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Sabir Shah
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
From Print Edition
 
 

 

LAHORE: If one studies the 200-year plus history of terrorism within the United States, it will transpire that both American-born naturalised citizens and the non-native Muslims in this country have also been involved in quite a few subversive attacks since 1993, along with the natives of course.

 

However, the involvement of Muslims from Pakistan, Arab and other African countries in terrorism within the United States may seem a fairly recent phenomenon to many historians who have been keeping track of the crimes committed by the local anarchists, pro and anti-slavery activists, foreign agents and other radical elements etc since the start of the 19th century.

 

The following list (compiled with help from archives of numerous US and Western media outlets) shows some major terror attacks within America, where Muslim perpetrators were either found involved or were alleged as being the orchestrators:

 

On January 25, 1993, the Quetta-born Mir Aimal Kasi had opened fire at cars waiting at the stop light in front of CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, killing two and injuring three others. He was executed by a lethal injection in 2002.

 

On February 26, 1993, the First World Trade Center bombing had killed six and injured 1,000. The attack was allegedly carried out by an Al-Qaeda operative Ramzi Yousaf, the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.

 

The Kuwait-born Ramzi Yousaf was sentenced to two life sentences for his part in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He was arrested from Islamabad.On March 1, 1994, the Brooklyn Bridge shooting occurred when a Lebanese-born Rashid Baz shot at a van of Jewish students, killing one and injuring three others.

 

On February 24, 1997, a 69-year-old Palestinian Ali Hassan Abu Kamal opened fire on tourists at an observation deck atop the Empire State Building, killing a Danish national and wounding other visitors from the United States, Argentina, Switzerland and France, before turning the gun on himself.

 

On October 13, 2000, Temple Beth El, an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in New York, was heavily damaged in an arson attack.

 

The Palestinian-American Ramsi Uthman was convicted in the attack. Born in Venezuela, he was a naturalised US citizen. Another Palestinian Ahed Shehadeh was convicted of aiding and abetting the arson.

 

Uthman received the maximum possible sentence of 25 years. Shehadeh got a five-year prison sentence, and was released in 2008.

 

In 2000, three young men of Arab descent were charged with hurling crude petrol bombs at a synagogue in New York.

 

On September 11, 2001, a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks allegedly launched by Al-Qaeda upon the United States in New York and Washington DC left nearly 3,000 people dead.

 

On September 18, 2001, letters tainted with Anthrax spores killed five across the United States, with politicians and media officials cited as being the apparent targets. Al-Qaeda was blamed for these incidents.

 

On July 4, 2002, a lone gunman at the Los Angeles International Airport ticket counter of Israel’s national airline pulled out two pistols and started shooting at the 90 passengers standing in the line.

 

Initially, the assailant killed 25-year-old flight attendant Victoria Hen, who was standing behind the counter. Later, the assailant opened fire at the passengers as they huddled nearby and killed 46-year-old passenger Yaakov Aminov.

 

According to CNN, the shooter was identified as 41-year-old Egyptian national, Hesham Mohamed Hadayet, who had immigrated to the United States in 1992. He had a green card, which allowed him to work as a limousine driver.

 

In addition, Hesham had injured four other bystanders. After the gunman had fired 10 bullets at the crowd, one of Israel airline’s unarmed security guards managed to knock the shooter down. Minutes later, an Israeli security officer approached the scene and was stabbed by the assailant. However, the security officer got hold of his gun and shot the perpetrator dead.

 

In September 2002, US investigators concluded that Hesham had hoped to influence the then American government policy in favour of the Palestinians and that the incident was a terrorist act.

 

In three weeks of October 2002, one John Allen Muhammad and a minor, Lee Boyd Malvo, had carried out a series of the “Beltway sniper attacks” in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia, killing 10 people.

 

In September 2003, Allen Muhammad was sentenced to death. One month later, Malvo was sentenced to six consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. On November 10, 2009, Allen Muhammad was executed by lethal injection.

 

On March 5, 2006, an Iranian-American, Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar injured six people on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by hitting them with his vehicle to avenge the deaths of Muslims around the world.

 

Shortly after the attack, he turned himself in and was arrested. He pleaded guilty to nine counts of attempted first-degree murder, and in 2008, he was sentenced to 33 years in prison on two counts of attempted murder.

 

On July 28, 2006, Naveed Haq of Pakistani descent allegedly managed to gain access to the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building by holding a 13-year-old girl hostage with a gun to her back and ordering her to dial the intercom and request to be buzzed into the facility. After entering, he allegedly began shooting and a woman Pamela Waechter was killed.

 

He was reportedly angry over US and Israel, and had demanded that the United States should withdraw its military forces from Iraq.

 

On December 15, 2009, Haq was charged with nine felonies, including aggravated first-degree murder, five counts of attempted murder, kidnapping, burglary and malicious harassment, a hate-crime law.

