Wednesday, February 26, 2014

10 Terrorist Attacks That Almost Happened

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1. Attempted Assassination of George H.W. Bush
The Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, ordered his troops to invade Kuwait over oil disputes in August 2, 1990 and decline to withdraw. US in a coalition of 34 other countries waged a month-long aerial bombing campaign, followed by ground attacks that forced Iraq from Kuwait.
Though Iraq had been cowed by the defeat, Saddam Hussein and his intelligence service hatched a revenge plan against former US president George H.W. Bush. In April 1993, Kuwait had invited George Bush to show appreciations of the role played by U.S in their liberation, an event that Saddam seized to take revenge of defeat two years earlier. The plan was to attack Bush’s motorcade en route to Kuwait University with sophisticated explosives and in case the bombing was thwarted, they had a back up plan; one of them was to wear an explosive and get closer to Bush to kill him. The plot was to be executed by more than a dozen agents. However, suspicious Kuwait civilians suspected them and contacted the authorities and the agents were arrested.
Bill Clinton, freshly elected US president was presented with intelligence revealing the plot had been hatched by Iraq intelligence service with some suspects confessing so. Clinton then ordered a cruise missile strike against Iraq intelligence headquarters in early morning destroying the building and killing at least three people. Iraq never again made serious attacks against US outside its boarders.

2. The Millennium Plot
Al-Qaeda cells in Canada, Jordan, and Yemen had plotted malicious attacks planned to coincide with New Year’s Eve. Their targets were Los Angeles International Airport, the fully booked Radisson hotel in Amman, three Christian holy sites in Jordan, and a US destroyer off the coast of Yemen. It was through a combination of luck and that the millennium plot foiled. A border officer suspected Ahmed Ressam, member of the Canadian cell, who tried to cross into US near Seattle on December 14, 1999. On searching his vehicle, Ahmed escaped on foot but was arrested and 45kg (100lbs) of chemical and timing devices confiscated from his car. Ahmed confessed that he intended to abandon the bomb near a passenger waiting area at LAX.
In late 1999, 16 members of an Al-Qaeda cell was arrested after their telephone conversation was tapped by Jordan intelligence officials and seized over 2,200kg (500lbs) of precursor chemical for explosives. Finally, the Yemen cell launched a boat loaded with explosives to detonate alongside US destroyer, USS the Sullivan’s, fortunately their boat capsized at the bottom of the harbor due to overloading.

3. The Reno IRS Bombing
Timothy McVeigh, in a revenge mission, detonated a massive bomb outside Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma killing 168 people on April 19, 1995. It was revealed later that he was a product of a violent and paranoid subculture of local militias that feared their civil liberties would be seized by the federal government.
The militia group hatched another attack plan on federal building and in December 18, 1995, Joseph Baillie and Ellis Hurst, anti-tax protesters, dropped a 45 kg (100 lb) fertilizer bomb near the Internal Revenue Service Building in Reno, Nevada. Fortunately the fuse they lit was a dud and did not work and was discovered by a staff. The two were cracked down and were sentenced for life imprisonment.

4. The New York City Landmark Plot
Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind imam and the leader of a small mosque in Brooklyn had been a prominent member of Islamic militant group in Egypt which he fled to the United States in 1990. He always preached against the US support of Israel and the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak and the American support of Mubarak’s government. They started plotting terrorist attacks to force US to cutoff its support and in 1992, Ramzi Yousef, 25-year old Pakistani with a mysterious background joined the group. Yousef main goal was to attack US in its own soil and so he joined with Rahman to execute his goal. This was among a series of attacks on the scale of 9/11 very nearly occurred in late 1993.
Yousef and Rahman group managed to strike the world trade center on February 26, 1993, shredding several stories, killing three people and wounding over 1000 others. Yousef fled but the group got new members including Sudanese diplomatic terrorist plot to date. The group rented a garage where they made the bombs as others surveyed potential targets like the UN buildings, the New York Field Office of the FBI, and the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels. The Sudanese even planned to acquire a diplomatic license plate to aid in the attacks. However, one of them became an informant with the FBI who fixed a surveillance camera in the garage. On June 24, 1993, the FBI attacked the group at Al-Farouk Mosque and they arrested them, while they resisted the arrest of the blind imam but he surrendered himself. Ten other men were arrested and convicted of sedition and conspiracy. Consequently, Sudan’s second secretary to the UN was expelled due to his countries involvement to terrorism and Sudan was listed among US state sponsors of terrorist where it still remains limiting aid and export to the country.

