Unexpectedly Intriguing!
September 11, 2006

We here at Political Calculations thought we'd mark the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks by noting the major terror plots that have been foiled since then. We've put together the following short list to honor the professionals who take their jobs in fighting terrorism very seriously.

First, here's an excerpt of major terror plots foiled around the world from an October 2005 CNN report:

1. West Coast Airliner Plot:
In mid-2002 the United States disrupted a plot to use hijacked airplanes to attack targets on the West Coast of the United States. The plotters included at least one major operational planner behind the September 11, 2001 attacks.
2. East Coast Airliner Plot:
In mid-2003 the United States and a partner disrupted a plot to use hijacked commercial airplanes to attack targets on the East Coast of the United States.
3. The Jose Padilla Plot:
In May 2002 the United States disrupted a plot that involved blowing up apartment buildings in the United States. One of the alleged plotters, Jose Padilla, allegedly discussed the possibility of using a "dirty bomb" inside the United States. Bush has designated him an "enemy combatant."
4. 2004 British Urban Targets Plot:
In mid-2004 the United States and partners disrupted a plot to bomb urban targets in Britain.
5. 2003 Karachi Plot:
In spring 2003 the United States and a partner disrupted a plot to attack westerners at several targets in Karachi, Pakistan.
6. Heathrow Airport Plot:
In 2003 the United States and several partners disrupted a plot to attack London's Heathrow Airport using hijacked commercial airliners. The planning for this alleged attack was undertaken by a major operational figure in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
7. 2004 Britain Plot:
In the spring of 2004 the United States and partners, using a combination of law enforcement and intelligence resources, disrupted a plot to conduct large-scale bombings in Britain.
8. 2002 Arabian Gulf Shipping Plot:
In late 2002 and 2003 the United States and a partner nation disrupted a plot by al Qaeda operatives to attack ships in the Arabian Gulf.
9. 2002 Strait of Hormuz Plot:
In 2002 the United States and partners disrupted a plot to attack ships in the Strait of Hormuz, the entrance to the Persian Gulf from the Indian Ocean.
10. 2003 Tourist Site Plot:
In 2003 the United States and a partner nation disrupted a plot to attack a tourist site outside the United States. The White House did not list what site that was.

And here's a sampling of the major terror prevention headlines since October 2005:

11. Terror in Canada
In June 2005, news of a foiled terror plot in Toronto where a group "inspired by al-Qaeda" had taken steps to acquire 3 tons of ammonium nitrate (1 ton of this chemical was used in Timothy McVeigh's destruction of the Murrah federal office building in Oklahoma City) for the purpose of attacking a wide range of targets in southern Canada.
12. Australian Terror Plot Foiled
In November 2005, over 500 police officers backed by helicopters raided sites across the cities of Sydney and Melbourne, arresting some 17 individuals who were described as being in the final phases of implementing "a catastrophic terrorist act ... involving the attempted stockpiling of chemicals and related materials that could be used in a major explosion."
13. London Terror Ring Broken Up
An undercover British agent infiltrated a terror cell in London planning to bomb 10 U.S. bound airlines over the Atlantic Ocean, leading to arrests in August 2006.

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