December 2001. Richard Reid - British citizen and an Osama Bin Laden follower. He had explosives inside his shoes, and boarded a flight from Paris to Miami. Mr. Reid was unsuccessful in his attempt to light a fuse on his shoes with a match, resulting in apprehension by the passengers and flight attendants. He is currently serving a life sentence in a maximum security prison in Colorado.
May 2002. Jose Padilla - U.S. citizen. At Chicago's O'Hare airport, he was arrested upon his return from Pakistan (took terrorist training). He was arrested as an enemy combatant, tried as a terrorist, and is serving a prison term.
June 2003. Ahmed Omar Abu Ali - a U.S. citizen (Jordianian descent). His arrest came in Saudi Arabia for conspiracy to kill President George Bush, hijack airplanes, and provide support to al-Qaida terrorist groups. Convicted in 2005, he was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
June 2003. The Virginia Jihad Network (11 members) were arrested in Alexandria, Virginia. Accusted of weapons charges and Neutrality Acts violations (prohibits U.S. citizens and residents from attacking countries which are at peace with the U.S.). They are in prison for conspiring to aid terrorist organizations.
December 2005. Levar Haley Washington, Gregory Vernon Patterson, Hammad Riaz Samana, and Kevin James. These parties were arrested and indicted as part of a Los Angeles group that was charged with plotting to attack National Guard facilities, syngagues, and targets of interests. They are serving jail time.
March 2006. Mohammad Reza Taheri-azar - 22 year old Iranian native. On the campus of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, injured six people by driving his car into a crowd of students. Protesting the treatment of muslims around the world was his reasoning. Mr. Taheri is now serving a 26 year prison term.
March 2007. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. His admission was helping plan, and run the 9/11 terror attacks on the United States, upon interrogation after his capture in Pakistan in 2003. He also claims responsibility for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, plotting to assassinate Pope John Paul 2 and former President Bill Clinton. Mr. Mohammad is awaiting trial at the U.S. Terrorist Detention Complex at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
June 2008. Christopher Paul - U.S. citizen from Columbus, Ohio. His mission was to join the al-Qaida terrorist organization (1990's) and target Americans visiting foreign tourist resorts. Upon returning to Ohio, he was arrested for planning to use weapons of mass destruction against U.S. targets of interest. Mr. Paul is now serving 20 years in prison for his guilty plea.
November 2009. Major Nadal Malik Hasan - U.S. Army Psychiatrist. Did damage to a U.S. processing center by opening fire on it at Fort Hood, Texas; reportedly killing 12 people and wounding 32 others. When questioned his reasoning was revenge for the U.S. killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaida terrorist leader in Yemen, and for the U.S. war against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
December 2009. Umar Farouk Abdulmitallab - 23 year old Nigerian engineering student. Living in London, he boarded a plane Amsterdam bound for Detroit. Attempting to detonate a bomb in his underwear during the landing of the plane in Detroit, the device failed to explode after two tries. He was stopped by passengers on the second attempt. Under arrest as the plane landed, he is known as the "Christmas Day Bomber". Mr. Abdulmutallab pled guity to and was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiracy to commit terrorism and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction.
May 2010. Faisal Shahzad - naturalized U.S. citizen from Pakistan. Attempting to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in New York City; it failed to go off. He receiving explosives training from a terrorist group in Pakistan and $12,000 dollars in expense money. With the failed attempt behind him, he tried to leave the country but was caught before boarding a plane to Dubai. mr. Shahzad was sentenced to life imprisonment in the same high security prison, as his fellow colleagues (bombers) Richard Reid and Jose Padilla.
May 2012. DHS authorities made the announcement of a unsuccessful planned terrorist attack on U.S. bound aircraft that was twarted by the agency. It's mission was to bring down the aircraft in similar fashion to the underwear bomb used by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in 2009 - device was more sophisticated and had the ability to avoid detection by security devices. HUMINT data obtained by U.S. forces led to cordinated HUMINT and COMINT cooperation by the U.S. to launch a successful drone strike. The drone strike killed al-Qaida leader Fahd al-Quso who was wanted for the USS Cole bombing in Yemen in 2000.
April 2013. Dzhokar and Tamerlan Tasmaev - young men living in the United States. Meandering thru crowds of people at the annual Boston Marathon on April 15; they placed two backpacks near the finish line of the race. The backpacks contained two homemade bombs made from pressure cookers filled with ball bearings and nails. Going off about 10 seconds apart, the debris ripped thru spectators, killing three bystanders, and wounding 282. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies combined their efforts and identified the brothers from video surveillance cameras. Tamerlan was killed during a police chase, and Dzhokar severly wounded and captured. Standing trial on a number of Patriot Act violations as well as civil, criminal, and copyright infractions; Mr. Dzhokar, upon being interrogated by investigators mentioned that he and his brother carried out the bombings because of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Even though U.S. and local law enforcement agencies have drawn both praise and criticism for combating terrorism, they efforts will still be applauded by many Americans both here and abroad. COMINT and HUMINT data being extrapolated from around the world no matter how small helps to play a large part when combined. Despite U.S. Representative John Mica (R-FL)'s statement about, "Anyone who thinks you can combine 22 agencies and hundreds of thousands of people and expect that it is going to be more efficient and economical needs to have their head examined"; should reexamine how growing pains within these organizations help to strenghten their resolve. U.S. citizens, residents, and the world community benefits from these organizations valiant efforts.