5. Texas Refinery Plot
The Texas Refinery Plot would have been the worst having been planned by members of Ku Klux Klan faction in 1997; they included Texas Carl Waskom Jr, Edward Taylor Jr, and married couple Shawn and Catherine Adams. To make their plan a reality they decided to rob an armored car believed to have been carrying $2 million en route to a bank in Chico, Texas. But in order to succeed they needed to cause a diversion. This plan would have claimed killed half of the population of the wise country.
The bomb was to be set at Mitchell Energy & Development natural gas processing plant, which upon explosion would have produced a lethal cloud of hydrogen sulfide that and would have killed up to 30,000 people. The group had already tested explosive devices and surveilled the plant when one of them change mind and became an informant for the FBI who arrested them upon acquiring enough evidence and were sentenced to life imprisonment. The informant was then put to the witness Protection Program.

6. London Bombings
The 7/7 attacks shocked the word putting the British government on edge after three men detonated bombs in the London underground and while the fourth bombed a double-decker bus killing 52 people on July 7, 2005. Yasin Omar, Ramzi Mohamed, and Hussain Osman plotted an identical plan two weeks later by setting off explosive-laden backpacks in London underground, while Muktar Ibrahim tried to detonate his backpack on a public bus. However, these did not go as planned because the men were inexperienced. The attacks would have killed dozens like the 7/7 horror.
They then fled after realizing that the attacks had failed but were arrested with the help of a video surveillance within eight days. Documents retrieved from Al-Qaeda safe houses revealed that both 7/7 and 7/21 had been arranged by the group in a revenge mission for British participation in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The four were arraigned in court and sentenced to serve at least 40 years each.

7. MLK Day Bomb Attempt
On January 17, 2011 a bomb was discovered in Spokane, Washington as the town’s annual preparations of Martin Luther King Day were in progress. The workers who discovered it contacted the police who found that the bomb would have killed dozens. Surprisingly, it had an added vicious touch – the shrapnel coated in rat poison which prevents blood clotting hence increasing the number of causalities. After nearly two months crackdown, Kevin Harpham was arrested by State and Federal Authorities. He was found to have links with a white supremacist group known as National Alliance and after pleading guilty he was sentenced to serve for 32 years in federal prison and long life supervision after his release. This kind of attacks makes the US to have a tragic history of racially motivated violence.

8. Attempt To Assassinate Prince Charles and Diana
In 1983, IRA operative Sean O’Callaghan was provided with 11kg (25lbs) by his superiors to assassinate Prince Charles and Princes Diana during a Duran concert in London; fortunately he had been a British mole since 1979 and reported every detail of the plot to the British intelligence. Previously, the provisional Irish republican army had waged a campaign of terror against mainland Britain from 1970s until they signed the Good Friday Peace Accords. During this time, the targets were office buildings, pubs, and members of parliament. The British Intelligence, spread rumors that O’Callaghan was wanted for question in relation to unrelated plot. This was meant to cover up O’Callaghan; he actually fled the country with that reason. His position was however, not replaced, thus the drama was not acted saving the Prince and the Princess the attack that would have killed many others.

9. The Bangkok Israeli Embassy Plot
Ramzi Yousef, the World Trade bomber, now targeted the Israeli Embassy in Bangkok after he flees from US. He had again formed a cell with a young and charming student Abdullah Salih, who was a local extremist with others joining them. Yousef had constructed a one ton device and rented a delivery truck and murdered the driver putting his body close to the bomb in the truck. On March 11, 1994, Yousef had already fled the country for Pakistani when the plot to bomb the embassy went on. Fortunately, the truck that ferried the massive bomb towards the embassy crashed into a motorcycle and after the intended suicide bomber attempted to pay off failed, he fled leaving the truck, bomb and the dead driver some few hundred meters from the embassy. Most members of the cell were arrested but Yousef escaped capture in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

10. Operation Bojinka
Ramzi Yousef again, now plotting a remarkable attack after fleeing Thailand, that would be remembered for decades, he would simultaneously blow up 11 US-bound airlines over the pacific ocean. He had actually worked out the plot very well. This time he would use small, powerful bombs detonated near the planes’ central fuel tanks. He and his recruits would pass the airport security, with the detonators and nitroglycerine placed in the soles of their shoes and would be assembled in the lavatory once aboard. A wrist watch was used as a timer and would be placed under the terrorist’s seats. They planned how the plane legs would detonate the bombs in the targeted planes while up in the deep seas. It was estimated that 4,000 people would have died if Yousef succeeded.
Yousef successfully tested his first bomb in a Manila movie theater, injuring dozen in late 1994. The next trial was in December 11 in a Philippines’ plane that killed one passenger and injured others; the highly skilled pilot made an emergency landing. The 11 targeted planes had been chosen when on January 6, 1995, Yousef’s apartment went ablaze while he was preparing the bombs for the attacks. He was unable to extinguish the fire and fled on foot and boarded a plane to Pakistan. The police, who responded to the fire found Yousef’s laptop thus getting to know more about Yousef. Yousef was later arrested two months later at a guest house in Islamabad, Pakistan. He was arraigned in court in the United States and sentenced for life imprisonment in supermax prison in Florence, Colorado.

~Blog Admin~

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