District of New York.

Three individuals, Ibrahim Hussein Abdelhadi Eidarous, Adel Mohammed Abdul Almagid Abdul Bary, and Khaled Al Fawwaz, are being held in the United Kingdom and are expected to be extradited to stand trial in the Southern District of New York for their involvement in the 1998 bombings.

The bombings at the U.S. embassies on August 7, 1998, resulted in 214 deaths, including those of 12 Americans. During the trial, the jury heard evidence that Mohamed assisted with the construction of the bomb that exploded in the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam, and Al-Owhali drove the bomb in a vehicle and parked it at the U.S. embassy in Nairobi. From the beginning, Usama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda terrorist network were viewed as orchestrating the bombings. In order to carry out the attacks, Al-Owhali and Mohamed attended weapons and explosive training at an Al-Qaeda terrorist training camp in Afghanistan. For their direct involvement in the attacks, government attorneys had originally sought the death penalty for Mohamed and Al-Owhali; this marked the first time the U.S. Government had sought the death penalty for individuals charged with committing acts of international terrorism.

October 26, 2001

USA PATRIOT Act Enacted

On October 26, 2001, the President signed the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001” (USA PATRIOT Act). A description of the act and its implications for U.S. law enforcement’s investigation and prosecution of persons who engage in terrorist activity is provided in the In-Focus section of this report.

October 31, 2001

Symbionese Liberation Army Extremist Pleads Guilty

On October 31, 2001, Kathleen Ann Soliah pled guilty to two counts related to the 1975 plot to plant car bombs designed to kill Los Angeles police officers. These attacks were planned in retaliation for the deaths of six Symbionese Liberation Army members by law enforcement during a shoot-out in Los Angeles. The indictment was handed down on February 26, 1976. Soliah remained a fugitive for 23 years until her arrest on June 16, 1999, predicated on information provided by a viewer of the television show America’s Most Wanted. To avoid capture, Soliah was living in St. Paul, Minnesota, using the alias Sara Jane Olsen.

November 19, 2001

Reward of $25 Million Offered for Usama bin Laden

On November 19, 2001, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell authorized a reward of up to $25 million for information leading to the capture of Usama bin Laden and other key Al-Qaeda leaders. The Rewards for Justice Program was established by the 1984 Act to Combat International Terrorism. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security administers the program, under which the Secretary of State may offer rewards of up to $5 million for information that prevents or favorably resolves acts of international terrorism against U.S. persons or property worldwide. The USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, which became law on October 26, authorizes the Department of State to offer or pay rewards of greater than $5 million if the Secretary of State determines that a greater amount is necessary to defend the United States against terrorist acts.

November 30, 2001

Sentencing of White Supremacist Brothers for Synagogue Arsons

On November 30, 2001, Benjamin Matthew Williams and James Tyler Williams were sentenced for setting fires to three synagogues on June 18, 1999, and an abortion clinic on July 2, 1999, all in Sacramento, California. Benjamin Williams received a sentence of 30 years in prison, while his brother was sentenced to 21 years and three months in prison. The brothers were also ordered to pay $1 million in restitution. The Williams brothers, who are followers of the World Church of the Creator and the Aryan Nations, pled guilty in September 2001. The Williams brothers are also awaiting trial on murder charges for their suspected role of killing a homosexual couple on July 2, 1999. If convicted, the Williams brothers could face the death penalty.

December 4, 2001

Leader of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan sentenced

On December 4, 2001, Jeff Berry, leader of the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, was sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiracy to commit criminal confinement with a deadly weapon. The charges stemmed from a 1999 incident in which Berry refused to allow a local reporter and his camera-woman to leave his home following an interview.

December 5, 2001

Arrest of Anti-Abortionist Clayton Lee Waagner

Clayton Lee WaagnerOn December 5, 2001, Clayton Lee Waagner was arrested without incident by the Springdale (Ohio) Police Department at a local copy center. On September 14, 2001, Waagner had been placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List, stemming from a series of crimes related directly and indirectly to his violent anti-abortion activism. On February 22, 2001, Waagner escaped from an Illinois jail, after being convicted for firearms and other charges and awaiting a possible 15-years-to-life sentence.

