The name of the man who led the bombers and organized the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing was Ramzi Yousef who stated that the reason for the bombing was to avenge the sufferings Palestinian people had endured at the hands of U.S.-aided Israel. The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing marked the beginning of a string of threats and terror attacks against the United States made by both foreign and domestic terrorists that led up to the second bombing of the Twin Towers during the series of 9/11 terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Facts about 1993 World Trade Center Bombing
The World Trade Center was a highly visible symbol in skyline of New York city, its tallest buildings and an American icon that represented the dominance of USA in world economy.
On February 26, 1993, at 12:18 p.m. a small cell of terrorists, led by Ramzi Yousef, detonated about 1,200 pounds of explosives in a rental van in the underground parking garage at the World Trade Center.
Ramzi Yousef was born to Pakistani-Palestinian parents in Kuwait and entered the United States on an Iraqi passport on September 1, 1992.
Ramzi Yousef went to stay at the apartment of Musab Yasin, an Iraqi living in Jersey City and before long had made close ties with other fundamentalists who were recruited to the World Trade Center Bombing plot.
The group of terrorists involved in the World Trade Center Bombing attack included including Ramzi Yousef (Kuwaiti), Mahmud Abouhalima (Egyptian), Mohammad Salameh (Palestinian), Nidal A. Ayyad (Kuwaiti), Eyad Ismoil (Palestinian), Abdul Rahman Yasin (aka the "Blind Sheik", Iraqi) and Ahmed Ajaj (Palestinian)
The small cell of terrorists were given support and the necessary financial backing for the World Trade Center Bombing by Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, the uncle of Ramzi Yousef. Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, (aka KSM), later became the military head of Osama bin Ladenís al Qaeda network and the mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks.
The Plan: Ramzi Yousef's plan was for the bomb to collapse the 110-storey North Tower skyscraper building at the World Trade Center complex and for debris from the North tower (1WTC) to knock over the South Tower (2WTC). The twin towers were massive, each weighing more than 250,000 tons, containing 99 elevators and 21,800 windows. His goal was to kill tens of thousands of people.
Members of the terrorist cell used bomb-making manuals from Pakistan to construct the bomb and began to assemble the chemicals, tools and wiring needed to make the bomb
The Bomb: Urea nitrate, a fertilizer-based high explosive, was used as a detonating device, was used as the bombís base and cylinders of hydrogen were used to increase the magnitude of the explosion. Although Urea nitrate is a severe explosion hazard it is stable until detonated.
The Bomb: The explosive was surrounded by magnesium, aluminum and ferric oxide particles. Three tanks of bottled hydrogen were placed in a circular configuration around the main explosive, to enhance the fireball of the solid metal particles.
The Bomb: The bomb's true composition was never fully ascertained but it is believed that there was cyanide in the bomb. This cyanide theory was reinforced by experts including the including the sentencing judge, Judge Kevin Duffy, who said in his sentencing statement said, "You had sodium cyanide around, and Iím sure it was in the bomb."
On February 26, 1993 the bombers loaded their lethal devices into a a yellow Ford Econoline rental van obtained from a Ryder rental center in New Jersey.
Ramzi Yousef and Eyad Ismoil parked the van at the B2 sub level of the public parking garage beneath the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York. Ramzi Yousef ignited the 20-foot fuse which gave the terrorists 12 minutes to get out of the building.
The bomb at the World Trade Center Bombing exploded at 12:18 p.m. The explosion destroyed the 15 ft long, 1.5 in thick steel cross bracing, cracking the adjacent column, and bowing the bracing on the other side of the column. Without the bracing and column supports, the concrete floors on the B1 level, and the floor under the car (B2 level) collapsed.
The scene of the bombing was chaotic, numerous cars were crushed and in flames, walls and ceilings collapsed and the pipes containing electrical wiring went down. The twin towers lost power and, as a result, people were either trapped in elevators or in dangerous, dark, smoke filled stairwells.
The bomb opened up a 98 foot hole in the concrete, but it was not enough to bring the North tower down. The effect of the blast eventually left a crater 200 feet by 100 feet wide and 7 stories deep.
The devastating explosion of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing cost the lives of six people and 1,042 people suffered injuries during the evacuation of the buildings.
The bombing victims: The 1993 World Trade Center terrorist attack killed six people. The victims were Stephen Knapp, William Macko, John DiGiovanni, Robert Kirkpatrick, Wilfred Mercado and Monica Rodriguez Smith, who was pregnant.
Over 50,000 people evacuated the Trade Center complex. The surrounding streets, bridges and subways in Lower Manhattan were all closed and following the deaths, confusion and chaos Americans began to realize just how vulnerable the homeland was to terrorist attacks..
Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the World Trade Center Bombing operation, was on a flight to Karachi, Pakistan, the same evening of the attack and Eyad Ismoil fled to Jordan.
On March 4, 1993 the FBI arrested a suspect, Islamic fundamentalist Mohammad Salameh, when he tried to reclaim his $400 van rental deposit from the Ryder rental center in New Jersey.
Authorities soon arrested three more suspects of the World Trade Center Bombing in New Jersey - Nidal Ayyad, Mahmud Abouhalima, and Ajaj.
As a response to the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, extensive fire and bomb safety improvements were made and "Blast mitigators" were placed in and around the World Trade Center Plaza.
In May 1994, four of the terrorists Mohammed Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Mahmud Abouhalima and Ahmad Ajaj - were sentenced to life for the World Trade Center bombing.
In February 1995, nearly two years after the bombing of the World Trade Center, Ramzi Yousef was captured in Pakistan. Ramzi Yousef received 240 years imprisonment for the 1993 WTC bombing. Ramzi Yousef shared the cell block, that is commonly referred to as "Bombers Row", with Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber and Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols the Oklahoma City Bombers.
In October 1995 Omar Abdel Rahman, the "blind sheik" who had preached at mosques in Brooklyn and Jersey City, was sentenced to life for masterminding the bombing.
The explosion caused in the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing did not bring down the twin towers, as Ramzi Yousef had intended. Ramzi Yousef later told interrogators that he had intended to topple one building and have it crash into the other, with the goal of killing 250,000 people.
Ramzi Yousef's uncle, Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, was highly motivated by the effect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing which inspired him to mastermind the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001.
Omar Abdel Rahman's organization, the Islamic Group, is believed to have links to Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network and of carrying out the 11 September, 2001 attacks.
The Twin Towers survived the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing but to the horror of America and the rest of the world, they were destroyed eight years later in the infamous 9/11 terrorist attacks.
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