1993 World Trade Center bombing

Last updated
1993 World Trade Center bombing
Part of terrorism in the United States
WTC 1993 ATF Commons.jpg
Underground damage after the bombing
Location World Trade Center
New York City, New York, U.S.
Coordinates 40°42′41″N74°00′43″W / 40.711452°N 74.011919°W / 40.711452; -74.011919 Coordinates: 40°42′41″N74°00′43″W / 40.711452°N 74.011919°W / 40.711452; -74.011919
DateFebruary 26, 1993;26 years ago (1993-02-26)
12:17:37 p.m. (UTC-05:00)
Target World Trade Center
Attack type
Truck bombing, mass murder
Deaths6
Injuries
1,042
Perpetrators Ramzi Yousef, Eyad Ismoil, and co-conspirators
Motive American foreign policy
U.S. support for Israel

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing was a terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, carried out on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 lb (606 kg) urea nitratehydrogen gas enhanced device [1] was intended to send the North Tower (Tower 1) crashing into the South Tower (Tower 2), bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people. [2] [3] It failed to do so but killed six people and injured over a thousand. [4]

Terrorism intentional violence, generally against civilians, for political purposes

Terrorism is, in the broadest sense, the use of intentional violence, generally against civilians, for political purposes. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence during peacetime or in context of war against non-combatants. The terms "terrorist" and "terrorism" originated during the French Revolution of the late 18th century but gained mainstream popularity in the 1970s in news reports and books covering the conflicts in Northern Ireland, the Basque Country and Palestine. The increased use of suicide attacks from the 1980s onwards was typified by the September 11 attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. in 2001.

One World Trade Center Main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City

One World Trade Center is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan, New York City. One WTC is the tallest building in the United States, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world. The supertall structure has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center, which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The new skyscraper stands on the northwest corner of the 16-acre (6.5 ha) World Trade Center site, on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center. The building is bounded by West Street to the west, Vesey Street to the north, Fulton Street to the south, and Washington Street to the east.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Contents

The attack was planned by a group of terrorists including Ramzi Yousef, Mahmud Abouhalima, Mohammad Salameh, Nidal A. Ayyad, Abdul Rahman Yasin, and Ahmed Ajaj. They received financing from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Yousef's uncle. [5] In March 1994, four men were convicted of carrying out the bombing: Abouhalima, Ajaj, Ayyad, and Salameh. The charges included conspiracy, explosive destruction of property, and interstate transportation of explosives. In November 1997, two more were convicted: Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind behind the bombings, and Eyad Ismoil, who drove the truck carrying the bomb.

Ramzi Yousef Terrorist convicted of 1993 World Trade Center bombing

Ramzi Yousef is a convicted and incarcerated international terrorist who was one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the bombing of Philippine Airlines Flight 434, and was a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot. In 1995, he was arrested by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and U.S. Diplomatic Security Service at a guest house in Islamabad, Pakistan, while trying to set a bomb in a baby doll, then extradited to the United States.

Mahmud Abouhalima Egyptian al-Qaeda member

Mahmud Abouhalima is a convicted perpetrator of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. His red hair earned him the nickname Mahmud the Red.

Abdul Rahman Yasin FBI Most wanted terrorist

Abdul Rahman Yasin is an Iraqi-American fugitive who helped make the bombs used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing attack. He has been characterized in the American media as "the only participant in the first attempt to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993 who was never caught." Yasin's whereabouts remain unknown.

Planning and organization

Ramzi Yousef spent time at an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, [6] before beginning in 1991 to plan a bombing attack within the United States. Yousef's uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who later was considered the principal architect of the September 11 attacks, gave him advice and tips over the phone, and funded his co-conspirator Mohammed Salameh with a US$660 wire transfer. [5]

Afghanistan A landlocked south-central Asian country

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east; Iran in the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan in the north; and in the far northeast, China. Much of its 652,000 square kilometers (252,000 sq mi) is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range at the western end of the Himalayas, separating the Amu Darya and Indus valleys. Kabul is the capital and largest city.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Most of the country is located contiguously in North America between Canada and Mexico.

September 11 attacks Attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001

The September 11 attacks were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,977 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people have died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.

Yousef arrived illegally in the United States on September 1, 1992, traveling with Ahmed Ajaj from Pakistan, though both sat apart on the flight and acted as though they were traveling separately. Ajaj tried to enter with a forged Swedish passport, though it had been altered and thus raised suspicions among INS officials at John F. Kennedy International Airport. When officials put Ajaj through secondary inspection, they discovered bomb-making instructions and other materials in his luggage, and arrested him. The name Abu Barra, an alias of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, appeared in the manuals. Yousef tried to enter with a false Iraqi passport, claiming political asylum. Yousef was allowed into the United States, and was given a hearing date. [7]

Ahmed Mohammad Ajaj was convicted of participating in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He is currently serving a 240-year sentence at USP Terre Haute in Terre for Haute, Indiana for his role in the bombing.

