NEFA’s “Target: America” series examines the multitude of terrorist plots directed at the United States since 9/11, drawing primarily on court filings and other official sources. The “Target: America” memos, which Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Reports identified as “very good reads for CT professionals,” provide detailed insight into terrorist targeting strategies and tactics.
Note: Due to the dynamic nature of these reports, updates will be provided when available.
(Target: America) “Conspiracy to Attack Seattle Military Processing Center”
Published: October 20, 2011
This latest release in the NEFA Foundation’s “Target: America” series examines the Spring 2011 plot to attack a military entrance processing center in Seattle, Washington by two U.S.-born coverts to Islam, Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif (aka Joseph Anthony Davis) and Walli Mujahidh (aka Fredrick Anthony Domingue, Jr.). The two were arrested on June 22, 2011 as they attempted to buy automatic weapons from undercover FBI agents. They were charged with conspiring to murder government officers and employees with weapons of mass destruction.
Abdul-Latif, the plot mastermind, converted to Islam while serving a two-year sentence in Walla Walla state penitentiary for robbing a 7-Eleven. Abdul-Latif maintained his own “channel” on YouTube, on which he posted videos of himself discussing Islamic etiquette and U.S. foreign policy. His channel also featured lectures by well-known al-Qaida figures, such as Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki, and lesser-known al-Qaida sympathizers, such as Omar Brooks (aka Abu Izzadeen), a spokesman for various offshoots of al Muhajiroun in the UK, and Clement Rodney Hampton-El, a Brooklyn man who was injured in Afghanistan in the late 1980s while fighting with the mujahideen against the Soviets and who was later convicted as a conspirator in the 1993 Landmarks Plot. These examples show the wide range of influences that could play a role in radicalizing American Muslims.
This report also includes information about an associate of Abdul-Latif’s, Michael McCright, who was arrested in September 2011 for allegedly attempting to force two Marines off the interstate highway in Seattle.
(Target: America) “Lone-Wolf Shooters Motivated by Al Qaidist Ideology”
Published: July 25, 2011
Attacks and plots perpetrated by lone-wolf shooters and small cells are on the rise as more radicalized individuals are responding to al Qaida’s call for “individual jihad”. The trend towards lone-wolf and small-cell attacks presents a daunting challenge to law enforcement as such operations present fewer opportunities for interdiction than attacks perpetrated by terrorist organizations. This NEFA Foundation “Target: America” report examines three lone-wolf shooting attacks: the 1993 shooting outside of CIA headquarters, the El Al ticket counter shooting, and the Seattle Jewish Federation shooting. This report both explores the shooters’ motivations and includes possible indicators and Best Practices to prevent future attacks.
(Target: America) “Conspiracy to Bomb Metro Stations in the Washington DC Area”
Published: May 19, 2011
On October 27, 2010, Farooque Ahmed, a 34-year old, naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Pakistan, was arrested after a six-month FBI controlled operation for attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization. The FBI became aware of Ahmed after receiving a tip in January 2010 that Ahmed and an unnamed associate were making inquiries about contacting a terrorist organization in order to travel to Afghanistan and/or Pakistan to fight coalition forces. An agent from the Washington, DC FBI field office initiated contact with Ahmed via email, posing as a representative of a terrorist organization, which Ahmed presumed to be al-Qaida. Ahmed agreed to gather intelligence and conduct surveillance on Northern Virginia Metro stations and a hotel in Washington, DC as part of the pre-operational planning for simultaneous bomb attacks he believed would result in multiple deaths and injuries.
(Target: America) “Khalid Ali Aldawsari’s Plot to Attack U.S. Homeland with TNP Explosives”
Published: April 27, 2011
Khalid Ali Aldawsari, a twenty-year old college student from Saudi Arabia, was arrested by the FBI on February 23, 2011, in Lubbock, TX, after he had acquired lab equipment, the main trigger, the initiating system, and two of the three chemical ingredients required to make the explosive Trinitrophenol (TNP). Aldawsari appears to have been determined to commit a terrorist act on U.S. soil from the time he was in high school, and pushed himself to excel academically in order to win a scholarship from a Saudi corporation, which paid his school tuition and living expenses in the U.S. While publicly Aldawsari appeared to be a typical student–concerned about his grades and eager to find love–his private journal revealed that he was inspired by Osama bin Laden and even hoped to launch his own branch of Al-Qaida. He considered various targets and methods of attack, including bombing busy New York City streets, attacking critical national infrastructure sites, bombing the home of former U.S. president George W. Bush, and killing members of the U.S. military who had served at Abu Ghraib.
