Post 9/11 Terrorist Plots Targeting New York City
BROOKLYN BRIDGE Iyman Faris, a U.S.-based, al Qaeda operative, planned to cut the bridge's support cables but was deterred, in part, by the NYPD's 24-hour coverage of the bridge. Faris sent al Qaeda leaders a coded message that, "the weather is too hot," indicating he could not carry out the mission. He was arrested in 2003, pleaded guilty and sentenced to federal prison.
SUBWAY CYANIDE - A plot to disperse cyanide gas in the subway system was called off at the last minute by Iyman Zawahiri for what he said was "something bigger."
NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE & CITIGROUP HEADQUARTERS - Al Qaeda plot to use vehicles to bomb the New York Stock Exchange, Citibank, and other financial institutions. NYPD tactical teams were deployed to high-threat locations, and vehicle inspections were increased in response. Dhiren Barot/Issa al-Hindi, an associate of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, pleaded guilty in 2006.
GARMENT DISTRICT PLOT The NYPD and FBI arrested Uzair Paracha for material support of terrorism in New York based on intelligence developed overseas. Paracha is reported to have discussed with top al Qaeda leaders the prospect of smuggling weapons and explosives ? possibly even a nuclear device?into Manhattan's Garment District through his father's import-export business.
HERALD SQUARE SUBWAY STATION An NYPD undercover officer helped disrupt a 2004 plot to bomb the Herald Square subway station by lone-wolf admirers of Al Qaeda. Shahawar Matin Siraj and James Elshafay conspired to blow up the 34th Street subway station, including surveilling the subway station, choosing the location for their bombs, and diagramming entrances and exits.
PATH TRAIN and WTC RETAINING WALL A multi-agency investigation disrupted a plot to attack NYC's underground transit link with New Jersey in 2006. Law enforcement monitoring international chat rooms discovered suspects' plan to destroy a PATH train tunnel and the retaining wall at Ground Zero, to flood the New York Financial District. The main operative was taken into custody in Lebanon and admitted to plotting the attack.
JFK AIRPORT/BUCKEYE PIPELINE - Al Qaeda sympathizers plotted to bomb the fuel tanks and pipeline at John F. Kennedy Airport, through which jet fuel is transported from New Jersey through Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. Four suspects were arrested in New York and Trinidad in 2007; three were later sentenced to life in prison.
TRANSATLANTIC PLOT ? A British-based plot to destroy seven commercial aircraft over the Atlantic Ocean or fly one or more of them into East Coast targets including New York City resulted in multiple arrests in London.
LONG ISLAND RAILROAD - A plot to bomb a Manhattan-bound LIRR commuter train was discussed at the highest levels of al Qaeda operational leadership. See Bryant Neal Vinas, of Long Island.
BRONX SYNAGOGUES ? Disrupted in May 2009, the Riverdale plot targeted two Jewish centers?a synagogue and a Jewish community center?in the Bronx, and Stewart Air Base in Newburgh, NY. The NYPD and FBI arrested four men who were convicted in 2010.
NYC SUBWAY & TRANSIT HUBS - In September 2009, Najibullah Zazi and others planned a series of coordinated suicide bombings of NYC subway transit hubs at rush hour.
TIMES SQUARE Faisal Shahzad attempted on May 1, 2010 to detonate a bomb inside an SUV parked in Times Square on a busy Saturday night.
MANHATTAN SYNAGOGUE - The NYPD disrupted a plot by two Queens men, Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, to bomb a synagogue in Manhattan in May 2011.
JOSE PIMENTEL - Muslim convert Jose Pimentel was arrested in November 2011 in Manhattan as he constructed bombs and plotted to killer soldiers returning home to New York from Afghanistan and Iraq. He had followed instructions in an article from Al Qaeda's English-language magazine "Inspire" on "How to Build a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom."
JESSE MORTON & REVOLUTION MUSLIM: The case of Jesse Morton, a New York City-based Muslim convert, resulted from NYPD monitoring, combined with the investigative and prosecutorial expertise of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney for Eastern District of Virginia. Morton was apprehended in Morocco and pleaded guilty in Feb. 2012 to soliciting murder and encouraging violence via the Internet; Morton was sentenced in June to 138 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, for using his position as a leader of the "Revolution Muslim" organization's internet sites to conspire to solicit murder and encourage violent extremism. His partner Zachary Chesser was sentenced for providing material support to al Shabaab, communicating threats and soliciting acts of extremism, including against the creators of South Park. Chesser and Morton were associates of Mohamed Alessa and Carlos Almonte, two New Jersey men who pleaded guilty in March 2011 to conspiring to murder individuals overseas on behalf of a foreign terrorist group.