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The September 11, 2001, attacks brought terrorism to the forefront of government concern. However, terrorism and political and economic threats to the United States and its industrial allies existed well before the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC), the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania. The bombing of the U.S. federal office building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, which killed 168 people, and the 1993 bombing of the WTC were among the worst such events in the 1990s.
Two U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed minutes apart on August 7, 1998, leaving at least 252 people dead (including 12 U.S. citizens) and more than 5,000 injured. Over the last three decades, terrorist attacks have become commonplace around the world, in places including Colombia, Israel, Indonesia, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Yemen.
On February 11, 2003, Robert S. Mueller, director of the FBI, testified before the Select Committee on Intelligence of the U.S. Senate in Washington, DC, stating that during the prior 17 months, the FBI had charged 197 suspected terrorists with crimes (99 of whom have been convicted at the time of this writing) and that the FBI had disrupted terrorist plots across the country, including those in the following places:
Portland, where six were charged with providing material support to terrorists
Buffalo, where seven al-Qaida associates and sympathizers were indicted in September 2002 for providing material support to terrorism
Seattle, where Earnest James Ujaama (a.k.a. Bilal Ahmed) was charged with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists and suspected of establishing a terrorist training facility in Bly, Oregon
Detroit, where four were charged with document fraud and providing material support to terrorists
Chicago, where Benevolence International Foundation Director Enaam Arnaout was charged with funneling money to Al Qaeda
Florida, where three U.S. citizens were arrested for acquiring weapons and explosives in a plot to blow up an Islamic Center in Pinellas County in retaliation for Palestinian bombings in Israel
In nation wide efforts the FBI successfully froze $113 million from 62 organizations and conducted 70 investigations, 23 of which resulted in convictions.
History has forced the undeniable conclusion that the threat of terrorist attacks in the United States and against properties of the U.S. government and resident corporations and individuals located around the world is indeed real.
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