Written by IPT News
Throughout 2009, U.S. law-enforcement agencies worked successfully to prevent catastrophic attacks. The following are some of the major domestic investigations of jihadist terror and some of the alleged targets:
"I hate those motherf***ers, those f***ing Jewish bastards," fumed James Cromitie, the alleged ringleader. After lamenting that the "best target," the World Trade Center, had already been destroyed, Cromitie said he would like to attack a synagogue. The complaint quotes would-be co-conspirator Onta Williams as stating that the U.S. military is "killing Muslim brothers and sisters in Muslim countries so, if we kill them here with IEDs and Stingers, it is equal."
After he was introduced to an undercover FBI agent in February 2009, Finton expressed his desire to receive military training to fight in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia or other locations. In the ensuing months, he decided to blow up the Paul Findley Federal Building and Courthouse in Springfield and conducted surveillance for that purpose. He was arrested by the FBI immediately after he tried to detonate what he thought was a one-ton bomb in a van.
Zazi allegedly had been recruited by Al Qaeda and received detailed bomb-making instructions in Pakistan. He was trained in making bombs from relatively common household supplies - possibly for an attack on the New York subway system around the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Officials have described the plot as the most serious terror threat since 9/11.
According to the government's detention motion, "Zazi remained committed to detonating an explosive device up until the date of his [September 19] arrest, as exemplified by among other things, traveling overseas to receive bomb-making instructions, conducting extensive research on the Internet regarding components of explosive devices" and purchasing other explosives and traveling "to New York City on September 10, 2009 in furtherance of the criminal plan."
The government's criminal complaint in the case includes an FBI affidavit stating that Smadi was discovered by the FBI "within an online group of extremists." Smadi is alleged to have declared his intention to serve as a soldier for Osama Bin Laden and to have said that blowing up the building would "shake the currently weak economy in the state and the American nation."
An earlier indictment in July charged Boyd and the other North Carolina terror suspects with material support for terrorism. The indictment alleged that Daniel Boyd is a veteran of terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan and that he had traveled from the United States to Israel in the hope of engaging in violent jihad but returned to the U.S. after failing in his efforts. Read more here.
The U.S. government charges that during the course of his terrorist plot, Kaziu attempted to travel to Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans to fight against U.S. armed forces. Kaziu also went to Egypt where he attempted to purchase weapons and tried to join al-Shabaab.
According to an affidavit signed by FBI Special Agent Heidi Williams, Mehanna traveled to Pakistan in 2002 and Yemen in 2004 in unsuccessful attempts to find a terrorist training camp in order to engage in jihad. He and a co-conspirator allegedly plotted to attack U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, to gun down shoppers at a suburban shopping mall and assassinate two unnamed U.S. government officials.
Abdullah was accused of being the ringleader of a radical Muslim separatist movement seeking a state in America governed by Shariah law. He sought to establish a separate sovereign Islamic state to be governed by Jamal Al-Amin, (formerly known as H. Rap Brown), who is currently serving a life sentence after his 2002 conviction of killing a police officer in Georgia. Abdullah converted to Islam after serving prison time for felonious assault and carrying a concealed weapon.
According to the criminal complaint, a former member of Abdullah's group reported that the imam advocated "the spread of Islam through radical jihad." Read the full complaint here and the Department of Justice press release here.
Numerous terrorists were sentenced after convictions in earlier terror plots. Oussama Kassir was sentenced to life in prison on September 15 for providing material support to Al Qaeda. This assistance included establishment of a jihadist training camp in Bly, Oregon. Five radical Islamists were sentenced for plotting to bomb the U.S. military base at Fort Dix, N.J. Four of the men received life sentences, and the fifth, 33 years. In October, three Toledo, Ohio-area men were sentenced to terms ranging from 8 to 20 years for crimes that included plotting to kill U.S. troops in Iraq.
In Atlanta, a federal judge sentenced Eshanu Sadequee to 17 years in prison on December 14 for his role in a conspiracy to help the Pakistani group Lashkar-e-Taiba and to scout attack targets in the United States. Sadequee's fellow defendant, Haris Ahmed, received a 13-year sentence. Five Miami-area men received sentences ranging from seven to 13½ years in prison for providing material support to Al Qaeda. The men considered mounting attacks on the Sears Tower in Chicago and an FBI building in Florida. On May 27, U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis sentenced five leaders of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) to prison terms ranging from 15 to 65 years for providing support to Hamas.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) is a non-profit research group founded by Steven Emerson in 1995. It is recognized as the world's most comprehensive data center on radical Islamic terrorist groups. For more than a decade, the IPT has investigated the operations, funding, activities and front groups of Islamic terrorist and extremist groups in the United States and around the world. It has become a principal source of critical evidence to a wide variety of government offices and law enforcement agencies, as well as the U.S. Congress and numerous public policy forums. Research carried out by the IPT team has formed the basis for thousands of articles and television specials on the subject of radical Islamic involvement in terrorism, and has even led to successful government action against terrorists and financiers based in the United States.