Waagner was apprehended as a result of a nationwide manhunt; he has been accused of mailing hoax anthrax letters to reproductive health clinics nationwide during September and October 2001. On September 18, 2001, Waagner was indicted for firearms violations in Tennessee and a carjacking in Mississippi. Additional charges may surface against him in connection with additional bank robberies in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

December 11, 2001

Zacarias Moussaoui Indicted on Conspiracy Charges
Related to the September 11 Terrorist Attacks

On December 11, 2001, Zacarias Moussaoui was indicted in the Eastern District of Virginia on six counts, including conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism. The indictment alleges that Moussaoui, a French citizen of Moroccan descent, was involved in the conspiracy which resulted in the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Moussaoui is alleged to have trained in a terrorist training camp run by Al-Qaeda and conspired with several of the 19 hijackers who participated in the attacks.

December 22, 2001

Arrest of Alleged Shoe Bomber

On December 22, 2001, Richard C. Reid was arrested after flight attendants on American Airlines flight 63 observed him apparently attempting to ignite an improvised explosive device in his sneakers while onboard the Paris-to-Miami flight. Aided by passengers, the attendants overpowered and subdued Reid and the flight was diverted to Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. Reid, who was traveling on a valid British passport, has been indicted on nine counts, including placing an explosive device on an aircraft and attempted murder. FBI investigation has determined that the explosives in Reid’s shoes, if detonated in certain areas of the passenger cabin, could have blown a hole in the fuselage of the aircraft. Reid’s indictment charges that he trained in camps operated by Al-Qaeda.

Shoe Worn by Richard Reid on American Airlines Flight 63Mug Shot of Richard C. Reid

FBI test blast of comparable shoe bomb charge

Clockwise from top:
Shoe worn by Richard C. Reid aboard American Airlines flight 63;
Richard C. Reid; FBI test-blast of comparable explosive charge.

In Focus

Trends in Animal Rights and Environmental Extremism

During the past several years, the violence and destructive activities perpetrated by animal rights and environmental extremists in the United States and elsewhere have increased in frequency and intensity. These extremists have used arson, harassment, death threats, animal releases, and razor blade threat letters to intimidate individuals and businesses they perceive to be abusive to animals or destructive to the environment. The victims include, but are not limited to, fur farmers and retailers, research laboratories and personnel, circuses, zoos, fast food restaurants, forestry services, and large corporations. These terrorist acts are committed by persons and groups who believe all animals and all parts of the ecosystem, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential, have the right to exist, be respected, and be protected from destruction by humanity. The use of violent criminal means to achieve these goals represents a departure from the larger and more mainstream animal welfare and environmental movements, which support the humane treatment of animals and the protection of the environment and its resources, but operate within existing laws to promote these causes.

Animal rights extremists in the United States often claim their actions on behalf of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF). The ALF’s ideology is one of unwavering support for the liberation of captive animals by any means, including criminal activity. ALF activists in the United States have generally adhered to the movement’s stated mandate of protecting human life during the course of its “direct actions” while simultaneously causing severe economic damage to various retailers, fur farms, laboratories, and other animal enterprises.

Timeline of Terrorist Events from March 1, 1971 to January 24, 1975

The emphasis placed upon economic damage underscores a very practical aspect of the movement’s approach to terrorism. ALF activists engage in very few “symbolic” acts of terrorism; instead, the movement’s attacks are specifically designed to cause a sufficient level of economic hardship to drive individual enterprises out of operation. Thus, the most likely targets of ALF terrorism are very specifically chosen. That is, ALF activists will not merely attack a university where animal research is conducted, but rather will attempt to locate the specific laboratory at the university where the research is being conducted, free the experimental animals, and subsequently destroy research data and equipment or the facility itself. Rather than simply “send a message,” these actions are designed to bring about an end to the perceived animal abuse.

ALF activities in the United States during the past 25 years have included a wide variety of tactics with a broad range of sophistication. A review of the movement’s literature, which includes a running tally of ALF activities nationally and internationally, indicates a significant level of criminal activity ranging from graffiti, broken windows, and other acts of petty vandalism to pipe-bombings, large-scale mink releases, destruction of research documentation, and arson.1 ALF has a considerable history of committing low-level criminal activity in the United States dating back to the 1970s. However, ALF’s activities began to fall under increased federal scrutiny in the late 1980s, in the aftermath of an arson at the Veterinary Medicine Research Building at the University of California-Davis in April 1987. ALF claimed responsibility for the attack, which resulted in an estimated $3.5 million in damages.2 At the time, this arson represented one of the most destructive acts of animal rights extremism in American history, although in recent years, the group has claimed responsibility for a number of arson attacks that have been equally destructive. In August 1992, for example, ALF extremists raided the campus of Michigan State University and set fire to an office, destroying files containing 32 years of toxicology and nutrition research.3 The ALF also claimed responsibility for the July 1997 arson of a horse-rendering plant in Redmond, Oregon, which resulted in over $1 million in damage to the physical plant and caused significant secondary costs resulting from the loss of revenue normally generated by the facility. In May 1998 the ALF claimed responsibility for an attack on a processing plant owned by Florida Veal Processors, Inc., in Wimauma, which caused approximately $500,000 in damage.

