The Heritage Foundation tracks Islamist terror plots and attacks since 9/11 and as the 14th anniversary of that fateful day approaches, it is important for Congress and the American people grasp the continuing threat of terrorism. To that end, Heritage has produced an interactive timeline for each Islamist terror plot against the U.S. homeland. As the number of terror plots has grown past 70, depicting the plots on a traditional timeline has also become increasingly cumbersome. Instead, this interactive timeline provides a succinct summary for each plot, supplementary media, and additional resources for further reading. This new timeline will be updated after each future plot or attack and existing content updated on a periodic basis.
As depicted by this timeline, the threat of terrorism is not receding. Congress should maintain a proactive approach to combatting terrorism, ensuring that law enforcement and intelligence organizations have access to legitimate investigative and surveillance tools. The need for effective counterterrorism operations, though, does not relieve the government of its obligation to follow the law and respect individual privacy and liberty. In the American system, the government must do both equally well. The U.S. should also support stronger action against Islamist terrorist groups abroad to combat those forces radicalizing individuals to attack the U.S.
The U.S. must remain vigilant and understand the threat it faces if it is to win this long war against terrorism and keep its citizens safe and free.