(Target: America) “Plot to Bomb a Maryland Military Recruiting Station”
Published: March 24, 2011
On December 8, 2010, a 21-year old recent convert to Islam, Antonio Martinez (a/k/a Muhammad Hussain), attempted to remotely detonate an SUV that he believed to be full of explosives outside a military recruiting center in Catonsville, MD, in an operation that was controlled by the FBI Baltimore field office. Martinez had intended to kill the military officers and federal employees who worked inside the recruiting center to retaliate against the U.S. military for its operations in Muslim countries.
The failed plot is similar in many ways to an ever-increasing number of cases in the U.S. whereby converts to Islam, who have no weapons or explosives training and who have an unsophisticated understanding of ideology and religion, are radicalized to the point they can sustain motivation to carry through with a deadly attack in the homeland. Martinez converted to Islam from Christianity less than a year before his would-be attack, and was inspired by Anwar al-Awlaki and by other clerics whose lectures he had viewed on the Internet. His target selection was based on his basic understanding of jihadi ideology, and his operational planning process was informed by other terrorism cases reported in the news in the U.S.
(Target: America) “The Times Square Bomb Plot”
Published: January 24, 2011
This latest release in the NEFA Foundation’s “Target: America” series covers Faisal Shahzad’s May 1, 2010 attempt to set off a car bomb in New York City’s Times Square. Shahzad, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Pakistan, lived a seemingly unremarkable life in Connecticut with his wife and two children. There were no outward indicators that Shahzad had become radicalized, primarily through material viewed on the Internet, or that his last trip to Pakistan from late 2009 to early 2010 had been for the express purpose of training with the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) to prepare for the execution of a deadly attack in the United States. This report provides a background on Shahzad’s life in the United States, his training in Pakistan and ongoing connection with the TTP, the acquisition of explosive materials, and details of the execution of the bombing attempt.
(Update) NEFA “Target: America” Report: “The Plot to Attack John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport”
Published: November 29, 2010
The NEFA Foundation has released an update of its “Target: America” report on the 2006/07 plot to attack jet fuel tanks and the adjoining fuel pipeline at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The attack was conceived by Guyanese-American Russell Defreitas, a former cargo handler at JFK. Defreitas conspired from New York, with others located in Guyana, and with an FBI informant he befriended in New York. Defreitas and the informant conducted surveillance at JFK, traveled to Guyana to solidify attack plans with the other conspirators, and then traveled to Trinidad with the intention of securing financial and expert assistance from the leader of Jamaat al-Muslimeen, and from Al-Qaida operative Adnan Shukrijumah. The conspirators were arrested in Spring 2007. In August 2010, Defreitas and co-conspirator, Abdul Kadir, were found guilty of conspiring to commit a terrorist attack at JFK. They are scheduled for sentencing on December 15, 2010. Defendant Abdel Nur pled guilty to one count of providing support to terrorism and is awaiting sentencing, and the fourth defendant, Kareem Ibrahim will be tried separately, pending his recovery from an illness. This report provides details about the development of the plot, the background of the conspirators, their ideological motivation, their method of target selection, and their methods of operation.
(Target America) “The Boston Cluster and Extended Connections Case Study on Homegrown Radicalization”
Published: July 26, 2010
The NEFA Foundation has released the 26th report in the “Target: America” series; a PowerPoint presentation on a cluster of men originally from the Boston area and their associates. Members of this cluster sought to join Al-Qaida forces overseas to kill Americans and also contemplated an attack in a shopping center in the United States. Several participated in jihad by circulating jihadist propaganda to other Americans.