John F. Kennedy International Airport International airport in New York, United States

John F. Kennedy International Airport is the primary international airport serving New York City. Located in the borough of Queens, it is the busiest international air passenger gateway into North America, the 22nd-busiest airport in the world, the sixth-busiest airport in the United States, and the busiest airport in the New York airport system, having handled just over 59 million passengers in 2017. More than ninety airlines operate from the airport, with nonstop or direct flights to destinations in all six inhabited continents.

Mohammed Jamal Khalifa Saudi Arabian businessman

Mohammed Jamal Khalifa (1 February 1957 – 31 January 2007) was a Saudi businessman from Jeddah who married one of Osama bin Laden's sisters. He has been accused of funding terror plots and groups in the Philippines in the 1990s while head of the International Islamic Relief Organization branch there. He was murdered in Madagascar in 2007.

Yousef set up residence in Jersey City, New Jersey, traveled around New York and New Jersey and called Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a controversial blind Muslim cleric, via cell phone. After being introduced to his co-conspirators by Abdel Rahman at the latter's Al-Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn, Yousef began assembling the 1,500 lb (680 kg) urea nitratehydrogen gas enhanced device for delivery to the WTC. He ordered chemicals from his hospital room when injured in a car crash – one of three accidents caused by Salameh in late 1992 and early in 1993.

Jersey City, New Jersey City in Hudson County, New Jersey, U.S.

Jersey City is the second most populous city in the U.S. state of New Jersey, after Newark. It is the seat of Hudson County as well as the county's largest city. As of 2018, the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program calculated that Jersey City's population was 265,549, with the largest population increase of any municipality in New Jersey since 2010, an increase of about 9.4% from the 2010 United States Census, when the city's population was at 247,597, ranking the city the 78th-most-populous in the nation.

New York (state) American state

New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that formed the United States. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. In order to distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes referred to as New York State.

Brooklyn Borough in New York City and county in New York state, United States

Brooklyn is a borough of New York City, coterminous with Kings County, in the U.S. state of New York, the most populous county in the state, and the second-most densely populated county in the United States. It is New York City's most populous borough, with an estimated 2,504,700 residents in 2010. Named after the Dutch village of Breukelen, it borders the borough of Queens at the western end of Long Island. Brooklyn has several bridge and tunnel connections to the borough of Manhattan across the East River, and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge connects it with Staten Island.

El Sayyid Nosair, one of the blind sheikh's men, was arrested in 1991 for the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane. According to prosecutors, "the Red" Mahmud Abouhalima, also convicted in the bombing, told Wadih el Hage to buy the .357 caliber revolver used by Nosair in the Kahane shooting. In the initial court case in NYS Criminal Court Nosair was acquitted of murder but convicted of gun charges (in a related and follow-up case in Federal Court, he was convicted). Dozens of Arabic bomb-making manuals and documents related to terrorist plots were found in Nosair's New Jersey apartment, with manuals from Army Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, secret memos linked to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and 1,440 rounds of ammunition. (Lance 2004 26)

El Sayyid Nosair is an Egyptian-born American citizen, convicted of involvement in the 1993 New York City landmark bomb plot. He had earlier been tried for, but acquitted of, the 1990 New York City assassination of Meir Kahane, a Jewish religious figure and far-right Israeli politician. He later admitted to have committed this assassination as well.

In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. The basic form of the rabbi developed in the Pharisaic and Talmudic era, when learned teachers assembled to codify Judaism's written and oral laws. The first sage for whom the Mishnah uses the title of rabbi was Yohanan ben Zakkai, active in the early-to-mid first century CE. In more recent centuries, the duties of a rabbi became increasingly influenced by the duties of the Protestant Christian minister, hence the title "pulpit rabbis", and in 19th-century Germany and the United States rabbinic activities including sermons, pastoral counseling, and representing the community to the outside, all increased in importance.

Meir Kahane American/Israeli political activist and rabbi

Meir David HaKohen Kahane was an Israeli-American ordained Orthodox rabbi, writer, and ultra-nationalist politician who served one term in Israel's Knesset. His work influenced most modern Jewish militant and far-right Zionist groups.


