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The Year 2000 attack plots were terrorist attacks planned to occur on or near January 1, 2000: the bombing of four sites in Jordan, the bombing of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), and the bombing of the USS The Sullivans.[1] The first two plots were foiled by law enforcement agencies; the third was aborted after a mistake occurred. While the various attacks were planned to occur around the same date, there is no evidence that the three plots were coordinated in any way.

Contents

The Jordan bombing plot

In Jordan, members of the group planned to bomb four sites: a fully-booked Radisson hotel in Amman, Jordan; the border between Jordan and Israel; Mount Nebo, a Christian holy site; and a site on the Jordan River where John the Baptist is said to have baptized Jesus. These locations were chosen to target tourists from the United States and Israel. The most active participant was a Boston taxi driver named Raed Hijazi.

On November 30, 1999, Jordanian intelligence intercepted a call between Abu Zubaydah, the leader of the plot, and Khadr Abu Hoshar, a Palestinian militant. In the conversation, Zubaydah stated, "The time for training is over." Sensing that the attack was imminent, Jordanian police arrested Hoshar and fifteen others on December 12, 1999.

The authorities put twenty eight suspects on trial. Twenty two of them were quickly found guilty. Six of them, including Hijazi, were sentenced to death. Abu Zubaydah was sentenced to death in absentia. Loa'i Mohammad Haj Bakr al-Saqa and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, were sentenced in absentia in 2002, for their part in the plot which included using poison gas during the bombing.

LAX bombing plot

Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian living in Canada, planned to bomb Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). He was arrested at Port Angeles, Washington after crossing by ferry from Victoria, British Columbia, on December 14, 1999. Customs officials then found nitroglycerin and four timing devices concealed in a spare tire well of his automobile. He and three other Algerians stood trial for the crime. Ressam began cooperating with investigators in 2001. On July 27, 2005, he was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

Abu Zubaydah seems to have been tangentially involved in approving this attack as well.

USS The Sullivans attack plot

In Yemen, members of the group planned to bomb USS The Sullivans with a boat laden with explosives. Militants deployed a bomb-laden boat on January 3, 2000, but the over-loaded bomb boat sank before detonating.[2][3] Richard A. Clarke, in his book Against All Enemies, says that at the time, no law enforcement agency in the world knew about this plot.[4]

Aftermath

After the attack on The Sullivans failed, al-Qaeda tried the same type of attack a second time. They successfully bombed USS Cole on October 12, 2000.

The Radisson SAS hotel in Amman was successfully bombed by terrorists in 2005.

While in prison, Ressam revealed that al-Qaeda sleeper cells existed within the United States. This information was included in the famous President's Daily Brief delivered to President Bush on August 6, 2001, entitled Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.

See also

References

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