A common definition of terrorism is the systematic use or threatened use of violence in order to intimidate a population or government and thereby effect political, religious, or ideological change. This article serves as a list and compilation of acts of terrorism, attempts of terrorism, and other such items pertaining to terrorist activities within the domestic borders of the United States by persons affiliated with or not affiliated with state actors.
October 16, 1859: Anti-slavery Pottawatomie Massacre—In response to the sacking of Lawrence, John Brown led a group of abolitionists in the murders of five pro-slavery Kansas settlers.
April 14, 1865: Pro-slavery Abraham Lincoln assassination – Part of a conspiracy by Confederate supporters John Wilkes Booth, Lewis Powell and George Atzerodt to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward in Washington, D.C. to create chaos for the purpose of overthrowing the Federal Government. Booth succeeded in assassinating Lincoln at Ford's Theatre, Seward survived numerous stabbings by Powell who stabbed others as he was chased out of Seward's home, and Atzerodt failed to carry out the planned murder of Johnson. Booth was killed by soldiers when he failed to surrender. Eight conspirators were tried and convicted for their role in the conspiracy by a military tribunal, including Powell and Atzerodt. Four defendants were executed for their roles including Powell, Azterodt and Mary Surratt, the first woman ever to be hanged by the U.S. government.
October 28, 1893: Carter Harrison assassination-Patrick Eugene Joseph Prendergast was upset that the Mayor of Chicago, Carter Harrison, Sr., advocated for the repeal of the Sherman Silver Purchase Act of 1890, seeing it as an action against the citizenry and acting under the influence of England, the Rothschild bankers of Europe, and Wall St. Prendergast imagined this as part of a larger conspiracy that betrayed the will of Jesus Christ. As a delusional newspaper man, he found himself unable to influence policy in Washington or Chicago and ultimately took it upon himself to change the course of history by assassinating the powerful mayor. He felt that his inevitable acquittal would establish a precedent wherein Christian law would be established throughout the city. Prendergast was found sane by a jury and hanged on July 14, 1894.
July 2, 1915: Frank Holt (also known as Eric Muenter), a German professor who wanted to stop American support of the Allies in World War I, exploded a bomb in the reception room of the U.S. Senate. The next morning he tried to assassinate J. P. Morgan, Jr. the son of the financier whose company served as Great Britain’s principal U.S. purchasing agent for munitions and other war supplies. Muenter was overpowered by Morgan in Morgan's Long Island home before killing himself in prison on July 7.
July 22, 1916: The Preparedness Day Bombing killed ten people and injured 40 in San Francisco. Two radical labor leaders, Warren K. Billings and Thomas Mooney, were convicted of the crime and sentenced to hang, but with little evidence of their guilt both sentences were commuted to life imprisonment. They were eventually pardoned, and the actual bombers' identities remain unknown.
1916, July 30: The Black Tom explosion in Jersey City, New Jersey was an act of sabotage on American ammunition supplies by German agents to prevent the material from being used by the Allies in World War I.
November 24, 1917: A bomb exploded in a Milwaukee police station, killing nine officers and a civilian. Anarchists were suspected.
1919 United States anarchist bombings: A series of package bombs were mailed to prominent business and government leaders around the country. Most were intercepted and did not go off, with only one person killed. Italian Galleanist anarchists were suspected, but not convicted.
1920 Wall Street bombing: A horse-drawn wagon filled with explosives was detonated in front of the J. P. Morgan bank on Wall Street, killing 38 and wounding 143. Galleanist anarchists were again suspected, but the perpetrators were never caught.
May 31, 1921: During the Tulsa race riot, there were reports that whites dropped dynamite from airplanes onto a black ghetto in Tulsa. The riot killed 39–300 people and destroyed more than 1,100 homes.
May 18, 1927: The Bath School disaster (bombings) killed 45 people and injured 58. Most of the victims were children in the second to sixth grades (7–12 years of age) attending the Bath Consolidated School. Their deaths constitute the deadliest act of mass murder in a school in U.S. history. The perpetrator was school board member Andrew Kehoe.
October 10, 1933: A Boeing 247 was destroyed in mid-flight over Indiana by a nitroglycerin bomb. All seven people aboard were killed. This incident was the first proven case of air sabotage in the history of aviation. The identity of the perpetrator and the motive for the attack are unknown.
July 4, 1940: Two New York City policemen were killed and two critically wounded while examining a bomb they had found at the British Pavilion at the World's Fair
1940–1956: George Metesky, the Mad Bomber, placed over 30 bombs in New York City in public places such as Grand Central Station and The Paramount Theatre injuring ten during this period in protest of the high rates of a local electric utility. He also sent many threatening letters to various high profile individuals.
1951: A wave of hate related terrorist attacks occurred in Florida. African-Americans were dragged and beaten to death, with 11 race-related bombings, the dynamiting of synagogues, and a Jewish School in Miami and explosives found outside of Catholic Churches in Miami.
The most active perpetrators of terrorism in New York City were Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional (FALN), a Puerto Rican separatist group, responsible for 40 NYC attacks in this decade. The Jewish Defense League (JDL), which engaged in attacks against targets it perceived to be anti-Semitic, launched 27 attacks during this period. Both the Independent Armed Revolutionary Commandos (CRIA), another Puerto Rican separatist group, and Omega 7, an anti-Castro Cuban organization, were also each responsible for 16 attacks during this period.