According to the transcript of his trial, Yousef hoped that his explosion would topple Tower 1 which would fall into Tower 2, killing the occupants of both buildings, which he estimated to be about 250,000 people [8] in vengeance for U.S. support for Israel against Palestine. [9]

According to the journalist Steve Coll, Yousef mailed letters to various New York newspapers just before the attack, in which he claimed he belonged to "Liberation Army, Fifth Battalion". [10]

These letters made three demands: an end to all US aid to Israel, an end to US diplomatic relations with Israel, and a pledge by the United States to end interference "with any of the Middle East countries' interior affairs." He stated that the attack on the World Trade Center would be merely the first of such attacks if his demands were not met. In his letters, Yousef admitted that the World Trade Center bombing was an act of terrorism, but this was justified because "the terrorism that Israel practices (which America supports) must be faced with a similar one."[ citation needed ] Yousef did not make any religious justification for the bombing. When asked about his religious views, he was evasive. [11]

Attack

Image of the procession of rescue vehicles responding to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. One World Trade Center is on the far right of the frame. 1993 World Trade Center Bombing by Eric Ascalon WTC5.jpg
Image of the procession of rescue vehicles responding to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. One World Trade Center is on the far right of the frame.
Depiction of blast damage WTC1993 BlastDamage.png
Depiction of blast damage

On Friday, February 26, 1993, Ramzi Yousef and a Jordanian friend, Eyad Ismoil, drove a yellow Ryder van into Lower Manhattan, and pulled into the public parking garage beneath the World Trade Center around noon. They parked on the underground B-2 level. Yousef ignited the 20-foot fuse, and fled. Twelve minutes later, at 12:17:37 p.m., the bomb exploded in the underground garage, generating an estimated pressure of 150,000 psi. [12] The bomb opened a 100-ft (30-m) wide hole through four sublevels of concrete. The detonation velocity of this bomb was about 15,000 ft/s (4.5 km/s), or 10,066.2133 mph. Initial news reports indicated a main transformer might have blown, before it became clear that a bomb had exploded in the basement.

The bomb instantly cut off the World Trade Center's main electrical power line, knocking out the emergency lighting system. The bomb caused smoke to rise to the 93rd floor of both towers, including through the stairwells which were not pressurized, and smoke went up the damaged elevators in the World Trade Center Towers 1 & 2. [13] With thick smoke filling the stairwells, evacuation was difficult for building occupants and led to many smoke inhalation injuries. Hundreds were trapped in elevators in the towers when the power was cut, including a group of 17 kindergartners, on their way down from the South Tower observation deck, who were trapped between the 35th and 36th floors for five hours. [14] [15]

Six people were killed, five Port Authority employees and a businessman whose car was in the parking garage. Additionally, 1,042 people were injured, most during the evacuation that followed the blast. [16] A report from the US Fire Administration states that, "Among the scores of people who fled to the roofs of the towers, 28 with medical problems were airlifted by New York City police helicopters". [17] It is known that 15 people received traumatic injury from the blast and 20 complained of cardiac problems. One firefighter was hospitalized, while 87 others, 35 police officers, and an EMS worker were also injured in dealing with the fires and other aftermath. [17]

Also as a result of the loss of power most of New York City's radio and television stations lost their over-the-air broadcast signal for almost a week, with television stations only being able to broadcast via cable and satellite via a microwave hookup between the stations and three of the New York area's largest cable companies, Cablevision, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable. Telephone service for much of Lower Manhattan was also disrupted.

Yousef's plan was that the North Tower would fall onto the South Tower, collapsing them both. The tower did not collapse, but the garage was severely damaged in the explosion. Had the van been parked closer to the WTC's poured concrete foundations, Yousef's plan might have succeeded. [18] Yousef escaped to Pakistan several hours after the bombing.

Bomb characteristics

Yousef was assisted by Iraqi bomb maker Abdul Rahman Yasin, who helped assemble the complex 1,310-pound (590 kg) bomb, which was made of a urea nitrate main charge with aluminum, magnesium and ferric oxide particles surrounding the explosive. The charge used nitroglycerine, ammonium nitrate dynamite, smokeless powder and fuse as booster explosives. [19] Three tanks of bottled hydrogen were also placed in a circular configuration around the main charge, to enhance the fireball and afterburn of the solid metal particles. [20] The use of compressed gas cylinders in this type of attack closely resembles the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing 10 years earlier. Both of these attacks used compressed gas cylinders to create fuel-air and thermobaric bombs [21] that release more energy than conventional high explosives. According to testimony in the bomb trial, only once before the 1993 attack had the FBI recorded a bomb that used urea nitrate. [22] [23] [24] The Ryder van used in the bombing had 295 cubic feet (8.4 m3) of space, which would hold up to 2,000 pounds (910 kg) of explosives. However, the van was not filled to capacity. Yousef used four 20 ft (6 m) long fuses, all covered in surgical tubing. Yasin calculated that the fuse would trigger the bomb in twelve minutes after he had used a cigarette lighter to light the fuse.