This case study provides insight into how U.S. citizens who sympathize with terrorists make connections with like-minded people on the internet, and through school and community activities. This case also provides insight into how American citizens arrange to access terrorist training camps overseas
(Target America) “The Attempted Christmas Day 2009 Attack on Northwest Flight 253”
Published: May 25, 2010
The NEFA Foundation has released its 25th report in the “Target: America” series, a PowerPoint presentation on the attempted terrorist attack on Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009. The attempt was perpetrated by 23-year old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian raised in a well-to-do family who received a Western-style secondary school education in West Africa and attended university in London. The report details the attempted attack and describes Abdulmutallab’s background and his lifelong religious devoutness, providing insight into his sense of isolation, consequent radicalization, and his connections to Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
(PowerPoint) The Massacre at Fort Hood
Published: February 16, 2010
The NEFA Foundation has released the 24th report in the “Target: America” series, a PowerPoint examining the November 5, 2009 massacre at Fort Hood and the background of the perpetrator, U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan opened fire at Fort Hood’s Soldier’s Readiness Processing Center, where soldiers are processed for deployment overseas, killing 13 and injuring more than 30 others. The 10-minute long shooting spree was ended when Hasan was confronted by two civilian police sergeants, one of whom shot and paralyzed Hasan. This report examines lesser-known aspects of Hasan’s background, personal associations, and places of worship, which may contribute to further understanding how an American-born medical doctor serving in the military could have embraced an ideology that would lead him to believe that killing fellow American soldiers was justified as an act of defense of Islam.
(PowerPoint) The Attempt to Attack the Paul Findley Federal Building in Springfield, Illinois
Published: December 17, 2009
The NEFA Foundation has released the 23rd report in the “Target: America” series, a PowerPoint presentation examining the September 23rd, 2009, attempt by Michael C. Finton (a.k.a. Talib Islam) to trigger a bomb packed in a van that he had parked outside of the Paul Findley Federal Building in Springfield, Illinois.
(PowerPoint) The North Carolina Jihad Cell and the Quantico Marine Base Plot
Published: November 02, 2009
The NEFA Foundation has released the 22nd report in the “Target: America” series, a PowerPoint presentation on the accused jihadist network operating in Raleigh, North Carolina and an alleged plot, involving members of that cell, to attack the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia.
In July 2009, a North Carolina grand jury indicted seven U.S. citizens and one legal permanent resident, charging the men with providing material support to terrorists and conspiracy to murder persons abroad. A September 2009 superseding indictment charged two of the men with the Quantico plot, alleging they shifted their focus to a domestic target after the group’s plans to wage jihad overseas were unsuccessful. In furtherance of the plot, the alleged leader of the conspiracy, Daniel Boyd, conducted reconnaissance on the Marine base and possessed weapons intended for the attack. During their search of Boyd’s house, authorities seized 26 weapons and more than 27,000 rounds of ammunition. Boyd, whose two sons were charged in the material support indictment, claims to have trained and fought in Afghanistan in the early 90’s and also led a small group practicing military tactics and the use of weapons on private property in N.C. in July 2009. In addition to radicalizing his two sons, Boyd also allegedly played a key role in the recruitment of others in the network. As David S. Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security, remarked: “This case underscores the potential threat that U.S. citizens with foreign fighter experience pose upon returning to the United States, specifically in terms of inciting other U.S.-based individuals to follow their example. They return from conflict zones with combat experience, a network of contacts overseas and strong credibility with…recruits seeking an authority figure.” Notably, Daniel Boyd’s father was a U.S. Marine Corps Captain decorated with 4 Purple Hearts, his brother reportedly “works for the Pentagon,” and his truck was adorned with a “Support our Troops” bumper sticker.
This PowerPoint report includes numerous government photographs of weapons, ammunition, and other items seized by the FBI during the search of Boyd’s house and excerpts from the Facebook pages of certain conspirators. Accompanying the report, the NEFA Foundation is releasing a revealing FBI summary of an interview with Daniel Boyd’s son Dylan, which provides further insight into the network.
