February 22, 2016
It’s only November, but 2016 has already passed a grim milestone: not since 2001 have there been this many murders related to domestic Islamic extremism in a single year. This is due almost entirely to Omar Mateen’s June shooting rampage at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which left 49 people dead and a city – and nation – reeling. 2016 has also seen a particularly high number of plots – carried out or thwarted – motivated by Islamic extremist ideology.
As of November 29, authorities have linked 43 U.S. residents to activity motivated by Islamic extremist ideology – 21 of whom are accused of plotting domestic attacks.
Six of these plots resulted in actual attacks, and one culminated in fatalities. January’s shooting of a police officer in Philadelphia yielded no fatalities; the Orlando shooting in June resulted in 49 deaths; a double stabbing in Virginia in August was not fatal; the stabbing of 10 people in a mall in Minnesota in September left only the perpetrator dead; the placement of bombs in New York and New Jersey in September, resulted in injuries but no deaths; and the vehicular attack and stabbing at Ohio State University in November that resulted in nine injuries and the death of the perpetrator.
This year, as in 2015, the vast majority of individuals who committed violent acts motivated by Islamic extremist ideology did so in support of ISIS.
The following is a list of U.S. residents linked in 2016 to plots and other activity motivated by Islamic extremist ideology.
- November 28, 2016: Abdul Razak Ali Artan, an 18-year-old Ohio resident and student at Ohio State University, drove a vehicle into pedestrians and then exited the vehicle with a knife in an attempt to stab them. A Facebook post reportedly by Artan mentioned ISIS and referred to Anwar al-Awlaki, a former U.S. cleric and English-language spokesman for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, as a hero. Artan was shot and killed while attacking. At least nine people were injured but there were no other fatalities.
- November 19, 2016: Mohamed Rafik Naji, a 37-year-old New York City resident, was arrested on charges of providing material support to ISIS. Naji had allegedly been plotting to undertake a vehicular attack in Times Square on behalf of ISIS. According to court documents, he had also allegedly traveled to Yemen and Turkey in an attempt to join ISIS.
- November 7, 2016: Aaron Travis Daniels, a 20-year-old Columbus, Ohio resident, was arrested for attempting to provide material support for ISIS. Daniels had allegedly expressed interest in traveling to Libya to join the ISIS branch there. He also allegedly communicated with and attempted to send money to Abu Isa Al-Amriki, an ISIS recruiter and attack planner who was killed in a drone strike in April 2016. Daniels also used the names Harun Muhammad and Abu Yusef.
- October 25, 2016: Patrick Alan Lawwill, a 31-year-old former Michigan resident and his brother, 32-year-old former Michigan resident Nathan Lawwill, were arrested in Tunisia on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization. The brothers, who are U.S. citizens, had reportedly converted to Islam from Christianity and were living in Yemen. Both reportedly have lengthy criminal records, including charges of domestic violence. Tunisian police allege that they were in contact with international terror groups on social media. As of this writing, the brothers have not been charged in the U.S. judicial system.
- October 19, 2016: Marlon Hicks, a 30-year-old resident of Crown Point, Indiana, was charged with supporting ISIS. Court documents allege that Hicks expressed a desire to travel to join ISIS in conversation with an undercover informant. Following the June 12, 2016 attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Hicks reportedly stated that he would more likely die in the U.S. and indicated his intent to commit an attack in the U.S. He allegedly later sent instructions for committing a bombing attack to an undercover informant who Hicks believed would carry out the attack. Hicks entered a plea deal on October 28, pleading guilty to distributing information regarding the manufacture and use of explosives, with the intent that the information be used for and in furtherance of a crime of violence.
- October 14, 2016: Jason Michael Ludke, a 35-year-old Wisconsin resident and Yosvany Padylla-Conde, a 30-year-old Wisconsin resident, were arrested on terror charger. Ludke is accused of providing material support to ISIS; Padylla-Conde is charged with aiding and abetting Ludke. Both were arrested in Texas while allegedly traveling to Mexico in an attempt to obtain travel documents necessary to travel abroad to join ISIS in Iraq or Yemen.
- October 12, 2016: Michelle Bastian, a 49-year-old resident of Florence, Arizona, was arrested on charges of terrorism and conspiracy to commit terrorism. Bastian had allegedly provided extremist materials, including the bomb making instructions in Inspire magazine, (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's English-language propaganda magazine) to her husband, Thomas Bastian. Thomas Bastian, who is currently serving a life sentence for murder, had reportedly converted to Islam and radicalized while in prison. He allegedly planned to use the instructions his wife provided together with supplies he allegedly anticipated her providing to build and detonate a bomb in prison in order to kill people, including the prison warden. A search of his cell revealed extremist materials including excerpts from Inspire magazine and from Dabiq, ISIS's English-language magazine. Thomas Bastian had previously been investigated in 2009 for threatening the lives of law enforcement personnel who assisted in his murder conviction. Both Michelle and Thomas were indicted on terrorism and conspiracy charges by a grand jury on October 18; Michelle has pleaded not guilty.