Yousef wanted the smoke to remain in the tower, smothering people inside, killing them slowly. He anticipated Tower One collapsing onto Tower Two after the blast.

There was a popular belief at the time that there was cyanide in the bomb, which was reinforced by Judge Duffy's statement at sentencing, "You had sodium cyanide around, and I'm sure it was in the bomb." However, while the bomb's true composition was not able to be ascertained from the crime scene, Robert Blitzer, a senior FBI official who worked on the case, stated that there was "no forensic evidence indicating the presence of sodium cyanide at the bomb site." Furthermore, Yousef is said only to have considered adding cyanide to the bomb, and to have regretted not doing so in Peter Lance's book 1000 Years for Revenge.

Investigation

Though the cause of the blast was not immediately known, with some suspecting a transformer explosion, agents and bomb technicians from the ATF, FBI, and the NYPD quickly responded to the scene. The magnitude of the explosion was far beyond that of a transformer explosion and the FBI Laboratory Division technician, David Williams, who took charge of the crime scene, claimed to know prior to scientific testing the nature and size of the bomb which other lab specialists such as Stephen Burmeister and Frederic Whitehurst contradicted and later challenged with embarrassing consequences for the FBI Laboratory. [25] In the days after the bombing, investigators surveyed the damage and looked for clues. About 300 FBI agents were deployed under the codename TRADEBOM. [26] While combing through the rubble in the underground parking area, a bomb technician located some internal component fragments from the vehicle that delivered the bomb. A vehicle identification number (VIN), found on a piece from an axle, gave investigators crucial information that led them to a Ryder truck rental outlet in Jersey City. Investigators determined that the vehicle had been rented by Mohammed A. Salameh, one of Yousef's co-conspirators. [27] Salameh had reported the van stolen, and when he returned on March 4, 1993, to get his deposit back, authorities arrested him. [28]

Salameh's arrest led police to the apartment of Abdul Rahman Yasin in Jersey City, New Jersey, which Yasin was sharing with his mother, in the same building as Ramzi Yousef's apartment. Yasin was taken to the FBI's Newark field office in Newark, New Jersey, and was then released. The next day, he flew back to Iraq, via Amman, Jordan. Yasin was later indicted for the attack, and in 2001 he was placed on the initial list of the FBI Most Wanted Terrorists, on which he remains today. He disappeared before the U.S. coalition invasion, Operation Iraqi Freedom, in 2003. In March 1994, Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Mahmud Abouhalima and Ahmad Ajaj were each convicted in the World Trade Center bombing. In May 1994, they were sentenced to life imprisonment. [29]

The capture of Salameh and Yasin led authorities to Ramzi Yousef's apartment, where they found bomb-making materials and a business card from Mohammed Jamal Khalifa. Khalifa was arrested on December 14, 1994, and was deported to Jordan by the INS on May 5, 1995. He was acquitted by a Jordanian court and lived as a free man in Saudi Arabia until he was killed in 2007. [30] In 2002, it was made public that Yasin, the only person involved in the bombing who was never convicted by US authorities, [31] was being held as a prisoner on the outskirts of Baghdad, Iraq since 1994. [31] When journalist Leslie Stahl interviewed him there for a segment on 60 Minutes on May 23, 2002 [31] Yasin appeared in prison pyjamas and handcuffs. [31] Yasin has not been seen or heard from since the interview. He was not located during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

None of the U.S. government's indictments against former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden suggested that he had any connection with this bombing. [32]

Aftermath

Victims

The names of the six victims, and the mention of an unborn child, of the attack are inscribed in panel N-73 of the North Pool at the 9/11 Memorial, where the North Tower formerly stood. 4.28.12Feb93BombingPanelN-73ByLuigiNovi2.jpg
The names of the six victims, and the mention of an unborn child, of the attack are inscribed in panel N-73 of the North Pool at the 9/11 Memorial, where the North Tower formerly stood.