The September 2009 New York/Denver Terror Plot Arrests
Published: October 25, 2009
Najibullah Zazi emigrated with his family from Afghanistan as a child and grew up in Flushing, Queens. He shared the same interests as other typical American teens, including a love of video games and the latest fashion trends. He dropped out of high school and began operating a coffee cart in Lower Manhattan. In 2006, he married a cousin in Pakistan, visiting her and their children in Pakistan regularly. Then his behavior and his outward appearance began to change. Once friendly to customers, he grew cold and combative. And although he had always been religiously observant, he became even more doctrinal. After his most recent trip to Pakistan, Zazi abruptly moved to Aurora, Colorado, where he was arrested in September 2009 on charges of plotting to use weapons of mass destruction to attack targets in the United States.
This “Target: America” report, the 21st in the NEFA Foundation’s ongoing series, provides details on Zazi’s activities prior to his arrest and sheds light on why this case is considered by many experts to be the most significant terrorist plot on U.S. soil since 9/11. Zazi, and the yet-to-be-named co-conspirators in this case, received training at an Al-Qaida camp in Pakistan, and returned to the United States committed to acquiring the materials needed to fabricated TATP-based explosive devices, which, the evidence suggests, they planned to use on a target, or multiple targets, in New York City.
The Plot to Attack Jewish Centers in the Bronx and a Military Facility in Newburgh, NY
Published: August 12, 2009
The NEFA Foundation has released the 20th report in the “Target: America ” series, which focuses on the conspiracy to attack Jewish centers in the Bronx and a military facility in Newburgh, NY.
Four Newburgh, New York men were arrested in the Riverdale section of the Bronx on the night of May 20, 2009 for attempting to bomb a Jewish community center with, what they believed to be, a 30-pound plastic explosive device, which they placed in a car positioned outside of the center. The conspirators also intended to attack the National Guard air base in Newburgh with a surface-to-air-missile, which they acquired from a dealer they believed to be affiliated with the Pakistani terrorist group, Jaish-e-Mohammed.
In this 20th report in the “Target: America” series, the NEFA Foundation explores the backgrounds of the men, all of whom converted to Islam while incarcerated, and their tactics, which had the potential to culminate in a viable attack despite the group’s lack of formal training. There are lessons to be learned from this plot for law enforcement, private business security directors, and religious institutions.
This case also demonstrates the necessity of further study of how some prison converts end up radicalized. The details of the conspirators’ backgrounds in the Bronx plot case makes it difficult to know how they became radicalized; whether it was during the terms of their incarcerations, or through their interactions post-incarceration. This is an important issue for exploration by those who study homegrown radicalization.
The Conspiracy to Establish a Jihad Training Camp in Bly, Oregon
Published: June 17, 2009
The NEFA Foundation has released the 19th report in the “Target: America” series, which focuses on the conspiracy to establish a jihad training camp in Bly, Oregon in late 1999 through early 2000.
In October 1999, Seattle native James Ujaama came up with the idea of opening a jihad training camp outside of the tiny town of Bly, Oregon, where his acquaintance from the Dar-us-Salaam mosque in Seattle, Semi Osman, had moved with his family to a 160-acre plot of land that was formerly used as a sheep ranch. Ujaama pitched the training camp idea to his spiritual mentor, London cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri. Al-Masri, who had an established track record of facilitating and funding training for his followers, saw potential in Ujaama’s idea, and sent two of his closest followers, Oussama Kassir and Haroon Rashid Aswat, from London to the United States to investigate further.
The men found the conditions on the Bly ranch to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of establishing a jihad training camp and abandoned the plan. However, the evidence presented in the indictments and the recent trial of Oussama Kassir revealed useful information about terrorist training methods. The case also sheds further light on how radicalization and recruitment may occur in the United States.
In May 2009, Oussama Kassir, was found guilty in Manhattan federal court of charges related to his participation in the effort to establish a jihad training camp in Bly. Al Masri and Aswat are both awaiting extradition to the United States to stand trial for their role in the Bly training camp conspiracy, pending their appeals in the European Court of Human Rights.
