CNN Editorial Research
Here is a look at notable terror attacks with fatalities on US soil since 1980.
1978-1995 – Three people die and 23 others are wounded after a string of mail bombings carried out by Ted Kaczynski. “The Unabomber,” as he is also known, is serving eight life sentences for murder. He was not charged with terrorism, but the string of bombings is considered to be a terror case.
February 26, 1993 – A bomb explodes in the underground parking garage at the World Trade Center in New York. Six people are killed and more than 1,000 people are treated for injuries. Six suspects are convicted of participating in the bombing. The seventh suspect, Abdul Rahman Yasin, is still at large.
April 19, 1995 – A bomb rips through the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 people and injuring almost 700. Timothy McVeigh is convicted on federal murder charges in 1997, and he is executed in 2001.
July 27, 1996 – A bomb explodes in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta during the Summer Olympics. One person is killed, another dies from a heart attack and more than 100 others are injured. Bombing suspect Eric Robert Rudolph is arrested in North Carolina in 2003, after being indicted in 2000 for the Atlanta bombing and for other bombings, including one at an abortion clinic where one person died. Rudolph is serving four consecutive sentences of life in prison plus 120 years for the attacks.
September 11, 2001 – Nineteen al Qaeda members hijack four US passenger airliners. Two are flown into the World Trade Center towers in New York, one crashes into the Pentagon and another crashes into the Pennsylvania countryside after passengers attempt to wrest control of the aircraft to prevent an attack on the US Capitol. At the World Trade Center site 2,753 people are killed; 184 at the Pentagon; and 40 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. A total of 2,977 people are killed.
April 15, 2013 – Twin bomb blasts explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three and wounding at least 264. One suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is killed in an encounter with police. His brother, suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is captured. He is formally sentenced to the death penalty on June 24, 2015.
July 16, 2015 – Mohammad Abdulazeez opens fire on a military recruiting center and a Naval reserve facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing four US Marines and a Navy sailor. Abdulazeez dies in a gunfight with law enforcement. FBI Director James Comey later says Abdulazeez’s actions were “motivated by foreign terrorist organization propaganda,” adding that it’s difficult to determine which terrorist group may have inspired him.
December 2, 2015 – Married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik open fire on a holiday party taking place at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people. Farook and Malik are killed in a shootout with police. Investigators believe the couple was self-radicalized.
June 12, 2016 – Omar Mateen, an American-born man who’d pledged allegiance to ISIS, kills 49 people and wounds others in a shooting spree at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the second-deadliest mass shooting in recent US history and the nation’s worst terror attack since 9/11. Police shoot and kill Mateen inside the club.
August 12, 2017 – One person is killed and 19 are injured when a speeding car slams into a throng of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a “Unite the Right” rally of white nationalists and other far right organizations was coordinated to protest the city’s decision to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. The driver, James Alex Fields Jr., is convicted by a Virginia jury of first-degree murder and nine other charges in December 2018, and pleads guilty to 29 federal hate crimes in March 2019. Fields is later sentenced to life in prison by both a Virginia state judge and a federal judge, with the two sentences running consecutively.
October 31, 2017 – Eight people are killed and almost a dozen injured when a 29-year-old man in a rented pickup truck drives down a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center in New York. The suspect is identified as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. Saipov is later charged with 28 counts, including eight counts of murder, 18 counts of attempted murder, and other terrorism charges.
August 3, 2019 – Twenty-two people are killed in El Paso, Texas, after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in a case that’s being treated as domestic terrorism. Police say they found an anti-immigrant document espousing white nationalist and racist views, which they believe was written by the suspect, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius. Crusius is later charged with capital murder and also federal hate crime and federal firearm charges.
December 6, 2019 – A gunman opens fire on a Naval air station in Pensacola, Florida, killing three US sailors. The shooter, identified as Mohammed Alshamrani, a 21-year-old second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force and a student naval flight officer, is killed in an exchange of gunfire with two deputies. During a news conference on January 13, 2020, Attorney General William Barr says the shooting was an act of terrorism motivated by “jihadist ideology.” The FBI announces on May 18, 2020, information retrieved from the killer’s phone indicate he was a longtime associate of al Qaeda who had communicated with operatives from the group as recently as the night before the shooting.
December 10, 2019 – Two shooters attack a Kosher grocery store in Jersey City, New Jersey, killing three people inside the shop. New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal later says the killings are being investigated as domestic terrorism, “fueled by both antisemitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs.” Before committing the murders at the store, the shooters killed a police detective near a Jersey City cemetery. The shooters, David N. Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50, die in a standoff with police.
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