Home News Stories 2009 December The Year in Review, Part 1

The Year in Review, Part 1

The Year in Review
A Look at FBI Cases, Part 1


Folder with Case Files 2009 Label

Terrorists bent on murder and destruction. Elected officials on the take. Cyber crooks hacking networks and emptying bank accounts. Fraudsters using scams old and new to pilfer billions of dollars from unsuspecting Americans.

The FBI worked thousands of investigations during 2009—from art crime to weapons of mass destruction violations, often in close concert with our partners. As the year comes to a close, here is a rundown of some of the Bureau’s most significant cases.

In this first segment, we’ll focus on our top investigative priority: protecting the nation from terrorist attack. The threat posed by extremists is real—and it continues to morph and evolve in new and dangerous ways, like most recently, the Christmas Day incident. Working with a range of local, state, federal, and international partners, we headed off a number of potential plots on U.S. soil.

Here are some of the top terror cases of 2009, in reverse chronological order:

Georgia jihadists: With little more than an Internet connection and the radicalizing influences of overseas terrorists, two middle-class young men in Atlanta went from rhetoric to plotting jihad and were sentenced earlier this month. Details

David Coleman Headley: The U.S. citizen was arrested in October for planning terrorist attacks against a Danish newspaper and two of its employees. New charges this month in this ongoing case allege he took part in the conspiracy surrounding the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Details

Somalia: In February, the FBI reported that young men from Minneapolis were traveling to Somalia to join extremists fighting for control of the country. One of those men became who was believed to be the first U.S. citizen to carry out a terrorist suicide bombing after launching an attack in Somalia. By November, 14 defendants were charged with recruiting people from the U.S. to train or fight on behalf of extremist groups in Somalia. Details

Najibullah Zazi: The 24-year-old Colorado resident was arrested in September, along with his father and another man, for conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against U.S. citizens. Zazi traveled to New York City on September 10, 2009 “in furtherance of his criminal plans,” according to the Department of Justice. Details

Attempted bombing of federal building: In September, a U.S. citizen was arrested in connection with a plot to detonate a vehicle bomb at the federal building in Springfield, Illinois. Details

Attempted skyscraper bombing: Also in September, a 19-year-old Jordanian citizen who espoused violent jihad was arrested for attempting to blow up a 60-story glass office tower in Dallas, Texas. Details

North Carolina takedown: In July, seven men, including a father and two sons, were charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorists and to wage jihad overseas. The heavily armed group trained in the U.S., raised money to support their training, and recruited and radicalized others. Details

Synagogue plot: In May, four people were arrested outside a New York synagogue and charged with planning to blow up Jewish targets and shoot down military planes. Details

Liberty City Six: In May, a Miami jury convicted five men of providing material support to al Qaeda and planning attacks on U.S. targets, including the Sears Tower in Chicago. Details

Ali al-Marri: In May, the al Qaeda “sleeper” operative working in the U.S. pled guilty to charges relating to his role in the 9/11 attacks. Details

Next: Fraud, espionage, corruption, and more