The Little Rock, Arkansas Recruiting Station Shooting
Published: June 10, 2009
The NEFA Foundation has released the eighteenth installment in the “Target: America” series, which examines the June 1, 2009 shooting attack by Muslim convert Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammed, formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe, at a U.S. Army/Navy recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas. The attack killed Pvt. William Long, while Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula suffered non-life threatening injuries. Describing the attack as something that has “been on” his mind “for awhile” and that “was just…heat of the moment,” Muhammed explained that “U.S.soldiers are killing innocent Muslim men and women. We believe that we have to strike back. We believe in eye for an eye. We don’t believe in turning the other cheek.” For Muhammed, who was enraged by allegations that U.S. military personnel desecrated the Quran and raped and murdered Muslims, “the shooting was an act, for the sake of God, for the sake of Allah, the Lord of all the world, and also a retaliation on U.S. military.” According to the FBI, Muhammed also “conducted Google map searches related to Jewish entities, a Baptist church, a child care facility, a US post office and military recruiting centers in…Atlanta, Georgia; Little Rock, Arkansas; Louisville, Kentucky; New York, New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Memphis, Tennessee.”
The report provides information on Muhammed’s background, from his time in Tennessee and Ohio to his journey to Yemen, and also describes other plots targeting military facilities in the U.S. after 9/11.
The Goose Creek, South Carolina Traffic Stop
Published: April 30, 2009
The NEFA Foundation has released the seventeenth installment in the “Target: America” series, which examines the discovery of explosive materials in the trunk of a car in Goose Creek, South Carolina in the course of a routine car stop that took place in August 2007.
The subjects, both Egyptian nationals who studied engineering at the University of South Florida, were arrested for transporting explosives across state lines without a license. Ultimately, one, Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, pled guilty to support of terrorism after investigators learned that he had created an instructional video, which he had posted to YouTube, showing how a remote-control toy could be used as a detonation device. Both subjects had demonstrated an ongoing interest in improvised explosive devices (IEDs), particularly in their use against U.S. troops in the Middle East. Investigators found evidence of their online visits to Hamas websites and websites that provided instructions for building IEDs. For several months prior to their arrest, Mohamed was gathering materials to build an IED. Through letters and poems, Mohamed has shown his hatred for the United States and his support for the leaders of violent jihad.
Not only does this case study provide an excellent example of vigilant police work, it also serves as a model for counter-terrorism analysts who seek to identify how a domestic terror cell might form, and the possible indicators of violent intentions.
This report, originally released on December 8, 2008, was updated on December 20, 2008, to reflect that Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and updated again on April 30, 2009 to reflect that Youssef Samir Megahed was found not guilty of possessing explosives by a Florida jury on April 3, 2009. However, Megahed was re-arrested on April 6, 2009 by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on immigration charges. He is currently awaiting a hearing.
The John F. Kennedy (JFK) International Airport Plot
Published: November 13, 2008
The NEFA Foundation has released the sixteenth installment in the “Target: America” series, which examines the 2006/07 plot to attack jet fuel tanks and the adjoining fuel pipeline at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The attack was conceived by Guyanese-American Russell Defreitas, a former cargo handler at JFK. Defreitas conspired from New York, with others located in Guyana, and with an FBI informant he befriended in New York. Defreitas and the informant conducted surveillance at JFK, traveled to Guyana to solidify attack plans with the other conspirators, and then traveled to Trinidad with the intention of securing financial and expert assistance from the leader of Jamaat al-Muslimeen The conspirators were arrested in Spring 2007, and are now in New York City awaiting trial. This report intends to provide as much detail as possible about the development of the plot, the background of the conspirators, their ideological motivation, their method of target selection, and their methods of operation.
Bojinka II The Transatlantic Liquid Bomb Plot
Published: April 03, 2008
Concurrent with the start of the trial of eight alleged conspirators, the NEFA Foundation has released the fifteenth installment in its “Target: America” series, examining the 2006 plotto detonate liquid explosives on board several commercial aircraft departing from England and bound for the United States and Canada. Cell members reportedly planned to bring the liquid explosives onto planes in factory-sealed sports drink bottles modified with false bottoms. When announcing the plot’s disruption, Paul Stephenson, deputy chief of the Metropolitan Police, commented, “this was a plan by terrorists to cause untold death and destruction and commit mass murder.” And British Home Secretary John Reid stated, “had this plot been carried out, the loss of life to innocent civilians would have been on an unprecedented scale.”