- October 1, 2016: Nelash Mohamed Das, a 24-year-old Maryland resident, was charged with providing material support to ISIS. Das allegedly plotted to shoot members of the U.S. military whose identifying information Das had found in an online list published by ISIS supporters.
- September 19, 2016: Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old New Jersey resident, was arrested following a shootout with police and charged with seven counts, including attempted murder and murder of a police officer. Rahami was further charged with crimes including use of weapons of mass destruction and bombing a place of public use in a criminal complaint released on September 20. Rahami was allegedly responsible for two pressure cooker bombs placed in Manhattan, one of which exploded and injured 29 people; a pipe bomb that exploded at the site of a marine charity race in Seaside, New Jersey, but did not result in any casualties; and a bag of pipe bombs found in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Rahami allegedly traveled to Pakistan in 2011 and 2013. Reports quote acquaintances saying he came back to the U.S. changed. At the time of his arrest, Rahami was in possession of a notebook in which he had allegedly written extremist statements including a statement about “killing the kuffar (disbelievers),” and statements in support of Anwar al-Awlaki, the influential English-language propagandist for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in 2011.
- September 17, 2016: Dahir Adan, a 22-year-old Minnesota resident, stabbed 10 people in a St. Cloud, Minnesota mall before being shot to death by police officers. Although investigations into Adan’s motives are ongoing, he allegedly asked at least one person if he was Muslim before attacking. ISIS has claimed credit for the attack.
August 24, 2016: Mohamed Amiin Ali Roble, a 20-year-old former Minnesota resident, was charged with providing material support to ISIS. Roble is believed to have successfully joined the terror group in Syria. He was allegedly part of a conspiracy involving other men from the Twin Cities area, 10 of whom had been previously charged. They include Abdi Nur, Mohamed Abdihamad Farah; Abdi Nur, Adnan Abdihamid Farah; Abdurahman Yasin Daud; Zacharia Yusuf Abdurahman and Guled Ali Omar, who were arrested in 2015.
August 21: Wasil Farooqui, a 20-year-old resident of Roanoke, VA, was arrested after allegedly stabbing two individuals in a possible beheading attempt. Farooqi had also reportedly traveled to Turkey in the year prior to the attack, possibly with the intent of crossing the border to join an extremist group in Syria.
- August 4, 2016: Erick Jamal Hendricks, a 35-year-old resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, was arrested on charges of providing material support to ISIS. Hendricks had allegedly attempted to recruit people to conduct terror attacks, including Robert McCollum, an Ohio resident arrested in June 2015. Hendricks also allegedly communicated with Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi about the “First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest” in Garland, Texas. Simspon and Soofi attempted to stage an attack on that event in May 2015.
- August 2, 2016: Sebastian Gregerson aka Abdurrahman Bin Mikaayl, a 29-year-old resident of Dearborn, Michigan, was arrested for allegedly acquiring an illegal arsenal of weapons including knives, ammunition, grenades, guns and tactical gear. He allegedly told an agent he planned to carry out an attack on a building. While court documents do not make any clear connections to terrorist organizations, Gregorson’s alleged Facebook profile picture showed an image of a man on a horse carrying the black flag of Islam, a symbol that has been connected with ISIS.
- August 3, 2016: Nicholas Young, a 36-year-old resident of Fairfax, Virginia, was arrested on charges of providing material support to ISIS. Young allegedly believed he was helping an individual who turned out to be an undercover informant to join ISIS. He also allegedly sent codes for $245 worth gift cards that he believed would be used by ISIS to set up mobile messaging accounts to communicate with individuals in the West who wanted to join the terror group. Young, who was a police officer in the Washington Metropolitan Transportation Authority, reportedly had a history of terrorist contacts dating back to at least 2010. He had allegedly associated with Zachary Chesser, a leader in the domestic extremist group Revolution Muslim who was arrested in 2010 for attempting to join Al Shabaab, Al Qaeda in Somalia. He had also allegedly discussed weapons and extremist ideology with Amine el Khalife, who was arrested in 2012 for attempting to bomb the U.S. Capitol building on behalf of Al Qaeda.
- July 28, 2016: Robert Blake Jackson, a 31-year-old Florida resident, was arrested on charges of making false statements to a federal officer. Jackson had allegedly expressed support for ISIS and other terrorist organizations on Facebook and lied about doing so in an interview with an FBI agent. Some of Jackson’s posts, as reported in court documents, also allegedly included anti-Semitic statements, such as “in shallah (God willing) you sent as many jews (sic) as possible unto the maw of hellfire.” Court documents also indicate that Jackson expressed a desire to travel abroad to join ISIS.