Timeline of terrorist events from January 29, 1975 to February 13, 1983

 

Although ALF activists have carried out numerous multimillion dollar arson attacks, the ALF has also consistently targeted fur farms in a campaign of animal “liberations.” The ALF Information Service web site provides information detailing how and when to strike a fur farm. Individuals interested in “hitting” a fur farm are encouraged to scout out the farm to determine the types of security measures in place, the best time to target a facility, and when pelting will begin (the web site explains that security measures are typically increased during pelting season). The web site further explains that fur farmers may relax security precautions after pelting season, and that “if at all possible pelting/skinning/feed sheds can be burned to the ground or have extensive damage done to them by using paint or acid. Pelting machines, equipment and feeding tractors can also be damaged.”4

The ALF’s attacks against animal enterprises are closely emulated by the movement’s environmental counterpart, the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). While the level of cross-affiliation between the two movements is unclear at this time, extremists adhering to ALF and ELF ideologies often use the same tactics and spokespersons, suggesting some degree of interaction and, perhaps, coordination. In addition, the web sites of the two movements often intermingle claims of responsibility for destructive activities, further suggesting some level of operational coordination.

The ELF specifically advocates arson and the destruction of laboratories/research facilities that use animals for scientific study, fur farms, horse ranches, meat-processing plants, and corporations associated with the forest and logging industry. Collectively, the ELF refers to these acts as “monkeywrenching.”

According to ELF literature posted on the ALF Frontline News Service, the ELF movement is an “international underground organization consisting of autonomous groups of people who carry out direct action according to E.L.F. guidelines.” These guidelines, posted on the ELF web site, are as follows:

I. to inflict economic damage to those who profit from the destruction and exploitation of the natural environment;

II. to reveal and educate the public on the atrocities committed against the environment and all the species which cohabitate in it; and

III. to take all necessary precautions against harming any animal, human and non-human.

Timeline of Terrorist Events from April 18, 1983 to September 20, 1984

The group’s literature also claims that the ELF “operates in groups called cells that may consist of one to many individuals working together. Each cell is autonomous not only to the public, but also to one another. This secure structure helps to keep activists out of jail and free to continue conducting actions.” Through acts of sabotage, the ELF’s goal is to inflict as much economic damage as possible on corporations whose interests are perceived to be at odds with the environment.5 The ELF may be best known for the October 19, 1998 arson fires at the Vail Ski Resort in Vail, Colorado, in which four ski lifts, a restaurant, a picnic facility, and a utility building were destroyed. The fires were set at multiple structures in two different locations on the top of Vail Mountain (elevation approximately 11,200 feet). Total structural loss was estimated at approximately $12 million. On October 21, 1998, the ELF, claiming sole responsibility for the arson on behalf of the lynx, sent an e-mail message to several news agencies in Colorado. The message warned that further action would be taken if necessary.

Vandalism by ELFViolent extremism on behalf of animal rights and the environment is clearly on the rise in the United States. Much like terrorist groups of the past, animal rights and environmental terrorists are adopting increasingly militant positions with respect to their ideology and chosen tactics. Terrorists who engage in criminal activity on behalf of these causes have continued to distinguish themselves from their counterparts in the mainstream animal welfare and conservation movements, who oppose the inhumane treatment of animals and environmental degradation but choose legal and nonviolent means of opposition.

Given the increasing frequency and intensity in activity, law enforcement officials are increasingly faced with the challenge to respond to animal rights and ecoterrorism at the local, state, and national levels. Investigations of extremist acts perpetrated by the ALF and the ELF pose formidable challenges, given the focus of these movements on evidence destruction, secrecy, and operational security.

