List of thwarted Islamist terrorist attacks

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The "black flag of jihad" as used by jihadist militants since ca. the late 1990s.

This list is subject to the Verifiability policy and the reliable sources guideline. Please familiarize yourself with both before editing this list. In addition, note that a reliable source that states the attack plot was in progress with intent to commit violence and was Islamist in nature must be provided for any new entry. Unreferenced list items may be removed at any time.

Jihad terror attacks by Islamist extremists to further a perceived Islamic religious or political cause have occurred globally. Other plots have been successfully stopped by police. The attackers have used such tactics as arson, vehicle rampage attacks, bomb threats, suicide attacks, bombings, spree shooting, stabbings, hijackings, kidnappings and beheadings. The following is a list of thwarted Islamist terrorist attacks that have received significant press coverage since 1993. See the companion article List of Islamist terrorist attacks for major incidents that did result in violence.



  • United States December 22, 2001 – Richard Reid, aka "Shoe Bomber", onboard Flight 63 from Paris to Miami, attempted to ignite explosives in his shoe. In court he pleaded guilty to eight charges of terrorism.[1]


  • Mali January 10, 2004 – 2004 Dakar Rally – stages 10 and 11 of this annual race across the desert in Mali were canceled due to "security concerns". French secret agents foiled a bid by Islamic militants to kidnap contestants in the Paris-Dakar rally as they raced across the Sahara desert state of Mali, the Defense Ministry said on Thursday. French-backed operation had prevented leading French driver Stephane Peterhansel and Spanish motorcyclist Nani Roma from falling into the Islamists' hands.[2]


  • Australia November 2005 – Five men were arrested on charges of planning a terrorist attack in Australia's largest city, Sydney after sourcing chemicals and materials for use in the preparation of an explosive device, attempted or possession of firearms and extremist material.[3][4]
  • Australia November 2005 – 17 people were arrested in Melbourne and Sydney after it was uncovered that they were planning to commit a series of terrorist attacks including evidence from court showing plans to bomb the 2005 AFL Grand Final, 2006 Australian Grand Prix and the Crown Casino, as well as a plot to assassinate then Prime Minister John Howard.[5][6]


  • United States September 8, 2009 – 8 men affiliated with Al Queda are arrested for a plot to bomb the New York City subway system and other international targets. Police allege that they were transporting explosives and just mere days from executing their plot. Some were sentenced in Nov 2015 to over 40 years in prison for their role.[7][8]
  • Australia August 2009 – Four men connected to al-Shabaab, were arrested in August 2009 after it was uncovered that the men were planning to infiltrate the Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney with automatic weapons.[9]
  • United States December 25, 2009 – Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, aka "Underwear Bomber" boards at Amsterdam, onto Northwest Airlines Flight 253 en route to Detroit on Christmas Day with 289 crew and passenger on board. He fails in an attempt to activate a high powered explosive sewn into his trousers. U.S. Federal court ruling is four consecutive life sentences plus 50 years.[10]



  • United States March 26, 2010 – Raja Lahrasib Khan was arrested by the FBI while attempting to board a flight to England with a large amount of cash intended to fund an Al Queda plot to plant bombs at an unnamed American sports arena.[11]
  • Azerbaijan March 28, 2010 – Azerbaijan said on Monday it had detained eight people including a Chechen man on suspicion of planning "terrorist acts" against a school and kindergarten in the capital of the oil-producing Caucasus state, Baku. The group had earlier concealed weapons and ammunition in the roof of a kindergarten and a school in the capital Baku and planned to attack both.[12]


  • Denmark January 2, 2011 – Swedish and Danish authorities arrested four suspected militant Islamic jihadists for allegedly planning a terrorist attack against the Jyllands-Posten news bureau in Copenhagen. In 2006, the newspaper became the target of terrorist threats after it printed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005. Authorities say the suspects arrested planned to use the same "swarm" tactics used in the 2008 Mumbai killing spree.[unreliable source?][13]
  • Nigeria March 19, 2011 – A major tragedy was narrowly averted outside a church in Jos Nigeria, when two attackers from Boko Haram were killed when their bomb prematurely exploded. The bomb blast occurred outside the ECWA Church, Nasarawa Gwom in Jos, a city in Nigeria's Plateau state.[14]


