Homeland Security

Iyman Faris

Al-Qaeda Operative


Importance Low
Location of Detention Florence, Colorado, United States1
Date of Capture March 2003
Affiliation Al-Qaeda
Role Operative
Supervisor Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Nationality American
Nationality Pakistani
Alias(es) Mohammed Rauf2, Iyman Mohammed Rauf5
Alternate Spelling(s) Iyman Farris
Date of Birth June 4, 19693
Place of Birth Kashmir, Pakistan4
Gender Male
History Attended training camp in postwar Afghanistan (1990-2001)2
Charged with Conspiracy; providing material support to al-Qaeda
Charging authority United States
In connection with Al-Qaeda targets Brooklyn Bridge and trains
Charges issued Spring 2003
Case status Convicted
Convictions Conspiracy; providing material support to al-Qaeda
Sentence 20 years imprisonment
Case resolved May 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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