Pentagon Terror

Title: Pentagon Terror Attack
Date: September 11, 2001
Source: Wikipedia

On September 11, 2001, The Pentagon's 60th birthday, a team of five al-Qaeda affiliated hijackers took control of American Airlines Flight 77, en route from Washington Dulles International Airport to Los Angeles International Airport, and deliberately crashed into the Western side of the Pentagon at 9:37 am EDT as part of the September 11 attacks. All 64 people on the airliner were killed as were 125 people who were in the building. The impact of the plane severely damaged the structure of the building and caused its partial collapse. At the time of the attacks, the Pentagon was under renovation and several offices were unoccupied, resulting in fewer casualties. Only 800 of 4,500 people who would have been in the area were there because of the work. Furthermore the area hit, on the side of the Heliport Entrance facade, was the section best prepared for such an attack. The renovation there, improvements which resulted from the Oklahoma City bombing, had nearly been completed (Wikipedia, 2011).

2010 Pentagon Shooting
March 4, 2010

Abstract: On March 4, 2010, John Patrick Bedell shot two Pentagon police officers at a security checkpoint in the Pentagon station of the Washington Metro mass-transit system in Arlington County, Virginia, near Washington, D.C.. The officers returned fire striking him in the head. He died a few hours later on March 5. 

The suit-clad gunman was wounded after firing upon and injuring two Pentagon police officers. The shooting occurred around 6:40 p.m. outside the Metro station entrance. As he neared the security checkpoint, Bedell reportedly appeared to be "pretty calm". When the officers asked for his credentials, "he drew a weapon from his pocket and started shooting". Joined by a third officer who came to their aid, the police defended themselves, mortally wounding their attacker.

The conflict was over in less than a minute. According to Chief Richard Keevill of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency, Bedell was armed with two 9mm semi-automatic firearms and had several loaded magazines. Authorities found more ammunition in his car, parked in a nearby parking garage.

The injured officers and Bedell were transported to George Washington University Hospital by units of the Arlington County Fire Department. The two injured officers, Jeffrey Amos and Marvin Carraway, were soon released from the hospital. One had a thigh wound, and the other had a shoulder wound. Both injuries were superficial (Wikipedia, 2011).

Title: Rezwan Ferdaus Arrested, Accused Of Plotting Attack On Pentagon, Capitol Using Exploding RC Planes
Date: September 28, 2011
Source: NY Daily News

Abstract: A Massachusetts man with a degree in physics was busted Wednesday for plotting to blow up the Pentagon and the US Capitol with homemade drones, officials said.

Rezwan Ferdaus, 26, planned to fill two remote-controlled model airplanes with C-4 explosives and hand grenades and direct them into the iconic Washington buildings, said US Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

The feds said he purchased the model airplanes, one a replica of a Navy F-4 Phantom jet with a Playboy logo on its tail, using the name of former Yankee great Dave Winfield.

Ferdaus was arrested Wednesday morning after he obtained 25-pounds of C-4 explosives, three grenades and six automatic AK-47 assault rifles from FBI agents posing as Al Qaeda operatives.

"The conduct alleged today shows that Mr. Ferdaus had long planned to commit violent acts against our country," Ortiz said. "Thanks to the diligence of the FBI and our many other law enforcement partners, that plan was thwarted."

Ferdaus had been under surveillance by the FBI since March.

The Northeastern University physics grad, an American citizen, had vowed to commit violent "jihad" against the United States as far back as early 2010, according to a federal complaint.

In one of several secretly recorded phone conversations, he claimed he targeted the Pentagon and US Capitol because he wanted to "severely disrupt ... the head and heart of the snake," according to the complaint.

Ferdaus of Ashland, Mass, went as far as obtaining cell phones modified to act as bomb detonating devices, the complaint charges. He provided the phones to the undercover FBI agents along with videotaped instructions on how to use them.

When told the phones were used to set off explosives in Iraq that killed three US soldiers and injured up to five others, Ferdaus said, "That was exactly what I wanted," according to the complaint.

"I want the public to understand that Mr. Ferdaus' conduct, as alleged in the complaint, is not reflective of a particular culture, community or religion," Ortiz said.

"In addition to protecting our citizens from the threats and violence alleged today, we also have an obligation to protect members of every community, race and religion against violence and other unlawful conduct."

Ortiz said the public was never in danger because Ferdaus was being watched closely.

"Today's arrest was the culmination of an investigation forged through strong relationships among various Massachusetts law enforcement agencies to detect, deter and prevent terrorism," said Richard DesLauriers, special agent in charge of the FBI's Boston office.

If convicted, Ferdaus faces up to 15 years in prison.

Rep. Peter King (R-L.I.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, praised the arrest of Fedaus, saying he had been briefed on the investigation over the last several months.

"The fact that Ferdaus is a very well-educated physicist should serve as a reminder to us that the threat of Islamic terrorism transcends socioeconomics and does not only emanate from the poor and under-privileged," King said.

"Ferdaus' arrest also underscores the need to continue efforts to combat domestic radicalization and the evolving threat of 'lone wolf' extremists" (NY Daily News, 2011).