Today’s indictment is an important step forward in the war on terrorism here in the U.S. As you know, the FBI’s highest priority is preventing another terrorist attack. And thanks to the efforts of each agent and officer who worked on this case, together, we identified and disrupted a terrorist plot—before any harm could be done. This investigation reveals outstanding work by the law enforcement community. It also reminds us that we have more work to do. As the indictment alleges, the threat of terrorism exists right here on American soil.
Like other groups we have detected and prosecuted over the last several years, these seven individuals are members of a home-grown terrorist cell. They lived and worked in the United States and enjoyed all the freedoms our great nation offers. Yet they pledged their allegiance to al Qaeda.
Their goal was simple: to commit violent attacks against America. They sought funding, support, materials, and weapons for their mission. They initiated a plot to blow up targets, including the Sears Tower and government buildings. They conducted surveillance. They conspired to murder countless Americans through attacks that would be, in their words, “just as good or greater than 9/11.” But we disrupted their plot before they could cause harm.
This case reminds us that while we have made tremendous progress in combating terrorism, the struggle is far from over. We cannot afford to become complacent. The threat is real and the stakes are high.
Across the United States, the law enforcement community is rising to the challenge. The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force in Miami led the effort to detect and disrupt this terrorist cell, and our success is due to the outstanding work of our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement. We worked closely with a number of them: the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the IRS, the ATF, the Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Secret Service, the Miami Police Department, the Miami-Dade Police Department, the Miramar Police Department, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department, and the Hollywood Police Department. I would like to thank these agencies for their work and for their continued partnership.
This investigation is a significant success, but our work is not finished. The FBI will continue to be vigilant in fighting terrorism both here and abroad. We will continue to work with our partners throughout the country towards our common mission to secure American citizens and safeguard American freedoms.