- July 22, 2016: Gregory “Jibreel” Hubbard, 52, of West Palm Beach, Florida; Darren “Daoud” Arness Jackson, 50, also of West Palm Beach; and Dayne “Shakur” Atani Christian, 31, of Lake Park, Florida, were charged with conspiring and attempting to support ISIS. Christian and Jackson allegedly provided weapons and assistance to Hubbard, who is accused of planning to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Hubbard was arrested at Miami International Airport.
- July 8, 2016: Haris Qamar, a 25-year-old resident of Burke, Virginia, was arrested on charges of attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS. Qamar and a FBI confidential witness plotted and had allegedly taken pictures of various potential targets in DC for use in an upcoming ISIS propaganda video, encouraging lone wolf attacks in Washington D.C. He had also expressed interest in traveling to join ISIS and desire to murder Americans.
- July 3, 2016: Mohamed Bailor Jalloh, a 26-year-old resident of Virginia and a former army national guard member, was arrested for allegedly assisting in the procurement of weapons for what he believed was going to be a domestic attack carried out on behalf of ISIS. Court documents also indicate that Jalloh had expressed interest in traveling to join ISIS in Libya. Jalloh allegedly became radicalized in large part by listening to lectures by Anwar al-Awlaki online.
- July 1, 2016: Mahin Khan, an 18-year-old resident of Tuscon, AZ, was arrested for conspiracy to carry out acts of terrorism in support of ISIS and the Pakistani Taliban. Court documents indicate that Khan allegedly discussed potential targets, including an Air Force recruitment center in Tucson, and that he had reached out to a member of a known foreign terrorist organization asking how to build a pressure-cooker bomb. In a conversation reported in court documents, Khan also indicated possible interest in targeting Jewish sites, stating, “Need AK and pistols can u do that wanna take out marines and jews. (sic)"
- June 21, 2016: Akram Musleh, an 18-year-old resident of Indiana, was arrested for allegedly attempting to travel to join ISIS. Court documents indicated that he had been accessing extremist propaganda as early as 2015, when he was in high school, and made several attempts to purchase tickets to travel abroad to join ISIS in Syria or Iraq. Musleh also allegedly researched explosive materials and targets, but then purchased tickets to travel to join ISIS in Libya and was arrested while beginning his travels.
- June 12, 2016: Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old resident of Port St. Lucie, Florida, was killed by police after murdering 49 people and wounding 53 more in the largest mass shooting in American history. Investigations of Mateen’s rampage at Pulse, an LGBT night club in Orlando, FL, are ongoing. For now, it appears that Mateen may have acted at least in part for personal, rather than ideological, reasons. However, in a call he made to 911 during the attack, Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS, called himself an “Islamic soldier,” called the Boston marathon bombers his “homeboys” and mentioned a Florida resident who had committed a suicide attack on behalf of Al Qaeda in Syria. Mateen had also allegedly claimed support for terror groups Hezbollah and Al Qaeda in a conversation with co-workers in 2013.
- May 24, 2016: Sajmir Alimehmeti, a 22-year-old resident of New York City, was charged with providing material support to ISIS and with making false statements. Alimehmeti allegedly aided an undercover officer in purchasing equipment that he believed was for use in fighting for ISIS. He reportedly lied when attempting to apply for a new passport after his original passport was siezed by British authorities, who had detained him for traveling with suspeicious objects and then found ISIS propganda and instructions for building improvised explosive devices on his cmoputer. Ailimehmeti had also allegedly purhcased multiple knives and military equipment, including globes with steel knuckles, a 24-inch surival pocket saw, handcuffs and a camouflage face mask.
May 20, 2016: Alex Hernandez, a 31-year-old inmate at a Massachusetts correctional facility, was charged with threatening to kill the President of the United States. Court documents state that Hernandez had allegedly told an inmate that he "wanted to become a mujahideen” and that he intended to “kill the President in a lone-wolf style attack” after he was released from prison. Hernandez allegedly had images of the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, and ISIS militants in his cell.
- May 11, 2016: Mohamed Jamal Khweis, a 26-year-old Virginia resident, was charged with providing material support to ISIS. Khweis had allegedly traveled abroad and joined ISIS in Syria in 2015; reports indicate that he fled the terror group shortly thereafter and was captured by Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Khweis was flown back to the U.S. on June 8, 2016 and his indictment was unsealed on June 9.
