Plotter of Attacks on U.S. Financial Targets Wanted to Kill Thousands

The terror mastermind who had planned to attack financial targets in the U.S. will be sentenced in London tomorrow for plotting to kill thousands of people in numerous terrorist plots. Dhiren Barot pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit mass murder and faces a life sentence.

It was mid-summer 2004 when ABC News first disclosed that federal authorities had learned of an al Qaeda plot to attack financial targets in New York and Washington, D.C. The following day, the terror alert in New York City, New Jersey and Washington, D.C., was raised to orange.

According to U.S. law enforcement officials, al Qaeda had targeted a number of important financial buildings, including the Citigroup buildings and New York Stock Exchange in New York City, the Prudential Financial building in northern New Jersey and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank buildings in Washington, D.C.


ABC News also reported that the intelligence was obtained following the seizure in Pakistan of a computer that contained highly detailed surveillance reports prepared by al Qaeda operatives casing the targets, both outside and inside, morning, noon and night.

The surveillance seemed so detailed that the FBI at the time decided to investigate the possibility of an inside job.

Barot is suspected of writing those surveillance descriptions and of, possibly, taking videos or pictures of his targets. His surveillance documents could be released by the British court as early as today.

He was arrested in the U.K. later that summer, and British prosecutors say he also planned attacks there on London hotels and mass transportation.

Barot's sentencing hearing began today and will likely conclude tomorrow.

Click here to view the evidence against Barot presented in court.

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