New York, NY – The clear and present danger of homegrown Islamist terrorism grows weekly. Plots are coming at New York and America from every which way and at increasing speed.
Hard on the heels of Najibullah Zazi’s subway bomb try, the Manhattan U.S. attorney has indicted two Brooklyn men, U.S. citizens, for allegedly conspiring to abet Al Qaeda’s communication needs and its capacity to detonate explosives.
Count the arrests of Wesam el-Hanafi and Sabirhan Hasanoff as another victory for America’s anti-terror forces, but do not sleep well, for the enemy is determined and dispered among us.
Even a partial inventory of attempted attacks by radicalized Muslims on these shores puts the threat into terrifying perspective:
Jose Padilla, arrested in 2002 as the so-called dirty bomber, was convicted of conspiring with Islamic terrorists.
The Lackawanna Six – Sahim Alwan, Faysal Galab, Shafal Mosed, Yasein Taher, Yahya Goba and Mukhtar al-Bakri – were busted in 2002 and convicted of aiding Osama Bin Laden.
Ohio truck driver Iyman Faris was charged in 2003 with conspiring to topple the Brooklyn Bridge. He was sentenced to 20 years.
Eleven men, known as the Virginia jihad network, were charged in 2003 with planning to train at terrorist camps. Nine were U.S. citizens. They were sentenced to prison.
U.S. citizen James Elshafay admitted plotting in 2004 to blow up the Herald Square station.
Yassin Araf and Mohmmad Hossein were arrested in Albany in 2004 for trying to buy a grenade launcher to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat. They got 15 years.
U.S. citizens Umer Hayat and Hamid Hayat, his son, were arrested in California in 2005 after lying to the FBI about Hamid’s attendance at an Al Qaeda training camp. They were convicted.
Four members of terror cell Jam’iyyat Ul-Islam Is-Saheeh were charged in 2005 with conspiring to attack the Los Angeles airport. Three went to prison, one to a mental facility.
Michael Reynolds was busted in 2005 for plotting to blow up a Wyoming natural-gas refinery. He was sentenced to 30 years.
Syed Haaris Ahmed, a Pakistani, and Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, an American of Bangladeshi descent, were charged in 2006 with conspiring to make videos for extremists. They were convicted.
Seven men, including five U.S. citizens, were charged in 2006 with conspiring to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower. Six were convicted.
Former U.S. sailor Hassan Abujihaad was accused in 2007 of giving locations of Navy ships to a group that supports terrorists. He got 10 years.
Six New Jersey men were imprisoned in a 2007 conspiracy to attack Fort Dix.
An American and three others allegedly plotted to bomb fuel lines at JFK. They await trial.
Christopher Paul, a U.S. citizen, was arrested in 2008 for conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction against U.S. and European targets. He got 20 years.
Four men were charged in 2009 with plotting to bomb Bronx synagogues. They await trial.
Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, a Jordanian living in Dallas, was charged in 2009 with trying to car-bomb an office tower.
Michael Finton of Illinois was busted in 2009 in a courthouse bomb plot inspired by American Taliban John Walker Lindh.
Bryant Neal Vinas of Long Island was busted in 2009 for allegedly giving Al Qaeda information on the subways and Long Island Rail Road.
Brooklyn-born Betim Kaziu was charged in 2009 with trying to join an Al Qaeda affiliate in hope of killing U.S. troops.
Twelve Americans were indicted in 2009 for allegedly supporting Al Shabaab, a terror group seeking to overthrow the Somali government.
Colleen LaRose, aka Jihad Jane, was charged this year with plotting to kill a Swedish cartoonist who had depicted the Prophet Mohammed.
Sharif Mobley, a 26-year-old New Jersey man, was arrested in March in a roundup of Al Qaeda suspects in Yemen.
Zazi admitted he and pals planned to suicide-bomb Grand Central and Times Square subways.
And now, el-Hanafi and Hasanoff join a list linked by shared religious fanatacism. Al Qaeda no longer needs a command center. Its foot soldiers are everywhere. They need only to win once, while the good guys have to win every time. How long can a winning streak go? Forever, one prays.