The bombing claimed the following six victims:

At the time of the bombing, Smith was checking time sheets in her office on the B-2 level, Kirkpatrick, Knapp and Macko were eating lunch together in an employees' break room next to Smith's office, Mercado was checking in deliveries for the restaurant, and DiGiovanni was parking in the underground garage. [33]

Memorial Fountain

A granite memorial fountain honoring the victims of the bombing was designed by Elyn Zimmerman and dedicated in 1995 on Austin J. Tobin Plaza, directly above the site of the explosion. It contained the names of the six adults who were killed in the attack as well as an inscription that read:

"On February 26, 1993, a bomb set by terrorists exploded below this site. This horrible act of violence killed innocent people, injured thousands, and made victims of us all." [34]

The fountain was destroyed with the rest of the World Trade Center during the September 11 attacks. A recovered fragment from the 1993 bombing memorial with the text "John D", from bombing victim John DiGiovanni, was later incorporated into a temporary memorial designed by Port Authority architect Jacqueline Hanley, and erected on the Liberty Street side of the site following the September 11 attacks. The memorial was visible across a fence barrier but was not open to the public. [35]

At the 9/11 Memorial, which opened on the tenth anniversary of the 2001 attacks, the six adult victims of the 1993 bombing are memorialized at the North Pool, on Panel N-73. [36] The recovered fragment of the memorial fountain is on display among other artifacts [37] related to the bombing inside the museum's historical exhibition.

Stephen Knapp's name is on the Postcards memorial in Staten Island, as the sole victim from the borough involved in the bombing.

FBI involvement

In the course of the trial it was revealed that the FBI had an informant, a former Egyptian army officer named Emad Salem. Salem claims to have informed the FBI of the plot to build a bomb that would eventually be used in the World Trade Center towers as early as February 6, 1992. Salem's role as informant allowed the FBI to quickly pinpoint the conspirators out of hundreds of possible suspects. The transcripts do not make clear the extent to which Federal Authorities knew that there was a plan to bomb the World Trade Center, merely that a bombing of some sort was being discussed.

Salem claimed that the FBI's plan was for Salem to supply the conspirators with a harmless powder instead of actual explosive to build their bomb, but that the FBI chose to use him for other purposes instead. He secretly recorded hundreds of hours of telephone conversations with his FBI handlers. [38]

U.S. Diplomatic Security Service involvement

Aftermath of the bombing, photographed by DSS agents 1993 Bombing Aftermath in WTC by DSS Agent.png
Aftermath of the bombing, photographed by DSS agents

Although the FBI received the credit, Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) special agents actually found and arrested Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Special Agents Bill Miller and Jeff Riner were given a tip by an associate of Ramzi Yousef about his location. In coordination with the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), DSS arrested Ramzi Yousef. [39] After his arrest, Ramzi Yousef is alleged to have said to investigators "this is only the beginning."

Allegations of Iraqi involvement

In October 2001 in a PBS interview, former CIA Director James Woolsey claimed that Ramzi Yousef worked for Iraqi intelligence. [40] He suggested the grand jury investigation turned up evidence pointing to Iraq that the Justice Department "brushed aside." But Neil Herman, who headed the FBI investigation, noted "The one glaring connection that can't be overlooked is Yasin. We pursued that on every level, traced him to a relative and a location, and we made overtures to get him back." However, Herman says that Yasin's presence in Baghdad does not mean Iraq sponsored the attack: "We looked at that rather extensively. There were no ties to the Iraqi government." CNN terrorism reporter Peter L. Bergen writes, "In sum, by the mid-'90s, the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York, the F.B.I., the U.S. Attorney's office in the Southern District of New York, the C.I.A., the N.S.C., and the State Department had all found no evidence implicating the Iraqi government in the first Trade Center attack." [41]

Claims of direct Iraqi involvement come from Dr. Laurie Mylroie of the American Enterprise Institute and former associate professor of the U.S. Naval War College, with the claims rejected by others. CNN reporter Peter Bergen has called her a "crackpot" who claimed that "Saddam was not only behind the '93 Trade Center attack, but also every anti-American terrorist incident of the past decade, from the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania to the leveling of the federal building in Oklahoma City bombing to September 11 itself." [41] Daniel Benjamin, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, writes: "The most knowledgeable analysts and investigators at the CIA and at the FBI believe that their work conclusively disproves Mylroie's claims." [42] Dr. Robert Leiken of the Nixon Center comments on the lack of evidence in her work: "Laurie has discovered Saddam's hand in every major attack on US interests since the Persian Gulf War, including U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania and even the federal building in Oklahoma City. These allegations have all been definitively refuted by the FBI, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and other investigatory bodies...." [43]

