Updated on October 14, 2011
Jordanian Citizen Tried to Bomb Texas Skyscraper
James T. Jacks, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, and Robert E. Casey, Jr., Special Agent in Charge for the Dallas Office of the FBI, announced today that Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, 19, has been arrested and charged in a federal criminal complaint with attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction.
Smadi, who was under continuous surveillance by the FBI, was arrested today near Fountain Place, a 60-story glass office tower located at 1445 Ross Avenue in downtown Dallas, after he placed an inert/inactive car bomb at the location.
Smadi, a Jordanian citizen in the U.S. illegally, lived and worked in Italy, Texas. He has repeatedly espoused his desire to commit violent jihad and has been the focus of an undercover FBI investigation…
According to affidavits filed today with the complaint and search warrants:
Smadi was discovered by the FBI espousing his desire to commit significant acts of violence. Smadi stood out because of his vehement intention to actually conduct terror attacks in the U.S.
The FBI developed an investigative plan to determine Smadiâ€™s true intent while also protecting the publicâ€™s safety. Smadi made clear his intention to serve as a soldier for Osama Bin Laden and al Qaeda, and to conduct violent jihad.
Undercover FBI agents, posing as members of an al Qaeda â€œsleeperâ€ cell, were introduced to Smadi, who repeatedly indicated to them that he came to the U.S. for the specific purpose of committing â€œJihad for the sake of God.â€
Smadi clarified that he was interested in â€œself-jihad,â€ because it was â€œthe best type of jihad.â€ Smadi was interested in violent jihad against those he deemed to be enemies of Islam. The investigation determined Smadi was not associated with other terrorist organizations.
Throughout the investigation, undercover FBI agents repeatedly encouraged Smadi to reevaluate his interpretation of jihad, counseling him that the obligations a Moslem has to perform jihad can be satisfied in many ways. Every time this interaction occurred, Smadi aggressively responded that he was going to commit significant, conspicuous acts of violence as his jihad…
From the 24 Sept 2009 criminal complaint against Hosam Maher Husein Smadi (attempt to use a weapon of mass destruction):
“I truly say it that my dream is to be among Allah’s soldiers, first for the support of Islam and my beloved Sheik Usama, may Allah give him long life. I don’t know what is in me, but I love him as I love my father….In the name of Allah, the Gracious and Merciful, this is my vow to you, my brother, that I am ready. And if you were a lover of Jihad as I am, then, by Allah, I am ready for the Jihadi life. What you will see of me will please you and your commander…
My brother in Allah, Allah and His angels are with us. With the permission of the Almighty Lord of the Worlds, we will have victory and allies from Allah Almighty. He is the powerful and helpful. Victory is coming, is coming to defeat the Romans [i.e., Christians] and for the destruction of the Jews. Allah is Most Great. We shall attack them in their very homes. Brother, by Allah, we shall attack them in a manner that hurts, an attack that shakes the world. Oh Brother, let the backsliders know that the time for their destruction has come.”
I want to destroy targets, everything that helps America on its war on Arabs will be targeted…”
Smadi repeatedly told the FBI undercover operatives that he came to the US for the purpose of committing “Jihad for the sake of Allah.” He said he was interested in violent jihad against those he deems to enemies of Islam, and that he views the US to be an enemy of Islam.
On 24 June 2009 (three months ago), at a hotel in Dallas, TX Smadi said he wanted to target credit card companies such as American Express or Visa in order to strike the American economy. He said he would use a timed explosive or remote detonation. Smadi said he was going to test the building’s physical security with a car to see what type of security the building has and how/if security searches the car.
Smadi used his laptop to identify and map possible targets. He identified the address of a National Guard Armory in Dallas. Smadi did a vehicular reconnaissance of the Armory, but deemed it an unacceptable target (no reason given).
Smadi then considered targeting the Dallas Airport and conducted visual surveillance of the airport. He thought it would be easy to plant a bomb there. “The restroom is always the best thing.” He would place the bomb in a ventilation duct.
Smadi also suggested using two timed bombs with a 10-15 minute interval between the two to create chaos. The first timed bomb would go off at a bank near the airport. “They will be devastated over there, then they will be devastated over here, after the second explosion. . . . It’s a big bank, it’s very successful. If we bring it to the ground, it will be a powerful hit.”
Later Smadi realized that the security at the airport was too strong, so he decided that would not be a viable target.
On 16 July 2009, Smadi decided to target main Wells Fargo bank in Dallas, TX and not its smaller branch. “Allah willing, the strike will be certain and strong. It will shake the currently weak economy in the state and the American nation because this bank is one of the largest banks in this city.”
He noted that the bank’s exterior is made of glass and said, “Don’t forget the psychological impacts for the loss of this beautiful building. Of course, our joy will be in the success of this operation.”
Smadi said he had been conducting “research” (vulnerability assessments) online about this location. He said, “the big research, such as examining the interior of the building, the security systems, and the entry ways to execute and plant has not started.”
On 21 July 2009, Smadi conducted a reconnaissance of the Wells Fargo bank in downtown Dallas, which is co-mingled with a large office building called Fountain Place. His damage would be not only to the bank but to the other companies located in the building.
Smadi found a bathroom on the basement level which he believed would be a good location to plant a bomb. He said the bathroom had a locking door and a drop-ceiling he accessed by standing on a toilet seat.
Smadi identified a second bank in Dallas as a target, but decided on the first Wells Fargo bank because “it is a commercial center.” Again, he would like to target both banks at the same time. “However, Allah helped use to choose the first target that contains five banks and is made of glass according to the international standards. Let us rely on Allah….give us success and overshadow our enemy.”
In conversations with the FBI undercover operative, Smadi discussed the logistics and timing of the bombing of the Fountain Place building. He said he would have liked to do the attack on September 11, but decided to wait until after Ramadan is over. Smadi showed what he described as plans to the building and said it had 60 stories.
Smadi wanted to use a vehicle bomb to go off at the foundations of the building; “if it is heavy in weight, tons, all that will come down…..I want to bring down the building, Allah willing.” A 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac would be used as a vehicle born improvised explosive device with C-4 explosives. It was to be remotely activated via a cell phone.
The planned date would be Thursday, 24 September 2009. If Smadi hadn’t have been caught, how many people working in the Fountain Place building would be dead today, 25 September 2009, because of Smadi’s desire to kill ‘infidels’ in the name of Allah and Islam? A man driven by Islamic doctrine, who believes, according to this doctrine, that his act is sanctioned and guarantees him a place in paradise?
“Let the drums of victory be struck in our holiday. We know that Allah is with us. We ask him to bless our gift with his angels protecting and assisting us. On this day, I tell you that I am ready to receive the gift….I send holiday wishes to the Commander and prince [Osama bin Laden], may Allah give him a long life and success in his path…..May this be only the beginning, and what is coming will be greater.”