10 Terrorist Plots That Failed

Fountain Place Plot
The Fountain Place building in downtown Dallas. The 60-story glass office tower is where Hosam Maher Husein Smadi was arrested after he placed an inert car bomb at the location. Allison V. Smith/Dallas Morning News/Corbis

In 2009, Hosam Smadi, a 19-year-old man from Jordan on an expired student visa began posting on a Web site known for its radical Islamic leanings. Smadi lived in Texas at the time and, according to FBI reports, seemed determined to act out his violent plans.

Soon, he was at the center of a 10-month FBI sting -- one that eventually supplied Smadi with a fake bomb made to his exact specifications. Smadi then drove an SUV carrying the bomb into a parking garage under a 60-story Dallas skyscraper known as Fountain Place. When he got inside an undercover agent's car and attempted to set off the bomb by dialing a cell phone number, Smadi was arrested.

In 2010, Smadi pled guilty to attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He was sentenced to 24 years in prison in a courtroom just a few blocks from the building he'd once threatened to blow up [sources: FBI, Trahan].

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