  • Indonesia March 2, 2012 – An Indonesian court on Monday sentenced the Islamist mastermind behind a foiled Easter church attack and several attempted parcel bombings to 18 years in jail. He had plotted to set off a massive bomb beneath a gas pipeline near a church in Serpong outside Jakarta last Easter but police foiled the attack after finding the device.[15]
  • Indonesia March 21, 2012 – A foiled plot by suspected Islamic militants to attack and bomb targets in Bali, including a bar popular with tourists. Five men were shot dead in police raids on Sunday on the island where nightclub bombings in 2002 killed 202 people.[16]
  • Azerbaijan May 2012 – Azerbaijan says it has arrested 40 people suspected of having plotted a "terrorist" attack on last week's Eurovision Song Contest in Baku. The Azeri National Security Ministry says the plotters had planned to attack the event's venue – the Baku Crystal Hall – and several hotels on the eve of the competition.[17]


  • Israel January 1, 2013 – A plot to kidnap an Israeli civilian or soldier, for use as a bargaining chip was foiled when Israel's General Security Service (GSS/Shin Bet) detained and then arrested an Islamic Jihad terrorist cell comprising an Israeli Arab citizen and two Palestinians at the Eyal checkpoint. Kidnapping accessories such as rope & tape, as well as a knife and an imitation handgun were found in their possession, and they confessed to multiple previous failed kidnapping attempts.[18]
  • Russia May 19, 2013 – Russia's counterterrorism agency said that its special forces killed two militants and detained a third believed to have been planning a terrorist act in Moscow. They were holed up in the Moscow suburb of Orekhovo-Zuevo and police ordered them to surrender, but instead the militants opened fire. The militants were Russian citizens who had received training along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.[19]


  • Switzerland March 2014 – Swiss authorities have charged four Iraqi nationals with planning a terrorist attack in Europe on behalf of the Islamic State group. Though details of the planned attack were sketchy, Switzerland's attorney general confirmed on Friday that IS "was to claim responsibility (for) these plans if successful".[20]
  • United States March 16, 2014 – A California National Guardsman was captured Monday after an FBI investigation revealed a foiled plot to attack the Los Angeles Subway and plans to help al-Qaida, officials said. Ased Abdur-Raheem, was a recent convert to Islam.[21]
  • Pakistan September 6, 2014 – AQIS claimed responsibility for an attack on a Naval dockyard in Karachi, reportedly carried out by former Pakistan Navy officers, who unsuccessfully tried to hijack a F-22P frigate. Three attackers were killed and seven were arrested by Pakistani forces.[22][23]
  • Australia September 18, 2014 – In response to an alleged plot to behead a random individual of the public, large scale terror raids are conducted in Sydney and Brisbane and result in numerous arrests from 25 homes.[4][24]
  • Peru October 29, 2014 – Peru Foils Hezbollah Terror Attack on Israelis. In a search of the terrorist's hideout apartment, police found weapons and explosives which he intended to use against Jews.[25]