1 See the ALF “Diary of Actions” at www.enviroweb.org/ALFIS.
2
Bent L. Smith, Terrorism in America: Pipe Bombs and Pipe Dreams (Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press, 1994), p. 1349.
3
Constance Holden, “Animal rightists trash MSU lab,” American Association for the Advancement of Science, vol. 255, no. 5050, p. 1349.
4
www.animalliberation.net
5
The Seattle Times “Eco-Terrorism, Radical environmentalists’ sabotage has cost business, developers millions,” May 1, 2000.

Timeline of Terrorism Events from December 8, 1984 to June 1987

The USA PATRIOT Act

On October 26, 2001, the President signed the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001” (USA PATRIOT Act).6 This major piece of legislation, drafted in direct response to the terrorist attack of September 11, consists of more than 150 sections. The Act is far-reaching in the areas of law it touches. Changes were made to national security authorities, the substantive criminal law, immigration law, money-laundering statutes, victim assistance statutes, as well as other areas. Summarized below are some of the major changes the Act made to bolster the FBI’s capabilities in the fight against terrorism.

On the national security front, the modifications made by the USA PATRIOT Act were geared toward improving the process by which federal law enforcement officials obtain legal authority for conducting surveillance and searching for agents of a foreign power; strengthening the sharing and coordinating of information at the national level; and issuing subpoenas for certain records associated with national security investigations.

The Act made several amendments to the “Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978” (FISA).7 FISA provides a formal procedure, approved by Congress, for the government to obtain court orders authorizing the use of electronic surveillance and physical searches within the United States to obtain “foreign intelligence information.”8 In practice, the language of the statute was interpreted over the years to mean that the gathering of foreign intelligence information, as opposed to criminal prosecution, had to be the “primary” purpose for requesting surveillance or search authority under FISA. Section 218 of the “USA PATRIOT Act” altered this so that the gathering of foreign intelligence now must be a “significant” purpose for requesting an order from the FISA Court. The practical effect of this change is to allow personnel involved in FISA surveillance or searches to consult with law enforcement officials to coordinate efforts to investigate or protect against attacks, terrorism, sabotage, or clandestine intelligence activities.

Other modifications made to FISA by the USA PATRIOT Act include the expansion of the number of judges who review applications for FISA orders from seven to 11; extension of the duration of electronic surveillance and search orders on certain categories of individuals determined to be “agents of a foreign power”; granting of “roving” authority which allows the FBI to efficiently serve orders on communications carriers and thus meet the challenges posed by agents of a foreign power who rapidly switch telephone carriers, cell phones, or Internet accounts as a way of thwarting surveillance; and modification to the legal standard for compelling the production and type of business records.

Timeline of Terrorism Events from December 21, 1988 to June 24, 1993


The USA PATRIOT Act changed key features of existing National Security Letter (NSL) authority. NSLs are a type of subpoena issued in foreign counterintelligence and international terrorism investigations to obtain records under the statutory authority of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (telephone and Internet Service Provider records), the Right to Financial Privacy Act (financial institution records), and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (records from credit bureaus). Congress changed the legal standard for this authority to require that the information sought be relevant to an ongoing investigation to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. The change in predication for this investigative tool allowed the FBI Director to delegate signature authority for NSLs to the Special Agents in Charge of FBI field offices.

The Act also created a new definition of “domestic terrorism,” in order to correspond to the existing definition of “international terrorism.” The term is defined to mean activities occurring primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States involving acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or any state and appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.

On the criminal side, the definition of a federal crime of terrorism was modified to include several offenses likely to be committed by terrorists, including a number of aircraft violence crimes and certain computer crimes. New federal offenses include attacks on mass transportation systems, vehicles, facilities or passengers; harboring or concealing persons who have committed or are about to commit a variety of terrorist offenses; expansion of the prohibition on providing material support or resources to terrorists to include expert advice and assistance; and possessing a biological agent or toxin of a type or in a quantity that is not reasonably justified for specifically defined purposes. Additionally, the “International Money Laundering Abatement and Financial Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001” was incorporated into the USA PATRIOT Act and was intended to significantly increase the United States’ ability to combat the financing of terrorism.

