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US since 9/11: Terrorist attacks linked to the ‘war on terror’

A number of major terrorist attack have taken place on US soil, and those have been carried out by people who claimed inspiration from Islamist terror groups like al Qaeda or IS.

world Updated: Nov 01, 2017 08:21 IST
The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian
Terrorist attacks,terrorist attack on US,World Trade Center
New York Police Department vehicles seen in midtown Manhattan, after a truck attack on a Manhattan bike path in New York.(REUTERS)

The attack in Lower Manhattan on Tuesday is one of a number of major terrorist attack on US soil that has been carried out by those who have claimed inspiration from Islamist terror groups like al Qaeda or IS. It is the latest attack of its kind since the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 that left nearly 3,000 people dead and prompted president George W Bush to launch military action against the al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Here is a timeline of other major terror attacks in the US:

July 4, 2002

Hesham Muhammad Hadayet, an Egyptian national with a green card giving him permanent status in the US, killed two people and wounded four at an El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport. Hadayet also died. The FBI later concluded that it was an act of terrorism but that Hadayet was acting alone.

June 1, 2009

In 2009, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, an American-born convert to Islam, opened fire on an army recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas. Muhammad killed one soldier and wounded another. Muhammad, who previously lived in Yemen, claimed to be a member of the al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. His lawyers produced an expert who testified that he was delusional and Muhammad eventually pled guilty to avoid the death penalty.

November 5, 2009

Army major Nidal Hasan opened fire in the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas. The American-born Hasan killed 13 fellow soldiers and wounded 32. Hasan was also paralysed in the attack. At his trial, he declared himself to be at war with America and investigators found that although he acted alone, he had accessed jihadist websites. Hasan was sentenced to death and is currently incarcerated in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

April 15, 2013

The Boston Marathon bombing attack was carried out by two brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The bomb placed at the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured 264. The two later killed Sean Collins, an MIT police officer. In addition, in a firefight between the brothers and police, 16 officers were injured and another later died. Tamerlan, the older brother, died after he was shot by police and his brother ran over him in a car in an attempt to escape. Dzhokhar was apprehended and sentenced to death in federal court. The two Kyrgyz-American immigrants had been self-radicalised but learned to make their bomb from the al Qaeda online magazine Inspire.

July 16, 2015

Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez attacked both a marine recruiting office and US Navy reserve centre. Abdulazeez first opened fire on the recruiting office from a car, wounding a recruiter inside. He then drove to a Navy reserve centre where he killed four marines and one seaman before police officers killed him. Abdulazeez was an American citizen born in Kuwait. Former FBI director James Comey later said Abdulazeez was “motivated by foreign terrorist organisation propaganda”.

December 15, 2015

A married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tasheen Malik, opened fire on a Christmas party at the San Bernandino County Department of Public Health, where Farook worked. Fourteen people died and 24 were injured. Farook was born in the US and Malik was a Pakistani immigrant who married Farook in Saudi Arabia after they met on the internet. The two were later killed in a shootout with police. The FBI later described the two as “homegrown violent extremists” and found that they had radicalized before they met online.

June 12, 2016

American-born Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 58 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In calls made during his rampage at the gay nightclub, Mateen pledged allegiance to IS. After his initial assault, the attack into a hostage situation that lasted for nearly three hours. Eventually police stormed the nightclub and killed Mateen in a shootout. President Barack Obama later said that Mateen was “inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet”.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 08:21 IST