Investigators walk through die rubble following die bombing des the welt Trade Center.

Du schaust: World trade center anschlag 1993

Part 2 von our background series commemorating the’s 100th anniversary in 2008.

Fifteen years ago this week, weist about 17 minutes past noon, a thunderous explodieren rocked lower Manhattan.

The epicenter was the parking garage beneath die World profession Center, where a massive ausbrüche carved out a practically 100-foot crater several stories deep und several much more high. Six people to be killed practically instantly. Smoke und flames began filling die wound and streaming increase into die building. Those who weren’t trapped to be soon putting out of the building—many panic-stricken und covered an soot. An ext than a thousand civilization were hurt an some way, some badly, with crushed limbs.

It was Friday, February 26, 1993, und Middle east terrorism had arrived top top American soil—with a bang.


As a small maßband of terrorists scurried away from the scene unnoticed, the and its partner on the neu York share Terrorism job Force began staffing up a command center und preparing to send in a team to investigate. Their instincts told them the this was terrorism—they’d been tracking Islamic fundamentalists an the city for months and, they’d later learn, were tantalizingly close zu encountering ns planners von this attack. Yet hunches weren’t enough; what was needed was definitive proof.

They’d oase it soon enough.

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ns massive ermittlung that followed—led von the job force, through some 700 agents an international ultimately authorized in—quickly uncovered a an essential bit of evidence. In the rubble investigators uncovered a car identification number ~ above a piece von wreckage that appeared suspiciously obliterated. A search of our crime records returned a match: the number belonged to a rented van reported stolen ns day before ns attack. An Islamic fundamentalist named Mohammad Salameh had rented die vehicle, we learned, und on march 4, in SWAT team arrested ihm as he tried in vain zu get his $400 deposit back.

One clue führen zu to another und we shortly had in custody three more suspects—Nidal Ayyad, Mahmoud Abouhalima, and Ahmed Ajaj. We’d deshalb found die apartment where ns bomb was built and a storage gelockert containing danger chemicals, including sufficient cyanide gas to wipe the end a town. All 4 men were tried, convicted, und sentenced to life.

The shockwave from ns attack continued to reverberate. Following die unfolding connections, die task pressure soon uncovered a second terrorist plot zu bomb a collection of neu York landmarks simultaneously, including the U.N. Building, die Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, and the commonwealth plaza wherein our office in New York is housed. On June 24, 1994, agents stormed a warehouse an Queens und caught several members of a terrorist cell bei the act des assembling bombs.


Meanwhile, die mastermind des the welt Trade center bombing was ausblüten on ns run—and up kommen sie no good. We’d learned his name—Ramzi Yousef—within mainly after ns attack und discovered he was planning more attacks, including die simultaneous bombing des a dozen U.S. International flights. Yousef was captured an Pakistan bei February 1995, returned kommen sie America, und convicted follow me with die van driver, Eyad Ismoil. A saturday plotter, Abdul Yasin, remains punkt large.

We later learned from Yousef that his Trade hauptquartier plot was far much more sinister.

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he wanted ns bomb zu topple one tower, with die collapsing debris knocking down the second. The attack turned out zu be something des a deadly dress rehearsal weil das 9/11; with die help von Yousef’s uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, al Qaeda would letztere return zu realize Yousef’s nightmarish vision.

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