Timeline of Terrorism Events from April 19, 1995 to July 27, 1996

In making these modifications to existing laws, Congress intended to strengthen the capabilities of federal law enforcement in the fight against terrorism while simultaneously protecting civil liberties. All FBI investigations are authorized in accordance with strict guidelines set down by the Attorney General of the United States. One set of these guidelines, the Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprises, and Terrorism Enterprise Investigations, makes clear that investigations of suspected terrorists will not be carried out on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religious affiliation. Additionally, the amended legal authorities stipulate that no investigation of a U.S. person may be conducted solely on the basis of activities protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

Terrorism Activity by Target from 1980-2001

Terrorism Activity by Target 1980 - 2001

  • Although designated as a single act of international terrorism, the aircraft attacks of September 11, 2001, have been designated as one terrorist incident against a Civilian/Commercial target and one terrorist incident against a Military target for the purposes of this graph. Similarly, although the anthrax mailings that occurred from September through November 2001 have been categorized as a single act of terrorism, the incidents have been designated as one terrorist incident against a Civilian/Commercial target and one terrorist incident against a Government target for the purposes of this graph. Lastly, although the planned bombing by members of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) on December 11, 2001 is designated as a prevention of a single act of terrorism, the planned incidents have been designated as one terrorist incident against a Civilian/Commercial target and one terrorist incident against a Government target for the purposes of this graph.

Timeline of Terrorism Events from July 1996 to January 4, 1999

Conclusion

The preceding summary of terrorism-related events and investigations offers a picture of the FBI’s response to domestic and international terrorism during 2000 and 2001. In keeping with a longstanding trend, domestic extremists carried out the majority of terrorist incidents during this period. Twenty of the 22 recorded instances of terrorism and the three terrorist preventions in the United States and its territories in 2000 and 2001 were perpetrated by domestic terrorists, predominantly by special interest extremists active in the animal rights and environmental movements. The acts committed by these extremists typically targeted materials and facilities rather than persons.

In contrast, the three major terrorist incidents of 2000 and 2001 continued a trend in terrorism tactics and methodologies that began in the 1990s, in which terrorists have sought to inflict massive and indiscriminate casualties within civilian populations. In the 1990s this was evidenced in the 1993 bombing of New York’s World Trade Center by international terrorists and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing perpetrated by domestic terrorists, the latter of which received a measure of legal closure on June 11, 2001, with the execution of Timothy McVeigh.

The three major terrorist attacks against U.S. interests during 2000 and 2001 also resulted in numerous deaths and serious injuries. Two of these were acts of international terrorism carried out under the auspices of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network, which already in the mid 1990s had emerged as the most pressing international terrorist threat worldwide. These attacks by Al-Qaeda were the suicide bombing of the U.S. naval destroyer USS Cole and the coordinated suicide attack using four hijacked U.S. commercial aircraft as missiles on September 11, 2001. The attack on September 11, which claimed more lives than all previous acts of terrorism in the United States combined, was the first successful act of international terrorism carried out in the United States since the bombing of the World Trade Center in February 1993. The third lethal terrorist incident during this period involved the sending of the biological agent anthrax through the U.S. postal system during fall 2001. These anthrax mailings represented the first fatal terrorist use of a biological agent in the United States. The investigation into the anthrax mailings continues, and they as yet remain unclassified as either a domestic or international terrorist incident.

Timeline of Terrorism Events from November 21, 1999 to September 11, 2001

These major incidents, and the continued commitment of terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda to attempt acts of mass destruction, led the FBI and U.S. Government to strengthen existing counterterrorism measures and initiate new procedures at the end of 2001. On October 7, the U.S. Government initiated military action in Afghanistan to destroy the Al-Qaeda training facilities in that country and to overthrow the illegitimate Taliban regime that had provided Al-Qaeda with support and safehaven since 1996. On October 10, the FBI established a Most Wanted Terrorists List of 22 names to focus global attention on indicted terrorist suspects involved in the commission of acts of terrorism against the United States. On October 26, the U.S. Government enacted the USA PATRIOT Act—legislation that has been instrumental in helping law enforcement counter the terrorist threat. On October 29, the interagency Foreign Terrorist Tracking Task Force was created to deny known terrorists and their supporters entry into the United States and to track them should they gain entry. In December 2001 the FBI merged the analytical resources of its Investigative Services Division into the Counterterrorism Division to improve its ability to gather, analyze, and share critical national security information with the broader Intelligence Community and the FBI’s law enforcement partners. At the beginning of the 21st century the problem of terrorism has become a global one, and the FBI continues to improve the capacity of its counterterrorism program to accurately assess and effectively counter the dynamic variety of domestic and international terrorist threats.