April 1970: At Stanford University over a period of several nights bands of student radicals systematically set fires, break windows and throw rocks.
November 21, 1970: Bombing of the City Hall of Portland, Oregon in an attempt to destroy the state's bronze Liberty Bell replica. The late night explosion destroyed the display foyer, blew out the building doors, damaged the council hall, and blew out windows more than a block away. The night janitor was injured in the blast. The crime remains unsolved, though a number of local anti-war and radical leftist groups of the era remain the primary suspects.
June 13, 1974: The 29th floor of the Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was bombed with dynamite at 9:41 pm resulting in no injuries. The radical leftist group Weatherman took credit, but no suspects have ever been identified.
Summer 1974: "Alphabet Bomber" Muharem Kurbegovich bombed the Pan Am Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport, killing three and injuring eight. He also firebombed the houses of a judge and two police commissioners as well as one of the commissioner's cars. He burned down two Marina Del Rey apartment buildings and threatened Los Angeles with a gas attack. His bomb defused at the Greyhound Bus station was the most powerful the LAPD bomb squad had handled up until that time. His personal vendetta against a judge and the commissioners grew into demands for an end to immigration and naturalization laws, as well as any laws about sex.
January 24, 1975: A bomb was exploded in the Fraunces Tavern of New York City, killing four people and injuring more than 50 others. The Puerto Rico nationalist group FALN, the Armed Forces of Puerto Rican National Liberation, which had other bomb incidents in New York in the 70's, claimed responsibility. No one was ever prosecuted for the bombing.
September 11, 1976: Croatian terrorists hijacked a TWA airliner and diverted it to Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, and then Paris, demanding a manifesto be printed. One police officer was killed and three injured during an attempt to defuse a bomb that contained their communiques in a New York City train station locker.Zvonko Bušić who served 32 years in prison for the attack, was released and returned to Croatia in July 2008. In September 2013 Bušić shot himself and was given a hero's funeral by the Croatian government.
1976 September 21: Orlando Letelier, a former member of the Chilean government, was killed by a car bomb in Washington, D.C. along with his assistant Ronni Moffitt. The killing was carried out by members of the Chilean Intelligence Agency, DINA.
1980 June 3: Bombing of the Statue of Liberty. At 7:30 pm, a time delayed explosive device detonated in the Statue of Liberty's Story Room. Detonated after business hours, the bomb did not injure anyone, but caused $18,000 in damage, destroying many of the exhibits. The room was sealed off and left unrepaired until the Statue of Liberty restoration project that began years later. FBI investigators believed the perpetrators were Croatian seeking for media coverage of living conditions of Croats in Yugoslavia, though no arrests were made.
1981 December 7: James W. von Brunn served 6 years in prison for attempting to kidnap members of the Federal Reserve at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. He testified his motive was to raise awareness of alleged "treacherous and unconstitutional" acts by the Federal Reserve.
1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack: In what is believed to be the first incident of bioterrorism in the United States the Rajneesh movement spreads salmonella in salad bars at 10 restaurants in The Dalles, Oregon, to influence a local election which backfired as suspicious residents came out in droves to prevent the election of Rajneeshee candidates. Health officials say that 751 people were sickened and more than 40 hospitalized. All but one of the establishments attacked went out of business. Investigators believed that similar attacks had previously been carried out in Salem, Portland and other cities in Oregon.
1984 July 18: Alan Berg, Jewish lawyer-talk show host was shot and killed in the driveway of his home on Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, by members of a White Nationalist group called The Order. Berg had stridently argued with a member of the group on the show earlier who was convicted in his murder.
1995 April 24: Timber industry lobbyist, Gilbert P. Murray, was the third and final fatal victim of the Unabomber's mailbomb campaign.
1997 February 24: 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 visitors from the United States, Argentina, Switzerland and France before turning the gun on himself. A handwritten note carried by the gunman claims this was a punishment attack against the "enemies of Palestine". His widow claimed he became suicidal after losing $300,000 in a business venture. In a 2007 interview with the New York Daily News his daughter said her mother's story was a cover crafted by the Palestinian Authority and that her father wanted to punish the United States for its support of Israel.
2001 September 11: the September 11, 2001 attacks were carried out by Muslim extremists. The attacks killed 2,550 American civilians and 55 military personnel, along with 372 non-Americans (excluding the 19 hijackers), and were carried out using hijacked commercial airplanes to damage the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. The 110-story skyscrapers in New York City were ultimately destroyed, and the Pentagon received extensive damage in the western side of the building. Building 7 of the World Trade Center was also destroyed in the attack, though there were no casualties. A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania before it could reach its target.
2001 September 18 - November: 2001 anthrax attacks. Letters tainted with anthrax killed five across the U.S., with politicians and media officials as the apparent targets. On July 31, 2008 Bruce E. Ivins a top biodefense researcher committed suicide. On August 6, 2008, the FBI concluded that Ivins was solely responsible for the attacks, and suggested that Ivins wanted to bolster support for a vaccine he helped create and that he targeted two lawmakers because they were Catholics who held pro-choice views. However, subsequent evaluations have found that the FBI's investigation failed to provide any direct evidence linking Ivins to the mailings.
