(Reuters) - The House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee holds its first in a series of hearings on Thursday about terrorism threats, focusing on radicalization of Muslims living in the United States. Following are details of some recent plots and attempted attacks on the United States or by U.S. citizens.
September 2009: Najibullah Zazi, an Afghan-born man who was a permanent U.S. resident living in Colorado, plotted a suicide bomb attack on the New York subway system. He received training from al Qaeda in the remote Waziristan region of Pakistan, which borders Afghanistan. He drove to New York in preparation for the attack but discarded bomb-making materials after learning he was under surveillance from a local imam. He was arrested later in Colorado and pleaded guilty to the plot in February. His sentencing has been postponed until June and he has been cooperating with authorities.
October 2009: U.S. authorities arrested a Pennsylvania woman, Colleen LaRose, who went by the nickname “Jihad Jane” on charges she was part of a plot to travel overseas to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had depicted the Prophet Mohammed in a way that was offensive to Muslims. She said as early as 2008 that she was “desperate to do something somehow to help” the suffering Muslim people. LaRose also told her co-conspirators that her appearance as a white, blonde woman would enable her to avoid detection by authorities. She pleaded guilty last month and could face life in prison.
November 2009: U.S. Major Nidal Malik Hasan, a Muslim born in the United States, is accused of killing 13 and wounding 32 during a shooting rampage at the U.S. Army installation in Fort Hood, Texas. U.S. authorities learned later he had been communicating with the Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is an American but left the country soon after the September 11, 2001, attacks and has since encouraged attacks against the United States. Al-Awlaki is believed to be hiding in Yemen. Hasan is facing trial in a military court.
December 2009: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, originally from Nigeria, boarded a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day and allegedly tried to detonate a bomb sewn into his underwear. The explosives, identified as PETN, failed to detonate fully and passengers and crew subdued him. Abdulmutallab began cooperating with U.S. authorities. Officials say he told them he had received the bomb and training from an al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He is facing trial in a U.S. court in 2011, but he suggested during a recent court hearing he could plead guilty to some of the charges.
May 2010: A Pakistani-born U.S. citizen, Faisal Shahzad, drove a sport utility vehicle packed with a crude bomb into the heart of Times Square in New York on a crowded Saturday evening. The bomb failed to go off and was discovered by passersby. He was caught days later as he tried to fly to Dubai. Shahzad admitted to receiving bomb-making training and funding from Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced this month to life in a U.S. prison.
October 2010: After U.S. officials received a tip from Saudi Arabia, two packages containing explosive materials destined for Jewish centers in Chicago were intercepted by authorities in England and Dubai. The explosives were tentatively identified as PETN, a strong explosive used in the past by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The packages were carried by UPS and FedEx but were intercepted overseas before they could arrive in the United States.
February 2011: A Saudi-born student, Khalid Aldawsari, was arrested in Texas after FBI agents were tipped off by a chemical supplier and freight company that he was trying to buy materials that could be used build bombs. Authorities discovered he had purchased some chemicals and was trying acquire others used to manufacture explosives. He also drew up a list of possible targets he had e-mailed to himself, which included New York City, the Dallas home of former President George W. Bush as well as hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants and a nightclub, according to an FBI affidavit.
Reporting by Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Jackie Frank