WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder and Assistant Attorney General for National Security Lisa Monaco honored attorneys and other personnel of the National Security Division on Wednesday who aided in the investigation of terror plots and the prosecution of terror suspects.

“Whether your efforts have made international headlines or remained classified, I want to ensure you that they are noticed,” Holder said. “It’s such an honor, joining you all today to celebrate what this division has achieved over the last year.”

The 2012 National Security Division Award recipients received the Assistant Attorney General Award for national security, which “recognizes highly significant and unique contributions toward the overall goal and mission of the National Security Division [of the Department of Justice] through outstanding actions and accomplishments.” Attorneys Matthew Blue and David Cora, Deputy Unit Chief for Counterterrorism Robert Lloyd and Attorney Advisor Charles Luftig each received the AAG Award for Excellence, the division’s most prestigious award.

Blue was a member of the prosecution in United States v. Hysen Sherifi, et al, in which Sherifi, 28, of Raleigh, N.C., was found guilty of nine counts involving conspiracy to commit a murder-for-hire targeting two FBI agents, a local police officer and three government informants. Sherifi will be sentenced next week and faces up to life in prison.

Cora, Lloyd and Luftig were recognized for their leadership in the investigation and prosecution of Khlaid Ali-M Aldawsari, 22, of Lubbock, Texas, a documented foreign student at South Plains College. Aldawsari was sentenced to life imprisonment in November 2012 after he was found guilty of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. He purchased chemicals and equipment necessary to assemble an improvised explosive device and researched potential targets including a former president of the U.S.