October 2002 Beltway sniper attacks: During three weeks in October 2002, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo killed 10 people and critically injured 3 others in Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Virginia. The pair were also suspected of earlier shootings in Maryland, Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, and Washington state. No motivation was given at the trial, but evidence presented showed an affinity to the cause of the Islamic jihad.
2006 July 28: Seattle Jewish Federation shooting, Naveed Afzal Haq, an American citizen of Pakistani descent, killed one woman and shoots five others at the Jewish Federation building in Seattle. During the shooting, Haq told a 911 dispatcher that he was angry with American foreign policy in the Middle East.
2007 October 26: A pair of improvised explosive devices were thrown at the Mexican Consulate in New York City. The fake grenades were filled with black powder, and detonated by fuses, causing very minor damage. Police were investigating the connection between this and a similar attack against the British Consulate in New York in 2005.
2008 February: In the first reported incident of animal-rights extremists physically assaulted the family members of animal researchers, six masked activists attempted to force their way into the home of a University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher and injured the researcher's husband.
2008 March 6: A homemade bomb damaged a Recruiting Office in Times Square. In June 2013 The FBI and New York City police offered a $65,000 reward for information in the case and revealed that ammunition used for the bomb is the same as is used in the Iraq and Afghanistan war zones.
2008 May 4: Multiple pipe bombs exploded at 1:40 am at the Edward J. Schwartz United States Courthouse in San Diego causing "considerable damage" to the entrance and lobby and sending shrapnel two blocks away, but causing no injuries. The F.B.I. is investigating links between this attack and an April 25 explosion at the FedEx building also in San Diego.
2009 April 8: According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, intruders left malware in power grids, water, and sewage systems that could be activated at a later date. While the attacks which have occurred over a period of time seem to have originated in China and Russia, it is unknown if they are state-sponsored or errors in the computer code.
2009 May 25: 17-year old Kyle Shaw sets off a crude explosive device at a Starbucks at East 92nd Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, shattering windows and destroyed a bench at the coffee shop. There were no injuries. The attack was a "bizarre tribute" of the movie Fight Club, in an attempt to emulate "Project Mayhem", a series of assaults on corporate America portrayed in the film. Shaw took a plea agreement and was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison in November 2010.
2009 November 5: 2009 Fort Hood shooting: Nidal Malik Hasan, a US Army Major serving as a Psychiatrist, opens fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 and wounding 29. On August 23, 2013 Hasan was convicted by a Military tribunal. Hasan acted as his own attorney and took responsibility for the attack saying his motive was jihad to fight “illegal and immoral aggression against Muslims”. On August 28 Hasan was sentenced to death.
2010 February 18: Austin suicide attack: Andrew Joseph Stack III flying his single engine plane flew into the Austin Texas IRS building killing himself and one IRS employee and injuring 13 others. Stack left a suicide note online, comparing the IRS to Big Brother from the novel 1984.
2013 April 15: Boston Marathon bombings: Two bombs detonated within seconds of each other near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing 3 and injuring more than 180 people. Late in the evening of April 18 in Cambridge, Massachusetts an MIT campus police officer was shot and killed while sitting in his squad car. Two suspects then carjacked an SUV and fled to nearby Watertown, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. A massive police chase ensued, resulting in a shootout during which several IED's were thrown by the suspects. A Boston transit police officer was critically wounded and suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, a Russian immigrant of Chechen ethnicity, was killed. The second suspect, Tsarnaev's younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, escaped. A "Shelter in place" order was given for Boston, Watertown, and the surrounding areas while house-to-house searches were conducted, but the suspect remained at large. Shortly after the search was called off Tsarnaev was discovered by a local resident hiding inside a boat parked in the resident's driveway less than three blocks from the scene of the shootout. He was taken into custody after another exchange of gunfire and taken to nearby Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he was treated for injuries received during his pursuit and capture. Tsarnaev was arraigned on federal terrorism charges from his hospital bed on April 22, 2013. Preliminary questioning indicated the Tsarnaev brothers had no ties to terrorist organizations. A note written by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the boat where he was captured said the bombings were retaliation for US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan against Muslims.
2014 June 8: 2014 Las Vegas shootings: Two police officers and one civilian died in a shooting spree in the Las Vegas Valley committed by a couple, identified as Jerad and Amanda Miller, who espoused anti-government views and were reportedly inspired by the outcome of the Bundy standoff. The Millers both died during a gunfight with responding police; Jerad Miller was fatally shot by officers, while Amanda Miller committed suicide after being wounded.
2014 October 23: 2014 New York City hatchet attack: Zale Thompson injured two New York City police officers, once critically at a Queens, New York shopping district by striking them with a hatchet. 4 officers were posing for a photograph when Thompson charged them. The police opened fire killing Thompson and injuring a bystander. Thompson who converted to Islam 2 years before the attack posted "anti-government, anti-Western, anti-white" messages online.
2014 November 28: Austin, Texas: Right-wing and anti-government extremist Larry Steven McQuilliams set a fire at the Mexican Consulate and shot towards several government buildings. Police arrived on scene and shot him dead. McQuilliams had a prior criminal history including drug possession and robbery.
2014 December: "The Guardians of Peace" linked by the United States to North Korea launched a cyber attack against SONY pictures. Embarrassing private emails were published and the organization threatened attacks against theaters that showed The Interview a satire which depicted the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Following the refusal of theater chains to show the movie, SONY Pictures withdrew release of the movie, a decision that was criticized by President Obama and others. Obama said the USA will respond. North Korea denied responsibility for the attack and proposed a joint investigation with the U.S.