In March 2008, the Pentagon released its study of some 600,000 documents captured in Iraq after the 2003 invasion (see 2008 Pentagon Report). The study "found no 'smoking gun' (i.e., direct connection) between Saddam's Iraq and al Qaeda." [44] Among the documents released by the Pentagon was a captured audio file of Saddam Hussein speculating that the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center had been carried out by Israel or American intelligence, or perhaps a Saudi or Egyptian faction. Saddam said that he did not trust the bomber Yasin, who was in Iraqi custody, because his testimony was too "organized." The Pentagon study found that Yasin "was a prisoner, and not a guest, in Iraq." [45] Mylroie denied that this was proof of Saddam's non-involvement, claiming that "one common purpose of such meetings was to develop cover stories for whatever Iraq sought to conceal." [46]

Improved security

In the wake of the bombing and the chaotic evacuation which followed, the World Trade Center and many of the firms inside of it revamped emergency procedures, particularly with regard to evacuation of the towers. The New York Port Authority was to govern as the main security for the World Trade buildings. All packages were scanned at various checkpoints then sent up to the proper addressee. These policies played a role in evacuating the building during the September 11 attacks, which destroyed the towers.

Free access to the roofs, which had enabled evacuation by police helicopter in the 1993 bombing, was ended soon after.[ citation needed ]

The victims of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings sued the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for damages. A decision was handed down in 2005, assigning liability for the bombings to the Port Authority. [47] The decision declared that the agency was 68 percent responsible for the bombing, and the terrorists bore only 32 percent of the responsibility. In January 2008, the Port Authority asked a five-judge panel of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan to throw out the decision, describing the jury's verdict as "bizarre". [48] On April 29, 2008, a New York State Appeals Court unanimously upheld the jury's verdict. Under New York law once a defendant is more than 50 percent at fault, he/she/it can be held fully financially liable. [49] On September 22, 2011, the New York Court of Appeals, in a four to three ruling, excluded the Port Authority from claims of negligence related to the 1993 bombing. [50]

It has been argued that the problem with the apportionment of responsibility in the case is not the jury's verdict, but rather New York's tort-reform-produced state apportionment law. Traditionally, courts do not compare intentional and negligent fault. The Restatement Third of Torts: Apportionment of Liability recommends a rule to prevent juries from having to make comparisons like the terrorist-Port Authority comparison in this case. However, if a jurisdiction does compare these intentional and negligent torts, courts' second-best position is to do what the NYS Appeals Court did—to uphold all jury apportionments, even those that assign greater, or perhaps far greater, responsibility to negligent than intentional parties. [51]

See also

Related Research Articles

John P. ONeill American counter-terrorism expert

John Patrick O'Neill was an American counter-terrorism expert, who worked as a special agent and eventually a Special Agent in Charge in the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In 1995, O'Neill began to intensely study the roots of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing after he assisted in the capture of Ramzi Yousef, who was the leader of that plot.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed militant who was allegedly a member of Osama bin Ladens al-Qaeda

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is a Pakistani Islamist militant held by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp under terrorism-related charges. He was named as "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks" in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Abdul Hakim Ali Hashim Murad born January 4, 1968) is an Islamic terrorist, who was a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot—the forerunner to the September 11 attacks. In 1996, he was convicted in the United States of trying to blow up a dozen airliners and was sentenced to life in prison.

Laurie Mylroie is an American author and analyst who has written extensively on Iraq and the War on Terror. The National Interest first published this work in an article entitled, "The World Trade Center Bombing: Who is Ramzi Yousef? And Why it Matters." In her book Study of Revenge (2000), Mylroie laid out her argument that the Iraqi regime under Saddam Hussein had sponsored the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and subsequent terrorist attacks. She claimed those attacks were part of an ongoing war that Saddam waged against America following the cease-fire to the 1991 Gulf War. Less than a year after her book was published, the September 11 attacks occurred. Mylroie subsequently adopted the view that Saddam had been responsible for the attacks, defending it on many occasions, including before the 9/11 Commission.

Mohammed A. Salameh is a convicted perpetrator of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He is currently an inmate at ADX Florence in Florence, Colorado.

Emad A. Salem is an FBI informant, who was a key witness in the trial of Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad, and Wali Khan Amin Shah, convicted in the World Trade Center bombing of February 26, 1993.

Mehdat Abdul Salam Shabana was a member of the board of directors, during the mid-1990s, of the now defunct Konsojaya Trading Company, a terrorist front organization based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He owned half of the company's 6,000 shares. Konsojaya was a shell company cofounded by Riduan Isamuddin, better known as "Hambali", in June 1994. As of January 2002, Shabana's whereabouts were still unknown.

Eyad Ismoil, also transliterated as Eyad Ismail, is a Jordanian citizen who, for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was convicted by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York of conspiracy in 1997.