Appendices

Chronological Summary of Incidents in the United States 1990-2001

DATE

LOCATION

INCIDENT TYPE

GROUP

1- 12-90

 

 

 

Santurce, P.R.

 

 

 

Pipe Bombing

 

 

 

Brigodo Internocionolisto Eugenio Moria de Hostos de los Fuerzos Revolucionories Pedro Albizu Compos

(Eugenio Maria de Hostos International Brigade of the Pedro Albizu Campos Revolutionary Forces)

1- 12-90

 

 

 

Carolina, P.R.

 

 

 

Pipe Bombing

 

 

 

Brigodo Internocionolisto Eugenio Moria de Hostos de los Fuerzos Revolucionories Pedro Albizu Compos

(Eugenio Maria de Hostos International Brigade of the Pedro Albizu Campos Revolutionary Forces)

2-22-90

Los Angeles, Calif.

Bombing

Up the IRS, Inc.

4-22-90

 

Santa Cruz County,

Calif.

Malicious Destruction

of Property

Earth Night Action Group

5-27-90

Mayaguez, P.R.

Arson

Unknown Puerto Rican Group

9-17-90

Arecibo, P.R.

Bombing

Pedro Albizu Group Revolutionary Forces

9-17-90

Vega Baja, P.R.

Bombing

Pedro Albizu Group Revolutionary Forces

2-3-91

Mayaguez, P.R.

Arson

Popular Liberation Army (PLA)

2-18-91

Saban a Grande, P.R.

Arson

Popular Liberation Army (PL.A)

3-17-91

Carolina, P.R.

Arson

Unknown Puerto Rican Group

4-1-91

Fresno, Calif.

Bombing

Popular Liberation Army (PLA)

7 -6- 91

Punta Borinquen, P.R.

Bombing

Popular Liberation Army (PLA)

4-5-92

New York, N.Y.

Hostile Takeover

Mujohedin-E-Kholq (MEK)

11-19-92

Urbana, III.

Attempted Firebombing

Mexican Revolutionary Movement

12-10-92

 

Chicago, III.

 

Car Fire and Attempted Firebombing

Boricua Revolutionary Front (two incidents)

 

2-26-93

New York, N.Y.

Car Bombing

International Radical Terrorists

7-20-93

Tacoma, Wash.

Pipe Bombing

American Front Skinheads

7-22-93

Tacoma, Wash.

Bombing

American Front Skinheads

11-27/28-93

Chicago, III.

Firebombing

Animal Liberation Front (nine incidents)

3-1-94

New York, N.Y.

Shooting

Rashid Najib Baz convicted on November 30, 1994

4-19-95

 

 

Oklahoma City, Okla.

 

 

Truck Bombing

 

 

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols convicted.

(Michael Fortier found guilty of failing to alert authorities of plot)

4-1-96

 

Spokane, Wash.

 

Pipe Bombing/Bank

Robbery

Spokane Bank Robbers

 

 

Chronological Summary of the Incidents in the United States 1990-2001

DATE

LOCATION

INCIDENT TYPE

GROUP

7-12-96

Spokane, Wash.

Pipe Bombing/Bank Robbery

Spokane Bank Robbers

7-27-96

 

Atlanta, Ga.

 

Pipe Bombing

 

Eric Robert Rudolph charged on October 14, 1998

1-2-97

 

Washington, D.C.

 

Letter Bomb

(Counted as one incident)

Pending investigation

No claim of responsibility

1-2-97

 

Leavenworth, Kans.

 

Letter Bomb

(Counted as one incident)

Pending investigation

No claim of responsibility

1-16-97

 

Atlanta, Ga.

 

Bombing of Abortion

Clinic

Eric Robert Rudolph charged on October 14, 1998

2-21-97

 

Atlanta, Ga.

 

Bombing of Alternative

Lifestyle Nightclub

Eric Robert Rudolph charged on October 14, 1998

1-29-98

 

Birmingham, Ala.

 

Bombing of Reproductive

Services Clinic

Eric Robert Rudolph charged with the bombing

on February 14, 1998

3-31-98

 

Arecibo, P.R.

 

Bombing of Superaqueduct

Construction Project

Claim of responsibility issued by Los Macheteros

6-9-98

Rio Piedras, P.R.

Bombing of Bank Branch Office

Claim of responsibility issued by Los Macheteros

6-25-98

Santa Isabel, P.R.

Bombing of Bank Branch Office

Los Macheteros suspected

10-19-98

 

Vail, Colo.