2014 December 20: Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a reported gang member, allegedly assassinated New York City police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Brinsley was reported to have walked up and fired directly into the officers squad car. Other officers chased the suspect into a nearby subway station, where Brinsley fatally shot himself in the head. Prior to the shooting, Brinsley had written Instagram messages calling for revenge attacks in response to the police killings of Eric Garner and Micheal Brown. He also allegedly shot his girlfriend in Maryland earlier that day.
1927: The Ku Klux Klan launched a wave of political terror in Alabama, attempting to undermine African American rights.
1951 December 25: Harry T. Moore state co-coordinator of the Florida NAACP and his wife were killed by dynamite bomb in his Mims, Florida home. Despite extensive FBI investigation no one was arrested but Orlando KKK suspected.
March 25, 1965: The Ku Klux Klan murdered Viola Liuzzo, a Southern-raised white mother of five who was visiting Alabama from her home in Detroit to attend a civil rights march. At the time of her murder, Liuzzo was transporting Civil Rights Marchers.
1951 Wave of hate related terrorist attacks in Florida. Black's dragged and beaten to death, 11 race related bombings, dynamiting of synagogues and a Jewish School in Miami and explosives found outside of Catholic Churches in Miami.
1984 July 18: Alan Berg, Jewish lawyer-talk show host was shot and killed in the driveway of his home on Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, by members of a White Nationalist group called The Order. Berg had stridently argued with a member of the group on the show earlier who was convicted in his murder.
2002 May: Lucas John Helder rigged pipe bombs in private mailboxes to explode when the boxes were opened. He injured 6 people in Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, and Iowa. His motivation was to garner media attention so that he could spread a message denouncing government control over daily lives and the illegality of marijuana, as well as promote astral projection.
2014 June 8: Two Las Vegas police officers while eating pizza in a restaurant and one civilian were shot to death allegedly by Jerad and Amanda Miller a married couple in a suicide attack. A Gadsden flag, swastika and a note promising “revolution,” was placed on the deceased officers bodies. The couple were thrown out a patriot group defending rancher Cliven Bundy
2014 September 16- Eric Matthew Frein described as a survivalist is alleged to have killed a Pennsylvania State trooper and critically wounded another at the Blooming Grove barracks. Life was disrupted in the region during the ensuing manhunt. On October 30 Frein was captured near an abandoned airport hangar and was shackled with the handcuff belonging to the trooper he is accused of killing. Prosecutors said they would pursue the death penalty.
1994: Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, two receptionists in abortion and family planning clinics, were killed by John Salvi.
1996–98: Eric Rudolph cited biblical passages as his motivation for a series bombings, including one at Atlanta's Olympic Centennial Park. But he otherwise denied that his brief association with the Christian Identity movement was a motivation. Rudolph is often misquoted as saying that his Roman Catholicism was a motivation. However, he only made reference to being "born a Catholic" as a hope for forgiveness of his actions, rather than as a motivation for them.
1998: James Kopp killed at least one and went on a series of anti-abortion shooting sprees, both in the U.S. and Canada.
1974 June 13: The 29th floor of the Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was bombed with dynamite at 9:41 pm resulting in no injuries. The radical leftist group Weatherman took credit, but no suspects have ever been identified.
1970 October 22: An antipersonnel time bomb explodes outside a San Francisco church, showering steel shrapnel on mourners of a patrolman slain in a bank holdup; no one is injured. The Black Liberation Army is suspected.
1971: During this year the Black Liberation Army is suspected of killing three policemen one at his desk in San Francisco, shooting four others and opening fire on three patrol cars and rolling a grenade which heavily damages a police car and injures two officers. An attempt is made to bomb a police station. These incidents happen in various cities around the country. In August the group runs a one-month-long guerrilla warfare school in Fayetteville, Georgia. Seven are arrested in January 2007 in connection with the San Francisco desk shooting incident.
1972 January 22: Two St. Louis policemen, Gregory Foster and Rocco Laurie, are shot in the back by at least three persons; four suspects in the case are members of the Black Liberation Army; one suspect is later killed in a street battle with police; the recovered pistol matches Laurie's.
1972 December 28: A Brooklyn, New York bartender is held for $12000 ransom by the Black Liberation Army.
1973 January 7: After shooting a police officer a week earlier Mark Essex a former Black Panther party member shoots nineteen people, ten of them police officers, in retaliation for police killings in and around a Howard Johnson's hotel in New Orleans. He also set fires in the hotel before being killed by police.
1973: A New York City transit detective is killed and ten law enforcement personnel are shot four by machine gun during the year mostly in and around New York City by the Black Liberation Army. Also two members of that organization are arrested with a car full of explosives. In the next few years there are a number of violent incidents involving this organization but they are more criminal in nature.
1975 January 24: FALN bombs Fraunces Tavern in New York City, killing four and injuring more than 50.
1975 December 29: A bomb set off by FALN in East Harlem, New York, permanently disables a police officer while causing him to lose an eye.
