Since September 11, 2001, there have been 18 known terrorist attacks planned in New York City and they all have something in common: the worldview of the perpetrators. You can read more here about each one and how they were foiled. In some cases, they were called off by al-Qaida:
— In 2002, Iyman Faris, a U.S.-based al-Qaida operative, planned to cut the Brooklyn Bridge’s support cables at the direction of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
— In 2003, al-Qaida had planned to release cyanide gas in New York City’s subway system and attack other public places.
— In 2006, Uzair Paracha, a Brooklyn resident, was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison after he was convicted of attempting to help al-Qaida operative Majid Khan enter the United States to attack gas tanks. Paracha’s father worked with al-Qaida to smuggle explosives — including possibly nuclear weapons — into the United States using the New York office of Paracha’s import-export business
— Dhiren Barot (aka Issa al-Hindi) was sentenced to life in prison by a United Kingdom court in 2006 after pleading guilty to planning to attack several targets both in the UK and the U.S., including the New York Stock Exchange, Citigroup’s headquarters in Midtown Manhattan, and the Prudential Building in Newark, NJ.– Shahawar Matin Siraj and James Elshafay plotted in 2004 to place explosive devices in the Herald Square subway station in Manhattan.
— In July 2006, the FBI revealed it had uncovered a plot involving an attack on a PATH commuter train tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey by Islamists, the placement of suicide bombers on trains, and the destruction of the retaining wall separating the Hudson River from the World Trade Center site in the hopes of causing massive flooding in the city’s Financial District.
— Beginning in 2006, four Islamists plotted to detonate the jet-fuel storage tanks and supply lines for John F. Kennedy Airport in order to cause wide-scale destruction and economic disruption in an attack they intended to dwarf 9/11.
— In a series of three trials spanning 2008 to 2010, eight Muslims were convicted in Britain of attempting to simultaneously detonate explosives in seven airliners traveling from London to several North American metropolises, including New York.
— Bryant Neal Vinas, of Long Island, New York, traveled to Pakistan with an intent to die fighting against American forces in Afghanistan. In summer of 2008, Vinas spoke to al-Qaida about targeting the Long Island Railroad using a suitcase bomb that would be left in a car and set to detonate.
— In May 2009, four Islamists placed what they believed were functioning bombs outside of Jewish targets in the Bronx neighborhood of Riverdale and additionally constructed plans to fire missiles at military transport planes at Stewart International Airport near Newburgh, NY.
— And even this list doesn’t include the 2007 plot to attack nearby Fort Dix by a half-dozen Islamists since that was handled by the New Jersey authorities.
— In September 2009, the New York City subway system was targeted for attack by three individuals supporting al-Qaida who planned to set off bombs in the subway during rush hour shortly after the eighth anniversary of 9/11.
— Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani-American residing in Connecticut, attempted to detonate a car bomb in Times Square on May 1, 2010.
— Ahmed Ferhani, an Queens resident born in Algeria, along with Mohammad Mamdouh, a Moroccan immigrant, were arrested in May 2011 in an NYPD operation in which Ferhani purchased a hand grenade, three semi-automatic pistols and ammunition from an undercover detective. NYPD’s investigation into the pair revealed their desire to attack a synagogue in New York City.
— Jose Pimentel, a native of the Dominican Republic and convert to Islam, was charged with plotting to detonate bombs in and around New York City in November 2011.
— Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old native of Bangladesh residing in the U.S. on a student visa, was arrested in October 2012 as he attempted to remotely detonate what he believed was a bomb in front of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in lower Manhattan.
— Raees Alam Qazi and Sheheryar Alam Qazi, Pakistan-born brothers, were arrested by federal authorities in Florida in November 2012 for charges relating to a plan to bomb popular New York City landmarks including Times Square, Wall Street and city theaters.
— Jesse Morton, a New York City-based Muslim convert, was apprehended in Morocco and pleaded guilty in February 2012 to conspiring to solicit murder, making threatening communications, and using the Internet to place others in fear, most notably through his website Revolution Muslim.
I’m often reminded of my experience in organizing a project on terrorist threats at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) between 1989 and 1991. When I sought a renewal of our grant from the Ford Foundation, the official there said no because “we don’t think terrorism will be a problem in the future.”
The officials conducting U.S. policy (those who support it and aren’t horrified career people) have said that al-Qaida is all but over and that the pro-Islamist policy will prevent anti-American Islamism in future. They are just as wrong.
If you are interested in reading more about anti-Americanism, you’re welcome to read my book Hating America – A History online for free.