FBI officials noted that in 2013, as in past years, their agents focused on the agency's top investigative priority: protecting the American people and the homeland from terrorist attacks. FBI officials claim they have worked towards that anti-terrorism goal with local, state, and federal law enforcement and intelligence community partners, primarily through FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces throughout the country.
Here are the FBI's top 10 terrorism cases of 2013 listed in reverse chronological order:
1. Airport bomb plot: A 58-year-old man was charged in early December with attempting to explode a car bomb at a Kansas airport as an act of jihad against the U.S. He was arrested as a result of an undercover investigation.
2. Attempt to join al Qaeda: A New York resident was arrested in October for attempting to join al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and conspiring to commit murder overseas. The 25-year-old allegedly conspired with others to travel overseas to wage violent jihad against the enemies of Islam, which included the secular government of Yemen.
3. Material support to terrorists: Two suspects -- one of whom is an American citizen -- were indicted in August for conspiring to provide material support to al-Qaeda groups and the Somali-based Al Shabaab. The men were charged with attempting to provide money and recruits to three different terror organizations.
4. Sovereign citizen scheme: In July, the self-proclaimed president of a so-called sovereign citizen group in Alabama was sentenced to 18 years in prison for promoting a tax fraud scheme that taught people how to defraud the Internal Revenue Service. He and other sovereign citizens also sent demands to all 50 U.S. governors in 2010 ordering each to resign within three days -- to be replaced by a “sovereign” leader or be “removed.”
5. Attempt to wage jihad: A Florida man was indicted in July for attempting to provide material support to terrorists. The 19-year-old suspect tried to travel to the Arabian Peninsula to join and fight with the violent al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) group that has taken responsibility for multiple attacks on Yemeni forces, including a suicide bombing in 2012 that killed more than 100 soldiers.
6. Former U.S. soldier indicted: A U.S. citizen who had served in the U.S. Army was indicted in June for conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. The 30-year-old man allegedly wanted to fight alongside an al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group in Syria known as the Nusra Front.
7. Far-fetched terror plan: Two New York men were charged in June with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. Their scheme involved creating a remote-control operated radiation-emitting device designed to kill people silently.
8. Tsarnaev charged: In April, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction for his role in the Boston Marathon bombings. The attacks killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
9. Suicide bombing: An Oregon resident was charged in March for his role in a 2009 suicide bombing. The man allegedly assisted an individual who participated in the attack at the headquarters of Pakistan’s intelligence service in Lahore that killed approximately 30 individuals and injured 300 others.
10. Osama Bin Laden associate arrested: An associate of Islamist-icon Osama bin Laden was arrested in March for conspiring to kill Americans. The individual held a key position in al-Qaeda and appeared with bin Laden after the 9/11 attacks to threaten further attacks against the U.S.
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO READERS OF LAW ENFORCEMENT EXAMINER