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New York, terror trial capital of the US

New York's federal courts have seen many major terrorist trials since the early 1990s, several involving Al Qaeda-linked operatives.

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Lebanese-born Swedish citizen Oussama Kassir was arrested in Prague in 2005 on a warrant filed by US prosecutors for plotting to set up a jihadist training camp in Oregon and operating websites with instructions on how to make bombs. In May 2009, he was found guilty in a New York court of 11 charges, including providing material support to Al Qaeda and distributing information on explosives and weapons of mass destruction, and later sentenced to life in prison.

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2009-ongoing: New York synagogue bomb plot

Four men were arrested in the Bronx in May 20, 2009 after allegedly plotting to detonate bombs near a synagogue, and to shoot Stinger surface-to-air missiles at Air National Guard aircraft at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. Fake bombs and missiles were provided by a government informant. On June 2, 2009, James Cromitie, Onta Williams, David Williams, and Laguerre Payen were charged in an eight-count indictment, and are awaiting trial.

2010: Denver/NYC bomb plot

Denver resident Najibullah Zazi was arrested on September 20, 2009, on suspicion of associating with Al Qaeda and planning to carry out a terrorist attack in New York. Subsequently, his father, Mohammed Wali Zazi, and his imam Ahmad Wais Afzali were also arrested. Najibullah Zazi is currently in the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn awaiting trial.

2010: Fourth suspect in East Africa American embassy bombings

Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a Tanzanian national, is scheduled to be tried in September 2010 for his alleged role in the US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998. US Attorney General Eric Holder has issued a letter directing the US attorney's office not to seek the death penalty. Indicted on 286 charges, including conspiring with Al Qaeda, he was captured in Pakistan and detained at Guantánamo Bay. He was transferred in June 2009 to New York to stand trial.

Sources: Anti-Defamation League, FBI.gov, Findlaw.gov, 9-11commission.gov, Middle East Quarterly, Department of Justice, news and wire reports.

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