The attack on Tuesday in Lower Manhattan is one of a number of major terrorist attack on US soil that has been carried out by those who have claimed inspiration from Islamist terror groups like al-Qaida or Isis. It is the latest attack of its kind since the 11 September attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 that left nearly 3000 people dead and prompted president George W Bush to launch military action against al-Qaida in Afghanistan. Here is a timeline of other major terror attacks in the US:
4 July, 2002
Hesham Muhammad Hadayet, an Egyptian national with a green card giving him permanent status in the United States, killed two people and wounded four at an El Al ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport. Hadayet also died. The FBI later concluded that it was an act of terrorism but that Hadayet was acting alone.
1 June, 2009
In 2009, Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, an American-born convert to Islam, opened fire on an army recruiting office in Little Rock, Arkansas. Muhammad killed one soldier and wounded another. Muhammad, who previously lived in Yemen, claimed to be a member of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. His lawyers produced an expert who testified that he was delusional and Muhammad eventually pled guilty to avoid the death penalty.
5 November, 2009
Army major Nidal Hasan opened fire in the Soldier Readiness Processing Center at Fort Hood, Texas. The American-born Hasan killed 13 fellow soldiers and wounded 32. Hasan was also paralyzed in the attack. At his trial, he declared himself to be at war with America and investigators found that although he acted alone, he had accessed jihadist websites. Hasan was sentenced to death and is currently incarcerated in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
15 April, 2013
The Boston Marathon bombing attack was carried out by two brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. The bomb placed at the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured 264. The two later killed Sean Collins, an MIT police officer. In addition, in a firefight between the brothers and the police, 16 officers were injured and another later died. Tamerlan, the older brother, died after he was shot by police and his brother ran over him in a car in an attempt to escape. Dzhokhar was apprehended and sentenced to death in federal court. The two Kyrgyz-American immigrants had been self-radicalized but learned to make their bomb from the al-Qaida online magazine Inspire.
16 July, 2015
Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez attacked both a marine recruiting office and US Navy reserve center. Abdulazeez first opened fire on the recruiting office from a car, wounding a recruiter inside. He then drove to a Navy reserve center where he killed four marines and one seaman before police officers killed him. Abdulazeez was an American citizen born in Kuwait. Former FBI director James Comey later said Abdulazeez was “motivated by foreign terrorist organization propaganda.”
15 December, 2015
A married couple, Syed Rizwan Farook and Tasheen Malik, opened fire on a Christmas party at the San Bernandino County Department of Public Health, where Farook worked. Fourteen people died and 24 were injured. Farook was born in the United States and Malik was a Pakistani immigrant who married Farook in Saudi Arabia after they met on the internet. The two were later killed in a shootout with police. The FBI later described the two as “homegrown violent extremists” and found that they had radicalized before they met online.
12 June, 2016
American-born Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 58 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In calls made during his rampage at the gay nightclub, Mateen pledged allegiance to Isis. After his initial assault, the attack into a hostage situation that lasted for nearly three hours. Eventually police stormed the nightclub and killed Mateen in a shootout. President Barack Obama later said that Mateen was “inspired by various extremist information that was disseminated over the internet”.