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Homeland Security

Iyman Faris

Al-Qaeda Operative


Location of DetentionFlorence, Colorado, United States1
Date of CaptureMarch 2003
SupervisorKhalid Shaikh Mohammed
Alias(es)Mohammed Rauf2, Iyman Mohammed Rauf5
Alternate Spelling(s)Iyman Farris
Date of BirthJune 4, 19693
Place of BirthKashmir, Pakistan4
HistoryAttended training camp in postwar Afghanistan (1990-2001)2
Charged withConspiracy; providing material support to al-Qaeda
Charging authorityUnited States
In connection withAl-Qaeda targets Brooklyn Bridge and trains
Charges issuedSpring 2003
Case statusConvicted
ConvictionsConspiracy; providing material support to al-Qaeda
Sentence20 years imprisonment
Case resolvedMay 1, 2003
Narrative and Notes
  • Iyman Faris, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was a truck driver living in Columbus, Ohio, when a longtime friend invited him to Afghanistan.
  • In 2002, the friend, an al-Qaeda operative, introduced him to Osama bin Laden, and in 2002, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Mohammed tasked Faris to scout the Brooklyn Bridge as a target and acquire gas cutters to sever the suspension cables.
  • Faris visited the bridge in late 2002 and informed his al-Qaeda contact he did not believe the plot would work. He was detained a few months later.
  • U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons No. 46680-083. Projected release date Nov. 18, 2020.1
  • Time Magazine, citing unidentified Bush administration officials, said Faris worked as a double agent for a few months in mid-2003, sending messages to al-Qaeda from an FBI safe house. This may have mitigated his sentence somewhat.5
    1 U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons web site.
    2 U.S. Department of Justice, press release, Oct. 28, 2003.
    3 U.S. Department of Justice, press release, June 19, 2003.
    4 Unclear if born within boundaries of India or Pakistan.
    5 Eisenberg, Daniel. 'The Triple Life of a Qaeda Man.' Time: June 22, 2003.
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