1977 August 3: FALN bombs exploded on the twenty-first floor of 342 Madison Avenue in New York City, which housed United States Department of Defense security personnel, as well as the Mobil Building at 150 East Forty-Second Street, killing one. In addition the group warned that bombs were located in thirteen other buildings, including the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center resulting in the evacuation of one hundred thousand people. Five days later a bomb attributed to the group was found in the AMEX building.
May 3, 1979: FALN exploded a bomb outside of the Shubert Theatre in Chicago, injuring five people.
1980 March 15 Armed members of FALN raided the campaign headquarters of President Jimmy Carter in Chicago and the campaign headquarters of George H. W. Bush in New York City. Seven people in Chicago and ten people in New York were tied up as the offices were vandalized before the FALN members fled. A few days later, Carter delegates in Chicago received threatening letters from FALN.
1981 May 16: One was killed in an explosion in the toilets at the Pan Am terminal at New York's JFK airport. The bombing is claimed by the Puerto Rican Resistance Army.
1864 November 25: Confederate Army of Manhattan Fires were set at 19 New York City hotels, P.T. Barnum's Museum, and 2 hay barges resulting in minor damage. Plot to burn down New York City organized by Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Robert Martin failed because the Greek fire incendiary devices were defective and the Lincoln Administration had been tipped off by a double agent and intercepted telegraph messages. After the conspirators found out the plot had been discovered they escaped to Canada. Confederate Captain Robert C. Kennedy became the only conspirator apprehended when he was arrested following his return to the U.S. Kennedy was tried by a military tribunal and hanged.
1920 September 16: The Wall Street bombing: A suspected attempt to kill financier J.P. Morgan by exploding the first car bomb. Bomb was created by putting scrap metal and 100 pounds of dynamite on a horse-drawn cart and blowing it up on Wall Street. Morgan was out of town but 38 people were killed. Responsibility for the attack has never been firmly established.
1970 March 6 Three members of the Weather Underground are killed when their "bomb factory" located in New York’s Greenwich Village accidentally explodes. WUO members Theodore Gold, Diana Oughton, and Terry Robbins die in this accident. The bomb was intended to be planted at a non-commissioned officer's dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The bomb was packed with nails to inflict maximum casualties upon detonation. See Greenwich Village townhouse explosion.
1971 April Pipe bombs found at the embassies of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in Washington, D.C.
1972 Two Jewish Defense League members were arrested and charged with bomb possession and burglary in a conspiracy to blow up the Long Island residence of the Soviet mission to the United Nations
1972 March 7 4.5 pounds of C-4 explosives found on a plane by New York City Police Bomb Squad.
1975 September 22: Sarah Jane Moore tries to assassinate President Gerald Ford outside of the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. The attempt fails when a bystander grabs her arm and deflects the shot. Moore has stated the motive was to create chaos to bring "the winds of change" because the government had declared war on the left wing.
2001 December 22: British citizen and self-proclaimed Al Qaeda member Richard Reid attempted to detonate the C-4 explosive PETN concealed in his shoes while on a flight from Paris to Miami. He was subdued by crew and passengers with the plane landing safely in Boston.
June 2006: The Animal Liberation Front targets UCLA professor Lynn Fairbanks with a firebomb due to her research on animals. The bomb was placed on the doorstep of a house occupied by her neighbor and a tenant. According to the FBI, the device was lit but failed to ignite and was powerful enough to have killed the occupants.
2006 September 11: A man rammed his car into a women's clinic that he thought was an abortion clinic and set it ablaze in Davenport, Iowa causing $20,000 worth of damage to the building.
2009 December 25: Nigerian citizen and self-described Al-Qaeda member Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly attempted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 in flight over Detroit by igniting his underpants which were filled with the C-4 explosive PETN. He has been indicted in a U.S. federal court; charges include the attempted murder of 289 people. Several days later, Al Qaeda's affiliate in Yemen and Saudi Arabia claimed responsibility for the attempted attack. Addressing America, the group threatened to "come for you to slaughter." On January 24, 2010 an audio tape that US intelligence believes is authentic was broadcast in which Osama bin Laden claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing. The intelligence officials expressed doubt about the veracity of bin Laden's claim. On October 12, 2011 Abdulmutallab plead guilty to all counts against him and read a statement to the court saying "I attempted to use an explosive device which in the U.S. law is a weapon of mass destruction, which I call a blessed weapon to save the lives of innocent Muslims, for U.S. use of weapons of mass destruction on Muslim populations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and beyond".
2010 May 1 2010 Times Square car bomb attempt and plot: An attempted evening car bombing in crowded Times Square in New York City failed when a street vendor saw smoke emanating from an SUV and called police. The White House has blamed Tehrik-e-Taliban the Pakistani Taliban for the failed attack and said Faisal Shahzad aged 30, an American of Pakistani origin who has been arrested in relation to the incident was working for the group. In July 2010, the Pakistani Taliban released a video featuring Shahzad in which he urged other Muslims in the West to follow his example and to wage similar attacks. On May 3, Shahzad was arrested at Kennedy Airport as he was preparing to fly to Dubai. The device was described as crude and amateurish but potent enough to cause casualties. On May 13 the F.B.I. raided several locations in the Northeast and arrested 3 on alleged immigration violations. Several suspects were arrested in Pakistan including the co-owner of a prominent catering firm used by the US embassy. On June 21 Shahzad plead guilty to 10 counts saying he created the bomb to force the US military to withdraw troops and stop drone attacks in a number of Muslim countries. Shahzad said he chose the location to cause mass civilian casualties because the civilians elected the government that carried out the allegedly anti Muslim policies. On October 4, 2010 Shahzad was sentenced to life in prison. During his sentencing, he threatened that "the defeat of the U.S. is imminent" and that "we will keep on terrorizing you until you leave our lands." Shahzad planned on detonating a second bomb in Times Square two weeks later.