The Herald Square Plot
Published: March 18, 2008
The NEFA Foundation has released the fourteenth installment in its “Target: America” series, examining the planned 2004 attack on the Herald Square subway station in New York City. Working closely with an NYPD informant, whom they believed would provide explosives, conspirators Shahawar Matin Siraj and James Elshafay plotted to bomb what U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf labeled “one of the most active public transportation hubs in America.” Shortly after conducting surveillance on their target, the men discussed the most effective strategy for planting the bomb, with Elshafay even suggesting he “dress like a Jew” and have the device look “like a belly.” By carrying out the attack, Siraj and Elshafay sought to “damage the economy” and hoped the impact of the subway bombing would be magnified by the collapse of the Manhattan Mall, which sits above the station.
The Fort Dix Plot
Published: January 28, 2008
The NEFA Foundation has released the thirteenth installment in its “Target: America” series, examining the foiled 2007 plot to attack the U.S. Army base at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Initiated by a “homegrown” cell that was, in the words of one plotter, eager to “hit a heavy concentration of soldiers…”, the plan was disrupted in May 2007 as two conspirators attempted to purchase four fully-automatic M-16 machine guns and three semi-automatic AK-47 assault rifles. In addition to attempting to purchase heavy weaponry to supplement their existing arsenal, cell members procured a map of Fort Dix, conducted reconnaissance on the base, and engaged in tactical and firearms training. One conspirator also carried out surveillance on a number of other military targets, including the U.S. Army base at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey and Dover Air Force base in Dover, Delaware.
The L.A. Plot to Attack U.S. Military, Israeli Government, and Jewish Targets
Published: January 05, 2008
The NEFA Foundation is providing an updated version of this “Target: America” report in light of guilty pleas from three plot conspirators and the release of a number of documents, including the 104-page
“JIS Protocol” authored by mastermind Kevin James. The material provides rare insight into the mindset of homegrown American jihadists and sheds light on prison radicalization, as James established his terror cell and plotted carnage while incarcerated for armed robbery. FBI Director Robert Mueller has noted that “prisons continue to be fertile ground for extremists who exploit both a prisoner’s conversion to Islam while still in prison, as well as their socio-economic status and placement in the community upon their release.”
The Illinois Shopping Mall Plot
Published: December 22, 2007
This NEFA Foundation “Target: America” report focuses on the “homegrown” threat, documenting Muslim convert Derrick Shareef’s plans to launch a grenade attack on the CherryVale Shopping Center in Rockford, Illinois. In preparation for his assault, Shareef carried out surveillance on the mall, attempted to procure weapons, and recorded a martyrdom tape, in which he ominously warned: “My name is Talib Abu Salam Ibn Shareef. I am 22 years of age. I am from America, and this tape is to let you guys know, who disbelieve in Allah, to let the enemies of Islam know, and to let the Muslims alike know that the time for jihad is now.”
The New York City Subway Poison Gas Plot
Published: December 06, 2007
The NEFA Foundation has released a “Target: America” report examining the plot by a Bahrain-based cell to launch a cyanide gas attack on the New York City subway system. According to former CIA Director George Tenet, when the cell asked Al-Qaida’s central leadership for permission to launch the attack, “word came back from [Al-Qaida number two] Ayman al-Zawahiri himself in early 2003 to cancel the operation and recall the operatives, who were already staged in New York – because ‘we have something better in mind.'” The NYPD reports that “surveillance of the subway stations” had already been “undertaken.”
KSM’s Transatlantic Shoe Bomb Plot
Published: September 17, 2007
This “Target: America” report focuses on 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s (KSM) plan to utilize two British Al Qaeda operatives — Richard Reid and Sajid Badat — to blow up U.S.-bound commercial airliners with shoe bombs. On December 22, 2001, Reid attempted to bring down American Airlines Flight 63 by igniting the explosive device in his shoe; his attempt failed and he was restrained by passengers until the plane landed. And, at the last moment, Badat withdrew from the plot, telling police he wanted to “introduce some calm in his life.” Reid and Badat had been assisted by KSM’s nephew ‘Ammar al-Balucchi, who also played an important supporting role in 9/11.