  • Philippines January 18, 2015 – FBI and Philippine special forces kill Zulkifli bin Hir after he had launched a plot to bomb the large Pope's mass in Rizal Park, which attracted a crowd of six million Christians. Hir was the leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, a south east Asian militant Islamist terrorist organization….[26]
  • Malaysia April 6, 2015 – 17 people were arrested for allegedly planning to commit a terrorist attack in Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur.[27]
  • Australia April 18, 2015 – Five teenagers who were arrested during counter-terror raids in Sydney were allegeldy planning an Islamic State-inspired attack during the ANZAC Day commemorations.[28][29]
  • United States May 3, 2015 – Curtis Culwell Center attack – two gunman, armed with assault rifles and declaring allegiance to Islamic State, attempt to storm a "Draw Mohamed" cartoon event in Garland, Texas, but were shot dead at the entrance by armed guards. One guard was slightly wounded, otherwise this attack was thwarted and no major violence inflicted.[30]
  • United Kingdom May 28, 2015 – British couple arrested just days short of launching a major attack to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the London 7/7 bombings with intent to bomb a major mall or subway. Substantial quantities of chemicals and bomb-making wherewithal was found in their possession alleged in court proceedings.[31]
  • France August 21, 2015 – [[2015 Thalys train attack|2015 Thalys train attack[citation needed]]]
  • United States and Australia, September 2015 - Jewish American internet troll Joshua Ryne Goldberg was arrested, and later convicted, of planning the bombing of a 9/11 memorial event in Kansas City while posing as an Australian ISIS supporter. In December, a 17-year-old Greenvale, Melbourne teenager who had been in contact with Goldberg, pleaded guilty to preparing a terror attack, after bombs were found in his home.[32][33][34] Goldberg's ISIS persona also attempted to incite mass shootings in Australia.[35][36][37] Goldberg also took credit for the Curtis Culwell Center attack earlier in the year, after posting maps to the event, and his online ISIS persona being retweeted by one of the attackers on the morning of the attack.[38]
  • France November 2, 2015 – A Frenchman, after failing twice to travel to Syria to join ISIS, is arrested and charged for running a terror plot to attack military personnel at the main French naval base in Toulon.[39]
  • Spain November 3, 2015 – Spanish police arrested 3 Moroccans with strong ties to ISIS who were set to execute a "Charlie Hebdo" style attack in the Spanish capital of Madrid.[40]
  • France November 13, 2015 – A series of terrorist attacks in Paris kill 137, and wound 368. Portions of the master attacke were successfully thwarted. Security at the football stadium turned away one bomber with a suicide vest at the gate who had planned to go inside an trigger a mass panic rush towards his accomplices. Only one bystander died in this instance. Reports from both police and friends indicated that another accomplice Salah Abdeslam was supposed to launch an additional suicide bomber attack in the 18th arrondissement, but apparently he fled without attacking anyone.[41]
  • Canada November 14, 2015 – Canadian police shoot suspected suicide bomber after a stand-off unfolded between police officers in a Mississauga neighbourhood near Toronto. Bomb squad and heavily armed tactical teams deployed.[42]
  • Germany November 26, 2015 – German special forces unit arrested two men in a Berlin raid Thursday who are accused of plotting "a significant criminal act against state security," according to Berlin authorities. The two men were arrested in the Britz section of the German capital after a search was conducted on an Islamic cultural center, police said.[43]
  • Turkey December 15, 2015 – Turkish police have detained a Syrian Islamic State militant suspected of planning a suicide attack against the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul. The U.S. Consulate was closed down the prior week due to this threat.[44]
  • Italy December 15, 2015 – A Palestinian and a Tunisian national were arrested after they tried to disarm soldiers stationed outside the historic Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome while yelling "Allah (God) is great".[45]
  • Australia December 22, 2015 – Police in Australia arrest two individuals plotting to attack the naval base HMAS Kuttabul at Woolloomooloo.[46]
  • France December 22, 2015 – Police arrest two men for plotting terror attacks in Orleans, France. They were plotting to kill police and army personnel in the central French city.[47]