Casualties of the September 11 attacks Wikimedia list article

During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,977 victims and 19 hijackers were killed and more than 6,000 others were injured. The immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes, 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon. The attacks were the deadliest terrorist act in world history, and the most devastating foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

Urban terrorism is the targeted use of terrorism in urban populations in order to cause the most harm, injury, death, or property damage. Since urban areas have significantly higher population densities than rural areas, targeting those areas can maximize the effect of the terrorist attack.

<i>The Third Terrorist</i> book by Jayna Davis

The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing is a book by journalist Jayna Davis about evidence of an alleged conspiracy behind the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The Justice Department initially sought, but then abandoned its search for, a Middle East suspect. The book was published in April 2004 by Nelson Current Publishers, and became a New York Times best-seller. In contrast to conspiracy theories that the bombing was a false flag attack perpetrated by elements of the US government, the book presents a theory that links the Oklahoma City bombers to agents of Iraq and Al-Qaeda, operating under Iranian state sponsorship.

Two weeks after the September 11 attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation connected the hijackers to al-Qaeda, a global, decentralized terrorist network. In a number of video, audio, interview and printed statements, senior members of al-Qaeda have also asserted responsibility for organizing the September 11 attacks. It is believed that Osama bin Laden, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Mohammed Atef were the ones who plotted the attacks after meeting together in 1999. It is also believed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was the one who planned the attacks and that Atef was the one who organized the hijackers.

Peter Lance Media journalist and author

Peter Lance is an American journalist and author. He is a five-time winner of the News & Documentary Emmy Award, the recipient of a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award, and other accolades detailed below. In April 2010, Lance was appointed Research Scholar at The Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

World Trade Center (1973–2001) Former skyscraper complex in Manhattan, New York

The original World Trade Center was a large complex of seven buildings in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. It opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. At the time of their completion, the Twin Towers — the original 1 World Trade Center, at 1,368 feet (417 m); and 2 World Trade Center, at 1,362 feet (415.1 m)—were the tallest buildings in the world. Other buildings in the complex included the Marriott World Trade Center, 4 WTC, 5 WTC, 6 WTC, and 7 WTC. The complex contained 13,400,000 square feet (1,240,000 m2) of office space.

Ahmed Hikmat Shakir is an Iraqi terrorist facilitator implicated in the September 11 attacks. While based in Malaysia, Shakir served as an al-Qaeda “fixer” and provided logistical support in the planning of the attacks on the USS Cole, the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and other terrorist attacks. Shakir was arrested in Qatar days after the 9/11 attacks, but was subsequently released and ultimately returned to Iraq.

