The Year in Review
A Look at FBI Cases, Part 1
The FBI worked thousands of investigations during 2013, involving everything from extremists bent on terror to cyber thieves, financial fraudsters, and murder and hostage situations. As the year comes to a close, we take our annual look back at some of the Bureau’s most significant cases.
Part 1 focuses on our top investigative priority—protecting the nation from terrorist attack. We work toward that goal with our local, state, and federal law enforcement and intelligence community partners, primarily through our Joint Terrorism Task Forces around the country.
Here are some of the top terror cases of 2013, in reverse chronological order:
Airport bomb plot: A 58-year-old man was charged earlier this month with attempting to explode a car bomb at a Kansas airport as an act of jihad against the U.S. He was arrested as a result of an undercover investigation. The device provided to him by our operatives was inert and posed no danger to the public.
Attempt to join al Qaeda: A New York man was arrested in October for attempting to join al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and conspiring to commit murder overseas. The 25-year-old allegedly conspired with others to travel overseas to wage violent jihad against the perceived enemies of Islam, which included the secular government in Yemen.
Material support to terrorists: Two individuals—one an American citizen—were indicted in August for conspiring to provide material support to al Qaeda groups and al Shabaab. The men were charged with attempting to provide money and recruits to three different terror organizations.
Sovereign citizen scheme: In July, the self-proclaimed president of a sovereign citizen group in Alabama was sentenced to 18 years in prison for promoting a tax fraud scheme that taught people how to defraud the IRS. He and other sovereign citizens also sent demands to all 50 U.S. governors in 2010 ordering each to resign within three days—to be replaced by a “sovereign” leader or be “removed.”
Attempt to wage jihad: A Florida man was indicted in July for attempting to provide material support to terrorists. The 19-year-old tried to travel to the Arabian Peninsula to join and fight with a violent al Qaeda group that has taken responsibility for multiple attacks on Yemeni forces, including a suicide bombing in 2012 that killed more than 100 soldiers.
Former U.S. soldier indicted: A U.S. citizen who formerly served in the Army was indicted in June for conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The 30-year-old man allegedly wanted to fight alongside an al Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group in Syria.
Far-fetched terror plan: Two New York men were charged in June with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Their scheme involved creating a remotely operated X-ray radiation-emitting device designed to kill people silently. Their targets were perceived enemies of Israel.
Tsarnaev charged: In April, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings. The attacks killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
Suicide bombing: An Oregon resident was charged in March for his role in a 2009 suicide bombing. The man allegedly assisted an individual who participated in the attack at the headquarters of Pakistan’s intelligence service in Lahore that killed approximately 30 individuals and injured 300 others.
Bin Laden associate arrested: An associate of Osama bin Laden was arrested in March for conspiring to kill Americans. The individual held a key position in al Qaeda and appeared with bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks to threaten further attacks against the U.S.