KSM’s West Coast Airline Plot
Published: August 14, 2007
This “Target: America” report documents 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s (KSM) plot to utilize Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) operatives to hijack a plane, gain access to the cockpit by detonating shoe bombs, and crash it into the Library Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast. KSM selected JI recruits to target California, which he reportedly considered America’s “richest state,” because he felt they “would not arouse as much suspicion.” KSM has told interrogators that, following 9/11, the second wave attack was on the “back burner,” due to problematic operatives and his failure to account for the “U.S. responding to the attacks as fiercely as they did.” KSM and three JI operatives allegedly involved in the plot are currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The Columbus Mall Plot
Published: July 31, 2007
The plot to attack a Columbus, Ohio area shopping mall is featured in this “Target: America” report. In July 2007, Nuradin Abdi, a Somali national living in Columbus, admitted his involvement in a cell that included Iyman Faris, currently serving 20 years in prison for assessing targets on behalf of 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Christopher Paul, indicted in April 2007 for plotting against European resorts and U.S. government facilities. Abdi told FBI agents that his group was “willing to conduct acts of violence in the United States.”
KSM’s Brooklyn Bridge Plot
Published: July 23, 2007
This “Target: America” report focuses on the plot, directed by 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to collapse the Brooklyn Bridge. Columbus, Ohio truck driver Iyman Faris, who is currently serving a 20 year prison sentence, researched “gas cutters” on the Internet and traveled to NYC to assess the bridge’s vulnerabilities before concluding that the plan would likely fail. Faris had been recommended to KSM by Al Qaeda operative Majid Khan, a Baltimore resident now being held at Guantanamo Bay.
Hamas’ Operations in North America
Published: July 16, 2007
The NEFA Foundation examines a Hamas plot to attack members of the U.S. and Canadian Jewish communities, as well as to assassinate an Israeli official visiting the U.S. According to the Israeli government, Ahmed Wahabe, a “senior Hamas terrorist,” tasked Jamal Akal, a Canadian citizen, to raise funds for the attack in Canadian mosques and purchase a M-16 from a Detroit gang. Further, Wahabe advised Akal that “New York is an easy place to find Jews.”
Irhaby007’s American Connections
Published: July 09, 2007
This “Target: America” report shines a spotlight on the Atlanta, Georgia cell in Younis Tsouli’s global, Internet-based, jihadist network. That Atlanta cell transmitted surveillance video of Washington D.C. landmarks to Tsouli in the U.K, and, according to FBI Director Robert Mueller, “had long-term goals of creating a large network of extremists in preparation for conducting attacks, possibly inside the United States.” In July 2007, Tsouli and his two British co-conspirators pled guilty to inciting murder for terrorist purposes and received prison sentences ranging from 6 1/2 to 10 years. NEFA Senior Investigator Evan Kohlmann testified as an expert witness in that trial.
The PATH Tunnel Plot
Published: June 25, 2007
This “Target: America” report details the plot to bomb the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey. Describing the plot, which allegedly was directed by “a self-initiating foreign cell that had access to al-Qaeda’s connections,” FBI New York Director Mark Mershon asserted that the planned attack involved “martyrdom” and “explosives.”
The East Coast Buildings Plot
Published: June 18, 2007
This NEFA Foundation report details the chillingly detailed surveillance British Al-Qaida operative Dhiren Barot and his co-conspirators conducted on the Citigroup Center, the New York Stock Exchange, the Prudential Plaza, the International Monetary Fund Building, and the World Bank. By striking at the heart of the U.S. economy, Barot hoped to further Usama Bin Laden’s goal of “bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy” and, in the words of a senior Justice Department official, “kill as many Americans as possible.”
The Miami Plot to Bomb Federal Buildings and the Sears Tower
Published: June 04, 2007
The NEFA Foundation examines the Miami-based plan, allegedly organized by Narseal Batiste, to “wage a ‘full ground war’ against the United States in order to ‘kill all the devils…'” they could “in a mission that would ‘be just as good or greater than 9/11.'” In addition to plotting to use explosives to destroy the Sears Tower, the conspirators also allegedly “agreed to assist in a fictitious al Qaeda plot” “to use explosives to destroy the offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Miami, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, and Washington D.C.” In the initial trial, one individual was acquitted on all charges, while a jury failed to reach a verdict on the fate of the other alleged conspirators. In April 2008, a second trial ended in a mistrial.