May 9, 2016: Azizjon Rakhmatov, a 28-year-old resident of New York City, was charged with conspiring and providing material support to ISIS. Rakhmatov had allegedly aided others in providing funds to enable two U.S. residents to travel to Syria to join ISIS. His alleged co-conspirators, Abdurasul Juraboev, Abror Habibov, Akhror Saidakhmetov and Dilkhayot Kasimov, were arrested in 2015; one of them, Juraboev, pleaded guilty in August 2015 to conspiring to provide material support to ISIS.
May 2, 2016: James Gonzalo Medina, a 40-year-old resident of Hollywood, Florida, was arrested for allegedly plotting to use an explosive device in a Florida synagogue on Passover. Medina has a past criminal record and claims to have converted to Islam. Court documents indicate that he wanted to leave a notice with the bomb attributing the attack to ISIS. Court documents also indicate that Medina had worked with an undercover informant and the plot was never operational.
March 22, 2016: Abdul Raheem Habil Ali-Skelton, a 23-year-old resident of Glencoe, Minnesota, was charged with lying to federal agents regarding contact he had allegedly had with ISIS members. Although he had been released pending trial, Ali-Skelton was re-arrested and further charged on March 29 with three felony counts of making terroristic threats for allegedly threatening to "blow up" and "kill everyone" at a Walgreens store.
February 18, 2016: Yusuf Wehelie, a 25-year-old Virginia resident, was arrested and charged with possession of firearms by a convicted felon. According to court documents, Wehelie allegedly indicated in conversations with an undercover FBI agent that he wanted to travel to join ISIS and that he wanted to commit a domestic attack against a military recruiting station if he could not travel.
February 17, 2016: Safya Roe Yassin, a 38-year-old resident of Buffalo, Missouri, was arrested for allegedly posting threats against FBI agents on Twitter. Yassin had been an active supporter of ISIS on Twitter and had allegedly maintained close to 100 Twitter accounts with which she posted support for ISIS.
February 8, 2016: Khalil Abu-Rayyan, a 21-year-old resident of Dearborn Heights, Michigan, was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. Abu-Rayyan had allegedly plotted to use the firearm to attack a Detroit-area church on behalf of ISIS.
- February 7, 2016: Daniel Seth “Abu Dawuud” Franey, a 33-year-old resident of Montesano, Washington was arrested on charges of illegal firearms possession. Although court documents do not indicate that Franey had a concrete plan for using the weapon at the time of his arrest, they allege that he had discussed the possibility of committing a domestic attack, possibly against U.S. military personnel. Court documents also allege that Franey had expressed a desire to travel to Syria to join ISIS, but felt he would be caught if he attempted to do so.
January 25, 2016: Samy Mohamed Hamzeh, a 23-year-old resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of a weapon. Although there is not extensive information available regarding Hamzeh’s goals, his reported statements to an undercover informant are consistent with the narratives commonly promulgated by Islamic extremist groups and their supporters. Court documents quoted him as saying that “If this hit is executed, it will be known all over the world....Sure, all over the world, all the Mujahedeen will be talking and they will be proud of us. ...such operations will increase in America, when they hear about it. ...we are marching at the front of the war.” Hamzeh had allegedly plotted an attack against a Masonic Temple in Milwaukee. Court documents indicate that Hamzeh had originally aspired to attack Israelis in the West Bank but redirected his attention to Milwaukee for logistical reasons.
January 16, 2016: Joseph Hassan Farrokh, a 28-year-old resident of Woodbridge, Virginia, was arrested and charged him with conspiring to provide material support to a terrorist organization. Farrokh had allegedly attempted to travel to Syria to join ISIS. Mahmoud Amin Elhassan, a 25-year-old resident of Woodbridge, Virginia, originally from Sudan, was also arrested and charged with lying in a federal terror investigation. Elhassan allegedly drove Farrokh to the airport and otherwise aided his plot.
January 7, 2016: Edward Archer, a 30-year-old resident of Yeadon, Pennsylvania, and apparent convert to Islam, shot and wounded a Philadelphia police officer. Archer, who reportedly suffers from mental illness, claimed that he acted on behalf of ISIS.
January 6, 2016: Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Janab, a 23-year-old resident of Sacramento, California, was arrested and charged with making false statements in a terror-related investigation because he allegedly lied to U.S. authorities about his activities fighting with a terrorist organization in Syria. Al-Janab, an Iraqi-born man who had moved to Syria and entered the U.S. as a refugee from Syria in 2012, allegedly left the U.S. between 2013 and 2014 to fight with Ansar al-Islam, a Syrian terrorist group that had been affiliated with Al Qaeda at the time and has since merged with ISIS.
January 6, 2016: Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, a 24-year-old resident of Houston, Texas, was arrested and charged with providing material support to a terrorist organization. Al Hardan is accused of having attempted to travel to join ISIS and of lying about that activity on his naturalization application. He had also reportedly communicated with Al-Janab.