John Paff: Audits Need a Closer Look

The Year in Review A Look at FBI Cases, Part 1




Case Files 2011The FBI conducted thousands of investigations in 2011, from terrorists bent on murder and cyber thieves hacking networks to corrupt government officials and fraudsters stealing billions of dollars from innocent victims.


As the year comes to a close, here is a look at some of the most significant cases the Bureau investigated with the help of our domestic and international law enforcement and intelligence community partners.


Part 1 focuses on our top investigative priority: protecting the nation from terrorist attack. The death of Osama bin Laden in May was a milestone, but al Qaeda remains committed to high-profile attacks against the U.S. And on the home front, lone offenders radicalized on the Internet continue to pose a serious threat to national security.


Here are some of the top terror cases of 2011, in reverse chronological order:


Murder of U.S. soldiers in Iraq: A 38-year-old Canadian citizen was indicted this month by a New York grand jury for his role in the murder of five American soldiers in a suicide-bomb attack in Iraq in 2009. The individual was arrested last January in Canada, and the U.S. is seeking his extradition. Details


Senior citizens indicted in ricin plot: Four Georgia men in their 60s and 70s were arrested last month for planning to manufacture the biological toxin ricin and purchasing explosives for use in attacks against American citizens. The defendants are alleged to be part of a fringe militia group. Details


Plot against Saudi ambassador: Two individuals were charged in October for their participation in a plot directed by elements of the Iranian government to murder the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. with explosives while the ambassador was on U.S. soil. One of the individuals is in custody; the other is still at large. Details


Attack planned on U.S. Capitol: A 26-year-old Massachusetts man was arrested in September and charged with plotting to bomb the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol using remote-controlled aircraft filled with explosives. Details


Material support to terrorists: An Albanian citizen living in New York was charged in September with providing material support to terrorists for planning travel to Pakistan to join a radical jihadist fighting group. He was arrested while trying to catch a flight out of the country. Details


Texas bomb plot: A 21-year-old soldier who was absent without leave was charged in July with planning to detonate a bomb inside a restaurant frequented by soldiers from Fort Hood. When he was arrested, the individual was in possession of a variety of bomb-making components. In November he was charged with additional crimes including attempted murder. Details


Plot to attack Seattle military installation: Two men were indicted in July for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction to attack a military installation in Seattle with the intention of killing U.S. citizens. Law enforcement first became aware of the plot when an individual alerted them that he had been approached about participating in the attack. Details


Conduit to terror organizations: A Somali national in his mid-20s was indicted in July for providing material support to foreign terror organizations al Shabaab and al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). He was captured in the Gulf region by the U.S. military in April 2011 and was allegedly a conduit between al Shabaab and AQAP. Details


Iraq bomb attacks: An Iraqi citizen who allegedly carried out numerous improvised explosive device (IED) attacks against U.S. troops in Iraq and another Iraqi national alleged to have participated in the Iraq insurgency were indicted in May on terrorism charges in Kentucky, where both were residents. Details


Jihadist indicted: A 20-year-old Saudi Arabia citizen and Texas resident was arrested in February and charged with attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction in connection with the purchase of chemicals and equipment used to make an IED and his research of potential U.S. targets. The individual came to the U.S. in 2008 on a student visa. Details


Next: Fraud, fugitives, corruption, and more


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