  • United States January 25, 2016 – 23-year-old Samy Mohamed Hamzeh was arrested January 25 after buying machine guns from undercover FBI agents. The man planned an attack on a Masonic temple in Milwaukee in the name of "defending Islam".[48] Acting U.S. Attorney Gregory Haanstad said that it was a "detailed plan to commit a mass shooting intended to kill dozens of people." Hamzeh said, "Such operations will increase in America, when they hear about it. The people will be scared and the operations will increase, and there will be problems all over,... this will lead to people clashing with each other. This way we will be igniting it. I mean we are marching at the front of the war."[49]
  • Germany February 4, 2016 – German police arrest four who were planning major Islamic State attack in Berlin. Police Thursday arrested four Algerians suspected of links to the Islamic State group after raids targeting several sites, including refugee shelters where some of the suspects lived.[50]
  • Jordan March 2, 2016 – Jordanian security services thwarted a plot by Islamic State militants to blow up civilian and military targets. They located the militants, who were carrying suicide belts, in a hideout in the northern city of Irbid near the Syrian border.[51]
  • Somalia March 7, 2016 – US fixed wing and drone aircraft bombard a training camp for al-Shabaab a major terrorists group in Somalia. The camp had been under surveillance for several week and intelligences agencies believed that a major attack on African Union peacekeepers was imminent. Over 150 militants were killed.[52]
  • Turkey March 7, 2016 – Turkish forces detains IS suspects; seizes explosives and suicide vest. Two militants were seized at a Turkish/Syria border crossing.[53]
  • France March 11, 2016 – Police in Paris arrest four teen girls for planning copycat Paris style concert hall attack. They posted messages on Facebook that specifically named their intended target and planned to get funding and weapons from know Jihadist activist sites in Belgium.[54]
  • Great Britain April 1, 2016 – Delivery driver, Junead Khan was convicted in English court of plotting to kill American and British soldiers in England by staging road accidents on behalf of Islamic State. Kingston Crown Court southwest of London had heard that Junead Khan had been visited four times by police trying to divert him from extremism but he had rejected their offers of help.[55]
  • France March 23, 2016 – police in France arrest Reda Kriket. DGSI went on to charge Kriket, who had already been convicted in Belgium for terrorist officences who with planning an imminent terrorism attack in advanced stages along with three others detained in Belgium and the Netherlands.[56][57]
  • Russia April 12, 2016 – Three militants including at least one suicide bomber were killed in a failed attempt to attack a police station in Russia's Stavropol region. No police officers or civilians were harmed and witnesses report hearing five explosions and lots of gunfire. This police station follows a fortress defense pattern to withstand possible ISIS attacks that have occurred before in this area.[58]
  • Afghanistan April 21, 2016 – 10 Islamic militants were killed while they were busy making an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) inside a mosque in southeastern Ghazni province.[59]
  • Denmark April 22, 2016 – a US Soldier is decorated for foiling an active terrorist plot to blow up a school in Denmark. While working in Afghanistan, the soldier uncovered evidence of the plot and his communications to authorities in Denmark resulted in arrests and the confiscation of explosives.[60]
  • Italy April 28, 2016 – Italian authorities arrested four people suspected of extremism on Thursday and issued arrest warrants for two more operating in Syria, according to the Milan prosecutor.[61]
  • Russia April 30, 2016 – Illegal Muslim prayer hall blown up in Russia after police find Islamist explosives cache inside. The video of the controlled explosion shows a considerable part of the building being destroyed in the blast in an illegal Muslim prayer hall near the Russian city of Samara.[62]
  • Italy May 10, 2016 – Italian police have arrested two men accused of planning terror attacks in the UK and Italy.The suspects are alleged to have been plotting strikes on targets in London, including restaurants, hotels and a pedestrian footbridge near Canary Wharf in the east of the capital. Rome's Coliseum and Circus Maximus, the ancient chariot racing stadium and a venue for modern-day concerts, are also said to have featured on their list.[63]
  • Singapore June 1, 2016 – Four men plead guilt in Singapore court to plotting to overthrow their home country of Bangladesh for the Islamic State.[64]
  • Germany June 2, 2016 – Düsseldorf terror attack thwarted as German police arrest three men from Syria plotting attack for Islamic State. The organization's leadership ordered the two to carry out an attack in the bustling central pedestrian zone of Düsseldorf, the prosecutor's office said.[65]