2013 April 8: Letters believed to contain the poison Ricin were sent to President Barack Obama and Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker and a Mississippi Justice official. Tests on the granular substance found in the letters tested positive for "low grade" ricin.
1864 November: Plan by Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Robert Martin and the Copperheads organization Sons of Liberty to attack New York City and disrupt elections collapsed when the Sons of Liberty backed out upon seeing large numbers of Union troops.
1865 February 28 Dahlgren Affair: Alleged plot by Union General Judson Kilpatrick to burn down Richmond, Virginia and kill Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his Cabinet. Allegations based on papers recovered by a 13-year-old member of the Confederate home guard. The authenticity of the papers have been a matter of dispute.
1940 January: The FBI shuts down the Christian Front after discovering its members were arming themselves for a plot to "murder Jews, communists, and 'a dozen Congressmen'" and establishing a government modeled after Nazi Germany.
1943 March 31: Clarence Cull arrested and charged with attempting to assassinate President Franklin D. Roosevelt by suicide bombing. Cull blamed Roosevelt for lost convoys of Merchant Ships.
1996 January 1: Members of the Viper Team militia are arrested after they caught surveying government buildings in Arizona.
1996 July 13: John J. Ford, 47, of Bellport, Long Island, a former court officer and president of the Long Island U.F.O. Network, and Joseph Mazzachelli plotted to poison local politicians with radium and shoot them if that did not work. They believed the government was covering up knowledge of UFO landings.
1997 July 4: Members of the splinter militia group the Third Continental Congress are arrested while planning attacks on military bases which they believed were being used to train United Nations troops to attack U.S. citizens.
1997 July 30 Two men who were planning to bomb the New York City subway the next day arrested. A resident of their apartment informed police after he overheard the men discussing the plot. 
1998 March 18: Members of the North American Militia are arrested in plot to bomb Federal Buildings in Michigan, a television station and an interstate highway intersection.
1999 December 5: Members of the San Joaquin Militia are arrested on charges of plotting to bomb critical infrastructure locations in hopes of sparking an insurrection. The leaders of the group plead guilty to charges of plotting to kill a Federal judge.
1999 December 8: The leader of the Southeastern States Alliance militia group is arrested in plot to bomb energy faculties with the goal of causing power outages in Florida and Georgia.
2000 March 9: The former leader of the Texas Militia is arrested in a plot to attack the Federal Building in Houston.
2002 February 8: Two members of Project 7 are arrested plotting to kill judges and law enforcement officials in order to kick off a revolution.
2003 April 24: William Krar is charged for his part in the Tyler poison gas plot, a white supremacist related plan. A sodium cyanide bomb was seized with at least 100 other bombs, bomb components, machine guns, and 500,000 rounds of ammunition. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
2003 May 1: Iyman Faris pleads guilty to providing material support to al-Qaeda and plotting to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge by cutting through cables with blowtorches. He had been working as a double for the FBI since March, but in October was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
2005 August 31 2005 Los Angeles bomb plot: Kevin James, Hammad Samana, Gregory Patterson, and Levar Washington were indicted on charges to wage war against the U.S. government through terrorism in California. The men planned attacks against Jewish institutions and American military locations in Los Angeles during the Yom Kippur holiday.
2006 February 21: The Toledo terror plot where three men were accused of conspiring to wage a "holy war" against the United States, supply help to the terrorist in Iraq, and threatening to kill the US president.
2006 June 23: The Miami bomb plot to attack the Sears Tower where seven men were arrested after an FBI agent infiltrated a group while posing as an al-Qaeda member. No weapons or other materials were found. On May 12, 2009 after two mistrials due to hung juries five men were convicted and one acquitted on charges related to the plot. Narseal Batiste, the groups ringleader, was convicted on four charges, the only defendant to be convicted on all four charges brought against the defendants.
2007 March 5 A Rikers Island inmate offered to pay an undercover police officer posing as a hit man to behead New York City police commissioner Raymond Kelly and bomb police headquarters in retaliation for the controversial police shooting of Sean Bell. The suspect wanted the bombing to be considered a terrorist act.
2007 May 1: Five members of a self-styled Birmingham, Alabama area anti-immigration militia were arrested for planning a machine gun attack on Mexicans.
2007 May 7: Fort Dix attack plot. Six men inspired by Jihadist videos arrested in a failed homegrown terrorism plot to kill soldiers. Plot unravels when Circuit City clerk becomes suspicious of the DVDs the men had created and report it to authorities who place an informant in the group. In October 2008 one man pleaded guilty to charges related to the plot. On December 22, 2008 five other men were convicted with conspiracy to kill American soldiers but were acquitted of attempted murder. Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka were sentenced to life in prison.
