The success of the Sept. 11 attacks quickly became a catalyst for other would-be terrorists. During a flight from Paris to Miami on December 22, 2001, London native Richard Reid attempted to detonate a bomb hidden inside his shoe. Discovered by a flight attendant, Reid was subdued by passengers before he could get the fuse to light. He was eventually sentenced to life in prison, where he continued to pledge his allegiance to Osama Bin Laden. Christmas Day 2009 saw another near-bombing. Would-be suicide attacker Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab boarded a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit and tried to ignite himself with plastic explosives hidden inside his underwear. After fellow passengers heard "popping sounds" and watched Abdulmatallab's plant leg catch fire, they extinguished the flames and restrained him. Following his arrest, Abdulmatallab claimed ties with al-Qaeda, confessing that the organization itself had planned the bombing.
Yet another bombing attempt was thwarted in May 2010, as police in New York City's Times Square discovered a Nissan Pathfinder smoking in the middle of the high-traffic tourist area. Though the device itself had already began to detonate, the bomb pieced together with propane, gasoline and fireworks proved faulty and did not explode. Pakistani immigrant Faisal Shahzad was later sentenced to life in prison for the attempted attack. A radical Muslim, Shahzad spoke to the federal courtroom after his sentencing. "We are only Muslims," he said. "But if you call us terrorists, we are proud terrorists and we will keep on terrorizing you."