  • Indonesia June 16, 2016 – Indonesian bomb maker sentenced to five years prison time for plotting to bomb a Java Island Buddhist temple. Three other helpers receive lesser sentences. Thwarted plot was inspired by Islamic State extremists.[66]
  • Belgium June 18, 2016 – Belgian authorities arrest three men plotting a terror attack on a party gathered to watch a football match between Belgium and Ireland.[67]
  • Saudi Arabia July 4, 2016 – On the last day of Ramadan militants attempt 3 attacks inside this country, but the first two at Jeddah and Qatif appears to be successfully thwarted with only the attackers coming to harm.[68]
  • South Africa July 11, 2016 – South Africa authorities arrest 4 ISIS supporters for plotting to bomb the US Embassy in Pretoria and an unidentified Jewish target. A large stockpile of grenade and other combat materials were seized.[69]
  • Arizona July 20, 2016 – A Tucson man is charged in federal court on terrorism charges for plotting to bomb a State Motor Vehicle office and Jewish Community Center in a plot thwarted by the FBI. He had been emailing contacts with the Taliban to show support for Jihad and to get instructions on bomb-making.[70]
  • Great Britain, August 2016 - "Three Musketers" arrests. In August 2017, Naweed Ali, 29, Khobaib Hussain, 25, Mohibur Rahman, 33, and Tahir Aziz, 38 were all convicted of planning a bomb and knife attack against a police or military target in the UK.[71][72][73]
  • Singapore August 5, 2016 – Police in Indonesia arrest six militants linked to ISIS operative in Syria who were planning a major rocket attack in neighboring Singapore.[74]
  • Canada August 10, 2016 – Getting intelligence of an impending martyrdom operation, Royal Mounted Police shot and killed a man who set off an explosive device during his arrest. He was previously known to local authorities for his allegiance and support for Islamic State and had been given an court order prohibiting all contact with them.[75]
  • Italy August 13, 2016 – The Italian government has arrested and deported a Tunisian national tied to the Islamic State and suspected of planning a bombing of the leaning Tower of Pisa.[76]
  • Germany September 13, 2016 – German security forces arrest three Syrian refugees in Schleswig Holstein.[77][78] This was one of two terrorist cells sent to Europe by the Islamic State in 2015. The other carried out the November 2015 Paris attacks. In March 2018 the Hanseatischer Oberlandesgericht in Hamburg sentenced them to prison six and a half, three and half a year respectively.[79]
  • Germany October 8, 2016 – 2016 Chemnitz terrorism plot [80]
  • Kuwait October 9, 2016 - US Troops save the life of their attacker, pulling him from his burning vehicle after he deliberately rammed their vehicle in a failed jihad attack.[81]
  • Germany October 10, 2016 - German police in Leipzig declare that they narrowly thwarted a major Islamic State terror attack targeting a major Berlin airport or railhub. They arrest a Syrian migrant who had 3 pounds of explosive in his possession.[82] 3 days later, the prime suspect commits suicide in jail.[83]
  • Spain October 11, 2016 - Spanish police have arrested two men on suspicion of seeking recruits for the Islamic State group, the interior ministry said on Tuesday. The two men, who were arrested in separate operations in northern Spain, were both "fully integrated" into the infrastructure of the jihadist group and were "encouraging terrorist acts," the statement said.[84]
  • Arizona October 11, 2016 - An 18-year-old Tucson-area man accused of planning jihad-style attacks in Maricopa and Pima counties has pleaded guilty to three felonies and faces up to 14 years in prison, the Arizona Attorney General's Office announced Monday.[85]
  • Australia October 12, 2016 - Counter-terrorism police have arrested two 16-year-old boys over an incident in Sydney's south-west.[86]
  • Iran October 13, 2016 - Iran's security forces have thwarted terror plots in southern province of Fars.[87]
  • Turkey October 19, 2016 - Turkish police killed a suspected Islamic State militant group (ISIS) suicide bomber in Ankara Wednesday ahead of a planned attack, according to officials and state media.[88]
  • Kosovo,Macedonia and Albania November 17, 2016 - Planned simultaneous attacks were thwarted in Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. 18 people were arrested.[89]
  • United States November 21, 2016 - A Brooklyn man, Mohammed Rafik Naji, 37, a legal US resident originally from Yemen, was arrested by New York City police and charged with preparing a "Nice Style Terror Attack".[90]
  • France November 23, 2016 - Six people arrested in France for plotting a terror plot for December 1. Plot targeted Disneyland Paris, Champs-Elysées, police say. They were preparing an attack in the Paris area were directed from the ISIS heartland.[91][92]
  • Netherlands November 26, 2016 - Police arrest suspects associated with the Arrayan Mosque in northern Amsterdam plotting to blow up a nearby synagogue according to a report by the Dutch daily, De Telegraaf.[93]
  • Australia December 22, 2016 - Police raids in Melbourne's northern suburbs foil alleged Christmas Day mass terror attack targeting Federation Square, St. Paul's Cathedral, and Flinders Street Station.[94]