References

Notes

  1. Whitlock, Craig (July 5, 2005). "Homemade, Cheap and dangerous – Terror Cells Favor from Simple Ingredients In Building Bombs". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on October 6, 2008. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  2. Childers, J. Gilmore; Henry J. DePippo (February 24, 1998). "Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings: Foreign Terrorists in America: Five Years After the World Trade Center". US Senate Judiciary Committee. Archived from the original on December 27, 2007. Retrieved January 8, 2008.
  3. Wright, Lawrence, Looming Tower, Knopf, (2006) p. 178.
  4. "FBI 100 First Strike: Global Terror in America". FBI.gov. Archived from the original on September 3, 2011. Retrieved September 8, 2011.
  5. 1 2 "Khalid Sheikh Mohammed". GlobalSecurity.org. Archived from the original on October 21, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  6. Wright (2006), Chapter 9.
  7. "Foreign Terrorists in America". 1998 Congressional Hearings – Intelligence and Security. Federation of American Scientists. February 24, 1998. Archived from the original on January 12, 2009. Retrieved October 27, 2008.
  8. Glanz, James; Lipton, Eric (January 21, 2014). City in the Sky: The Rise and Fall of the World Trade Center. Times Books. ISBN   9781466863071. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  9. Wright, Lawrence (August 8, 2006). The Looming Tower. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 178. ISBN   9780307266088. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  10. Coll, Steve (2004). Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. The Penguin Press HC. ISBN   1-59420-007-6.
  11. Parachini, John V. (September 16, 2001). "Religion Isn't Sole Motive of Terror". www.rand.org. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  12. Reeve (1999), p. 10.
  13. Barbanel, Josh (February 27, 1993). "Tougher Code May Not Have Helped". The New York Times. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  14. Mathews, Tom (March 8, 1993). "A Shaken City's Towering Inferno". Newsweek. Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  15. Stone, Andrea (March 1, 1993). "A major calamity, a lot of fear". USA Today.
  16. Reeve (1999), p. 15.
  17. 1 2 "The World Trade Center Bombing: Report and Analysis" (PDF). US Fire Administration, DHS. February 1993. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 16, 2011. Retrieved October 25, 2011.
  18. "An Icon Destroyed". MSNBC. 2003. Archived from the original on March 16, 2005.
  19. "Abdul Rahman Yasin". Most Wanted Terrorists. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Archived from the original on October 14, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  20. "Foreign Terrorists In America". Federation of American Scientists. Archived from the original on January 12, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  21. Paul Rogers(2000) Politics in the Next 50 Years: The Changing Nature of International Conflict Archived March 29, 2009, at the Wayback Machine .
  22. "Urea nitrate rarely used as explosive". Archived from the original on June 30, 2006. Retrieved June 2, 2006.
  23. Alternate link: If you get a 403 server error, try this link Archived August 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine and then click on the link for "Page 16335".
  24. Frederic Whitehurst, FBI Lab Whistleblower Testifying at the World Trade Center Bombing Trial August 14, 1995 Archived July 30, 2016, at the Wayback Machine Archived August 7, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  25. Newton, Michael. (2003). The FBI encyclopedia. Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co. p. 376. ISBN   9780786417186.
  26. Poveda, Tony; Powers, Richard; Rosenfeld, Susan; Theoharis, Athan G. (1999). The FBI: A Comprehensive Reference Guide. Greenwood. p. 94. ISBN   978-0897749916.
  27. Reeve (1999), pp. 27–32.
  28. Reeve (1999), pp. 32–26.
  29. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. "Gems, al-Qaida and murder. Mystery over killing of Osama Bin Laden's friend". The Guardian. Archived from the original on February 8, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  31. 1 2 3 4 60 Minutes (May 31, 2002). "60 Minutes: The Man Who Got Away". 60 Minutes. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
  32. "FBI — USAMA BIN LADEN". FBI. Archived from the original on May 26, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  33. "1993 WTC Bombing Victims". Archived from the original on February 19, 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  34. "9/11 Living Memorial - 1993 WTC Bombing - Memorials". Voices of September 11. Archived from the original on July 20, 2012. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  35. "WTC Memorial for '93 victims unveiled". Downtown Express. 2005. Archived from the original on April 9, 2009. Retrieved September 9, 2009.
  36. "North Pool: Panel N-73". National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Archived from the original on July 27, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
  37. "1993 World Trade Center Bombing Artifacts". Archived from the original on January 31, 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  38. Blumenthal, Ralph (October 28, 1993). "Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast". The New York Times. p. Section A, Page 1, Column 4. Archived from the original on February 1, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  39. Katz, Samuel M. "Relentless Pursuit: The DSS and the manhunt for the al-Qaeda terrorists", 2002.
  40. "Interviews: R. James Woolsey". Frontline: Gunning for Saddam. PBS. November 8, 2001. Archived from the original on October 29, 2008. Retrieved October 16, 2008.
  41. 1 2 Bergen, Peter (December 2003). "Armchair Provocateur". Washington Monthly. Archived from the original on November 1, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  42. Benjamin, Daniel and Steven Simon (2005). The Next Attack. Times Books. p. 145. ISBN   0-8050-7941-6.
  43. Glazov, Jamie (February 11, 2005). "Symposium: The Saddam-Osama Connection: Part II". FrontPage Magazine . Archived from the original on July 30, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  44. Woods, Kevin M. and James Lacey (November 2007). "Saddam and Terrorism: Emerging Insights from Captured Iraqi Documents – Executive Summary; Volume 1" (PDF). Institute for Defense Analysis / Federation of American Scientists. pp. 16, 18, 51. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 31, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  45. Eli Lake, Report Details Saddam's Terrorist Ties Archived June 18, 2008, at the Wayback Machine , New York Sun, March 14, 2008.
  46. Laurie Mylroie, More To Uncover on Saddam Archived November 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine , New York Sun, April 2, 2008.
  47. Hartocollis, Anemona (October 27, 2005). "Port Authority Found Negligent in 1993 Bombing". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 1, 2017. Retrieved August 23, 2017.
  48. Hartocollis, Anemona (January 14, 2008). "Blame for 1993 Attack at Center Is Still at Issue". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 9, 2008. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  49. Hartocollis, Anemona (April 30, 2008). " "Port Authority Liable in 1993 Trade Center Attack". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 18, 2019. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  50. "1993 World Trade Center Bombing Fast Facts". CNN. November 5, 2013. Archived from the original on September 27, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  51. Ellen M. Bublick, Upside Down? Terrorists, Proprietors and Responsibility for Criminal Harm in the Post-9/11 Tort-Reform World Archived April 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine .

Sources