2007 June 3: John F. Kennedy International Airport terror plot. Four men indicted in plot to blow up jet-fuel supply tanks at JFK Airport and a 40-mile (64 km) connecting pipeline. One suspect is a U.S. citizen and one, Abdul Kadir, a former member of parliament in Guyana. The airport was targeted because one of the suspects saw arms shipments and missiles being shipped to Israel from that locale. In a recorded conversation one of the suspects allegedly told an informant that "Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States. To hit John F. Kennedy, wow.... They love JFK – he's like the man". Plot unraveled when a person from law enforcement was recruited. On June 29, 2010 Abdel Nur plead guilty to material support charges. Due to health reasons Kareem Ibrahim was removed from the case and will be tried separately. On August 2 Russell M. Defreitas and Abdul Kadir were convicted for their role in the plot.
2008 March 26: Michael S. Gorbey who was detained in January 2008 for carrying a loaded shotgun two blocks from the Capitol Building has been charged planning to set off a bomb after a device containing can of gunpowder duct-taped to a box of shotgun shells and a bottle containing buckshot or BB pellets was found in the pickup truck he was driving. The pickup truck was moved to a government parking lot where for a three-week period the device inside it went unnoticed. Michael Gorbey gets 22 years prison, but he insisted that police planted weapons.
2009 September New York City Subway and United Kingdom plot: Najibullah Zazi of Denver was indicted on charges of trying to build and detonate a weapon of mass destruction by purchasing hydrogen peroxide, acetone and other chemicals. He and two others allegedly planned to detonate the homemade explosives on the New York City subway system. On February 22, 2010 Zazi plead guilty to conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support for a terrorist organization. Zazi said he was recruited by al-Qaeda as part of a "martyrdom plan". Zazi agreed to cooperate with authorities and has told them that the groups planned to walk into the Times Square and Grand Central stations with backpack bombs at rush hour and then choose which subway lines to attack. Several days later Adis Medunjanin and Zarein Ahmedzay high school classmates of Zazi were indicted and plead not guilty to charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit murder in a foreign country and providing material support for a terrorist organization. On April 12 a fourth man was arrested in Pakistan. On April 23 Prosecutors said that two Senior Al Queda officials who were reportedly later killed in drone attacks ordered the attacks and Zarein Ahmedzay pled guilty to plot related charges. On July 7 five others were indicted including al-Qaeda leader Adnan Shukrijumah, and it was alleged the United Kingdom was also a target of the plot. While in Pakistan, Zazi, Ahmedzay and Medunjanin were allegedly recruited and directed by Shukrijumah, a former Florida student who is designated as one of the FBI's most wanted terrorists, to conduct a terrorist attack in the U.S. On August 6 new charges were brought against Medunjanin and 4 others including Shukrijumah. Medunjanin pled not guilty.
2009 August – September: On September 24 William Boyd and Hysen Sherifi charged with "conducting reconnaissance of the Marine Corps base at Quantico, Virginia and obtaining armor-piercing ammunition with the intent to attack Americans". Boyd, two of his sons and several other suspects had been charged on international terrorism charges in August, but at the time there was no indication that they wanted to plot a United States attack. An audio tape of Boyd decrying the U.S. military, discussing the honor of martyrdom, and bemoaning the struggle of Muslims was played at an August hearing. It is the first case of a ring of homegrown terrorists having specific targets.
2010 May Paul Rockwood Jr. a meteorologist who took official weather observations and his pregnant wife Nancy from King Salmon, Alaska compiled a list of 20 targets, including members of the military and media and had moved to the operational phase of their plan plead guilty to lying to FBI about the list and making false statements to the FBI. Under a plea agreement Mr. Rockwood will serve eight years in prison and three years probation while Ms. Rockwood will serve probation. Motive was revenge for alleged descecration of Islam.
2010 September 20: Sami Samir Hassoun, 22, a Lebanese citizen living in Chicago, was charged with one count each of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and attempted use of an explosive device after placing a backpack with what he thought was a bomb near Wrigley Field. Alleged plot was foiled by FBI informant. Hassoun discussed other ideas for mass destruction attacks with informant.
2010 December 8: Antonio Martinez, also known as Muhammad Hussain arrested after a sting operation in an alleged plot to bomb a military recruiting center in Catonsville, Maryland. The 21-year-old suspect is an American who converted to Islam. The suspect was reported to be upset that the military continues to kill Muslims.
2010 December 21: Internet radio broadcaster Hal Turner sentenced to 33 months in prison after he published the work addresses and photographs of three judges who had upheld gun control laws and advocated for their assassination.
2011 February 24: Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari a 20-year-old Saudi Arabian student arrested for building bombs to use in alleged terrorist attacks. Targets allegedly were home of George W. Bush, hydroelectric dams, nuclear power plants, nightclubs and the homes of soldiers who were formerly stationed at the Abu Ghraib prison. In Aldawsari's journal he wrote he was inspired by the speeches of Osama bin Laden. Alleged plot uncovered when supplier noticed suspicious purchases.
2011 May 11: In the 2011 Manhattan terrorism plot, Ahmed Ferhani resident of Queens, New York and native of Algeria and Mohamed Mamdouh aged 20 also from Queens and Moroccan native arrested in a lone wolf plot against a New York Synagogue that had yet to be chosen. It also alleged that they hoped to attack the Empire State Building. The pair were arrested after buying two Browning semi-automatic pistols, one Smith & Wesson revolver, ammunition and one grenade. The pair disguised themselves as Jewish temple goers and pretended to pray. The suspects were said to be "committed to violent jihad".