  • Malaysia March 7, 2017 - Malaysian authorities arrested 7 militants in plot to assassinate King Salman and other members of the of Saudi Arabian royal family. The militants were officially being held under charges of "for suspected links to militant groups including Islamic State" a known jihadist terror organization.[95][96]
  • Italy March 30, 2017 - Italian police arrested 4 militants plotting to blow up the historic Rialto Bridge in Venice in a plot supporting ISIS.[97][98]
  • France March 18, 2017 - French police arrested 2 men in the city of Marseille seizing weapons and home made explosives. The intended target was not announced, but police claimed that an attack was imminent. The accused were allegedly caught with arms and an ISIS flag, by an ISIS allegiance video intercept.[99]
  • Leipzig 10 April 2017 - A man arrested in a police raid near Leipzig at the weekend was suspected of plotting an attack in Berlin, German media reported.[100]
  • London 27 April 2017 - British police arrested a 27-year-old man on a terrorism watch list in the Whitehall neighborhood of London. He was carrying 2 large knives.[101] The man's family had tipped off the police.[102]
  • Moscow 25 May 2017 - Russian security forces detained four members of a terrorist network linked to the Daesh Takfiri[who?] group who were preparing to attack the public transport system in Moscow.[103]
  • Sydney 29 July 2017 - 2017 Islamic inspired bomb plot on Australian aeroplane - Australian authorities prevented a plot to bring down an airplane over the city of Sydney. Four suspects were arrested and security warnings heightened at airports.[104][105] Additional reports said that the plot was stopped at the airport luggage check-in counter when a traveller attempted to check a bag that was too heavy. One suspect was released, but three were detained and more property searches were carried out.[106]
  • Berlin 31 October 2017 - German police arrested a 19-year-old Syrian whom they suspected was planning an Islamist-motivated bomb attack.[107]
  • Melbourne 28 November 2017 - An Islamic State sympathiser planned to buy a gun and kill as many revellers as possible on New Year's Eve in Melbourne, police alleged after foiling the plot.[108]
  • London 5 December 2017 - Two men alleged to be Islamist militants were arrested by an MI5 British anti-terrorism detail for plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Theresa May. Police believe the plotters planned to detonate an IED at the prime minister's offices.[109]
  • Moscow 12 December 2017 - Moscow police arrest three alleged members of an ISIS cell they said were preparing a holiday suicide bomb, gun and grenade attack.[110]
  • St. Petersburg 15 December 2017 - The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has detained suspected members of a terrorist cell linked to Islamic State. A series of bombings was planned in St. Petersburg, with the iconic Kazan Cathedral among the targets.[111]
  • United Kingdom 19 December 2017 - Four men were arrested on suspicion of plotting an Islamist terror attack as armed police carried out a series of dramatic pre-dawn raids in Sheffield and Chesterfield.[112]
  • Karlsruhe 20 December 2017 - German police arrested a man accused of planning a vehicle-based terrorist attack in the southwestern city of Karlsruhe. The suspect had alleged connections to the Islamic State group.[113]
  • San Francisco 22 December 2017 - A former U.S. Marine's alleged plan for a holiday attack on Pier 39 in San Francisco has been foiled. The suspect Everitt Aaron Jameson was inspired by the Islamic State.[114]


  • Naples 26 April 2018 - Italian police thwart a car-ramming attack in Naples after a Gambian man was arrested. He reportedly pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State. [115]
  • Paris 14 June 2018 - French police thwart attack by "radicalized convert to Islam" planned against Paris club. An improvised explosive device was found at his home and the man admitted that he wanted to use it to target a swingers’ club.[116]
  • Paris 30 June 2018 - French government publicly accuses the "Islamic Republic of Iran" of plotting a major bomb attack targeting a large conference of an Iranian exile group that met on 30 June in Paris. France siezes assets of two diplomats, German police arrest one diplomat to extradite to Belgium to face terrorism charges there related to this incident. Iran denies all charges. [117][118]
  • Arnhem 27 Sept 2018 - Dutch police grab seven terror suspects fas they foil major attack with suicide vests, assault rifles and car bombs. Suspects were rounded up in flash raids by heavily armed police in Arnhem and Weert following a months long investivation of their group leader was a ardent supporter of ISIS.[119][120]

See also[edit]


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