 

He was sentenced to life without parole plus 120 years.

 

On March 6, 2008, a homemade bomb damaged a Recruiting Office in Times Square, New York.

 

In June 2013, the FBI and New York City police had offered a $65,000 reward for information in the case and revealed that the ammunition used for the bomb was the same as is used in the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones.

 

On June 1, 2009, one Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad shot and killed one military recruiter and seriously wounded another at an Arkansas Army/Navy Career Center.

 

Mujahid Muhammad, a convert to Islam, had visited Yemen for 16 months where he spent time in prison and became radicalized. He said he was part of Al-Qaeda and was upset over US killing of Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

On November 5, 2009, Nidal Malik Hasan, a US Army Major serving as a Psychiatrist, opened fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 and wounding 29. Recently, on August 28, 2013, Major Hasan was sentenced to death.

 

On December 25, 2009, an Al-Qaeda member from Nigeria allegedly attempted to blow up the Northwest Airliner 253 during flight over Detroit by igniting his underpants, which were filled with an explosive.

 

Umar Farouk Abdulmutlab had pleaded guilty to all counts against him on October 12, 2011.

 

On May 1, 2010, a 30-year old Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad was arrested at Kennedy Airport for planning to blow up New York’s Times Square with a car bomb. The bomb had failed to go off.

 

The White House blamed the Pakistani Taliban for the failed attack and said Faisal Shehzad was working for them.

 

In July 2010, the Pakistani Taliban released a video featuring Shahzad in which he was seen urging other Muslims in the West to follow his example and to launch similar attacks.

 

Several suspects were arrested in Pakistan including the co-owner of a prominent catering firm used by the US embassy.

 

On June 21, 2010, Shahzad pleaded guilty to 10 counts saying he had created the bomb to force the US military to withdraw troops and stop drone attacks in a number of Muslim countries.

 

On October 4, 2010 Shahzad was sentenced to life in prison.

 

On September 20, 2010, a Chicago-based Lebanese, Sami Samir Hussain, was charged with one count each of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of an explosive device.

 

On October 27, 2010, a naturalised US citizen Farooque Ahmed was indicted for conspiracy to bomb four Washington metro stations.

 

On November 26, 2010, a Somali-American Osman Mohammad was alleged to have attempted a car bombing in Oregan State. On January 31, 2013, a jury found him guilty of the charge of trying to use a weapon of mass destruction.

 

On December 8, 2010, Antonio Martinez (also known as Muhammad Hussain) was arrested after a sting operation in an alleged plot to bomb a military recruiting center in Maryland. The 21-year-old suspect was an American who had converted to Islam, and was upset that the US military was killing Muslims.

 

On February 24, 2011, a Saudi student Khalid Ali-Aldawarsi was arrested for building bombs to use in alleged terrorist attacks. He wanted to target the residence of former US President George Bush, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, nightclubs and the homes of soldiers who were formerly stationed at the Abu Gharaib prison in Iraq.

 

On May 11, 2011, an Algerian living in New York and another local Muslim were arrested for plotting an attack against a city Synagogue. It was also alleged that they hoped to attack the Empire State building.

 

On June 23, 2011, Abu Khalid Latif and Walli Mujahid of California were arrested on charges of buying machine guns and grenades and conspiring to attack a federal building housing a military facility in Seattle.

 

On April 8, 2013 Walli Mujahid tendered apology and was sentenced to 17 years for his role in the plot.

 

On July 27, 2011, a US Army official, Naser Jason, was arrested in an alleged plot against a military facility in Texas.

 

On September 28, 2011, a US citizen Rezwan Ferdaus, was indicted for allegedly plotting to use remote-controlled aircraft carrying explosives to bomb the Pentagon and the US Capitol.

 

In July 2012, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 17 years in prison and then 10 years of supervised release.

 

On February 17, 2012, Amine El Khalifi, a Moroccan man living in Virginia, was arrested in alleged suicide bombing plot.

 

As a result of a plea agreement, El Khalifi was sentenced to 30 years in prison on September 14, 2012.

 

On October 17, 2012, a Bangladeshi student, Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, was arrested in a plot to bomb the Manhattan office of the Federal Reserve Bank.

 

On August 9, 2013 Nafis was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

 

On November 29, 2012, Raees Alam Qazi and his brother Sheheryar Alam Qazi of Florida, both naturalized citizens of Pakistani descent, were arrested for being in the inspirational stages of a plot to attack New York City.

 

On April 15, 2013, two bombs detonated within seconds of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people. Later in the evening, a Massachusetts University security guard was shot and killed while sitting in his squad car.

 

While Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Russian immigrant of Chechan ethnicity was killed, his injured brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested after a long house-to-house search. Both brothers were Muslims.

 

The injured Tsarnaev said the bombings were in retaliation for US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan against Muslims.