2011 June 23: Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh of Long Beach, California are arrested on charges of buying machine guns and grenades and conspiring to attack a federal building housing a Military Entrance Processing Station in Seattle, Washington.Plot was uncovered by informent. Motive was to send message in protest of US action abroad. On April 8, 2013 Walli Mujahidh apologized and was sentenced to 17 years for his role in the plot.
2011 July 27: AWOL U.S. Army Private, and conscientious objector, Naser Jason Abdo from Garland, Texas was arrested in an alleged plot against Fort Hood, Texas. Materials for up to two bombs were found with jihadist materials in Abdo's motel room. Investigation began when owner of a local gun store called police after becoming suspicious when Abdo asked questions indicating he did not know about the items he was purchasing.
2011 September 28: Rezwan Ferdaus, a US citizen,was indicted for allegedly plotting to use remote-controlled aircraft carrying explosives to bomb the Pentagon and the US Capitol. He also allegedly planned to hire people to shoot at people fleeing the Pentagon. Ferdaus was said to be motivated by Al Queada videos and the alleged plot was uncovered by an F.B.I. sting operation. In July 2012 he pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol and attempting to provide material support to terrorists. Under a plea bargain, he was sentenced to 17 years in prison and then 10 years of supervised release.
2011 October 11: Operation Red Coalition. Alleged plot that was "conceived, sponsored and was directed from Iran" to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir with a bomb and bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C. It is not known if Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had knowledge of the plot. The alleged plot was disrupted by an FBI and DEA investigation. The investigation began in May 2011 when an Iranian-American approached a DEA informant seeking the help of a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate the Saudi ambassador. Iran has denied the allegations.
2011 October–November: Georgia terrorist plot Four elderly men from a Georgia militia arrested for plotting to buy ricin in preparation for an attack they claimed would "save the Constitution". They allegedly discussed blowing up IRS and ATF buildings, dispensing ricin from a plane over Atlanta and other cities, and assassinating "un American" politicians. Informant used to break up alleged plot.
2011 November 20: Jose Pimentel aged 27 an American citizen and a convert to Islam from New York City arrested and accused of being the process of building pipe bombs (and one hour away from his building his first bomb) to target post offices police cars and U.S. military personnel returning from abroad in New York City and Bayonne, New Jersey. Was said to be a follower of the late al-Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki. The FBI did not consider Pimentel who was said to be radicalized via the internet by enough of a threat to investigate but NYC police considered him a 2 on a threat scale of 1 to 5.
2012 January 7: Sami Osmakac a naturalized American from Kosovo arrested in plot to create mayhem in Tampa, Florida by car bombing, hostage taking and exploding a suicide belt. Allege bomb targets included by night clubs in the Ybor City, a bar, and the operations center of the sheriff's office and South Tampa businesses. Osmakac allegedly told an FBI undercover agent "We all have to die, so why not die the Islamic way?". Osmakac plead not guilty on February 8.
2012 February 17: Amine El Khalifi a Moroccan man from Alexandria, Virginia arrested in alleged suicide bombing plot of U.S. Capital. Was arrested was a result of F.B.I. sting operation. As a result of a plea agreement El Khalifi was sentenced to 30 years in prison on September 14.
2012 May 1: 5 self described anarchists were arrested in an alleged plot to blow up a bridge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Brecksville, Ohio. The group was being monitored as part of an F.B.I. undercover operation and had considered other plots previously. One of the suspects expressed a desire to cause financial damage to companies while avoiding casualties.
2012 August 27: Four non-commissioned officers from Fort Stewart in Georgia, along with five other men, were charged in an alleged plot to poison an apple orchard and blow up a dam in Washington State, seize control of Fort Stewart, set off explosives in a park in Savannah, Georgia, and assassinate President Barack Obama. The alleged plot was on behalf of the "FEAR" militia for the long term purpose of overthrowing the government.
2012 October 17: Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis age 21 arrested in plot to bomb the Manhattan office of the Federal Reserve Bank on behalf of "our beloved Sheikh Osama bin Laden". Motive was to destroy the economy and possibly force cancellation of the Presidential election. Suspect who has a student visa is a Bangladeshi national who come to the U.S. to launch a terrorist attack. Arrest was result a joint FBI-New York City police sting operation. Suspect was pulling detonator on disabled 1000 pound van bomb when arrested. On August 9, 2013 Nafis was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Prior to his sentencing Nafis wrote a letter apologizing to the people of America and New York for his actions which he said were caused by personal and family problems and said he is now pro American.
2012 November 29 Raees Alam Qazi and his brother Sheheryar Alam Qazi of Florida naturalized citizens of Pakistani descent arrested for being in the aspirational stages of a plot to attack New York City. Raees Alam Qazi is alleged be inspired by Al Queda and of trying to contact terrorists abroad.
2013 June 19 Two middle aged upstate New York men Scott Crawford and Eric J. Feight arrested by FBI in alleged plot to target a political figure reported to be President Obama and a Muslim group deemed enemies of Israel by constructing and using an X-Ray Gun that was described by the FBI as "useful and "functional". Obama was believed by the pair to be allowing Muslims into the country without background checks. Investigation was launched when a synagogue and the Ku Klux Klan whom Crawford was a member of told authorities that Crawford tried to recruit them to take part in the alleged plot.