 

Arson Fire at Ski Resort

 

Claim of responsibility issued by Earth Liberation Front

3-27-99

 

Franklin Township, N.J.

 

Bombing of Circus Vehicles

 

Claim of responsibility issued by Animal Liberation Front

4-5-99

Minneapolis, St. Paul, Minn. Malicious Destruction and Theft

Animal Liberation Front

5-9-99

Eugene, Or.

Bombing

Animal Liberation Front

7-2/4-99

 

 

Chicago Skokie, III.

Northbrook,

Bloomington, Ind.

Multiple Shootings

 

 

Benjamin Nathaniel Smith

Buford O’Neal Furrow

8-10-99

Granada Hills, Calif.

Multiple Shootings

 

8-28/29-99

Orange, Calif.

Malicious Destruction and Theft

Claim of responsibility issued by Animal Liberation Front

10-24-99

Bellingham, Wash.

Malicious Destruction and Theft

Claim of responsibility issued by Animal Liberation Front

11-20-99

Puyallup, Wash.

Malicious Destruction

Animal Liberation Front

12-25-99

Monmouth, Ore.

Arson

Claim of responsibility issued by Earth Liberation Front

12-31-99

East Lansing, Mich.

Arson

Claim of responsibility issued by Earth Liberation Front

 

Chronological Summary of Incidents in the United States 1990-2001

DATE

LOCATION

INCIDENT TYPE

GROUP

1 -3-00

Petaluma, Calif.

Incendiary Attack

Animal Liberation Front

1-15-00

Petaluma, Calif.

Incendiary Attack

Animal Liberation Front

1-22-00

Bloomington, Ind.

Arson

Earth Liberation Front

5-7-00

Olympia, Wash.

Arson

Revenge of the Trees

7-2 -00

North Vernon, Ind.

Arson

Animal Liberation Front

7-20-00

Rhinelander, Wise.

Vandalism

Earth Liberation Front

12-00

Phoenix, Ariz.

Multiple Arsons

Mark Warren Sands

12/9-30/00

 

Suffolk County, Long Island,

N.Y

Multiple Arsons

 

Earth Liberation Front

 

1-2-01

Glendale, Or.

Arson

Earth Liberation Front

2-20-01

Visalia, Calif.

Arson

Earth Liberation Front

3 - 9 -01

Culpeper, Virgo

Tree Spiking

Earth Liberation Front

3-30-01

Eugene, Or.

Arson

Earth Liberation Front

4- 15-01

Portland, Or.

Arson

Earth Liberation Front

5- 17-01

Harrisburg, Penn.

Bank Robbery

Clayton Lee Waagner

5-21-01

Seattle, Wash.

Arson

Earth Liberation Front

5-21-01

Clatskanie, Or.

Arson

Earth Liberation Front

7-24-01

Stateline, Nev.

Destruction of Property

Earth Liberation Front

9-11-01

 

 

New York, N.Y

Arlington, Virgo

Stony Creek, Penn.

Aircraft Attack

 

 

AI-Qaeda

 

 

Fall-01

 

 

New York, N.Y,

Washington, D.C.,

Lantana, Flor.

Bacillus anthrocis Mailings

 

 

Pending investigation

No claim of responsibility

 

10- 14-01

Litchfield, Calif.

Arson

Earth Liberation Front

11-9-01

Morgantown, West Virgo

Bank Robbery

Clayton Lee Waagner

11-12-01

San Diego, Calif.

Burglary and Vandalism

Animal Liberation Front

 

 

Casualties of Terrorism, 1980-2001


Bar graph showing casualties of terrorism 1980-2001, with a total of 17,040

Injured 14,047*
Killed 2,993
TOTAL 17, 040

* The FBI uses 12,000 as an estimate for the number of those injured as a result of the September 11 attack, the exact number is unknown. Seventeen persons were infected and recovered from exposure to the anthrax mailings during September-November, 2001.

Graph of Terrorist Activity by Region from 1980-2001


Although designated as a single act of international terrorism, the aircraft attack of September 11, 2001 has been designated as one terrorist incident in the Northeastern region and one terrorist incident in the Southern region for the purposes of this graph. Similarly, although the anthrax mailings that occurred from September through November 2001 have been categorized as a single act of terrorism, the incidents have been designated as one terrorist incident in the Northeastern region and one terrorist incident in the Southern region for the purposes of this graph.

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