The United States has disrupted at least 10 terror plots by the al Qaeda network in the past four years, including plans to target westerners in Pakistan and attack the Heathrow Airport in UK.
President George W Bush mentioned the plots in a major speech before the National Endowment for Democracy on Thursday, details of which the White House released later.
Of the '10 serious al Qaeda terrorist plots' that he said have been disrupted since the September 11, 2001, attacks, three involved 'al Qaeda plots to attack inside the United States'.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan identified two of the three schemes to carry out attacks in the United States as previously alleged plots involving Jose Padilla, a Puerto Rican convert to Islam who was suspected of planning to detonate a radiological 'dirty bomb', and Iyman Faris, a naturalised US citizen who was allegedly recruited to destroy New York's Brooklyn Bridge.
Both men were arrested after being identified by captured al Qaeda commanders, and neither plot got beyond a reconnaissance stage. Some of the other plots are the West Coast Airliner Plot, in which the US disrupted a plot to attack targets on the West Coast of the United States using hijacked airplanes; the East Coast Airliner Plot of mid-2003 where US and a partner disrupted a plot to attack targets on the East Coast of the United States using hijacked commercial Airplanes.