Bombing Cases
Bombing Cases
Bombs are Weapons of Mass Distruction

First World Trade Center Bombing

Almost a Decade before 9/11


Posted Tuesday October 3rd 2023

FBI First World Trade Center Bombing
First World Trade Center Bombing
February 26, 1993

Almost a decade before 9/11, the FBI had investigated a terror attack at the WTC on February 26, 1993, when a bombing killed six people and injured more than a thousand. The explosion left a nearly 100-foot crater where the parking garage had been. Members of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task force and over 700 agents investigated that case, and SWAT team agents arrested the man who had rented the truck the bomb was concealed in after the VIN number was found on a piece of wreckage. Three more were soon arrested, and FBI agents discovered the man who had planned it, Ramzi Yousef, was planning more attacks. Yousef and five others were arrested, tried, and convicted, while a seventh conspirator is still at large. Many of the ERTs and other FBI investigators had no idea they would return to the site of the World Trade Center for a far more horrific attack eight years later, masterminded by Yousef's uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

1993 WTC Wanted Matchbooks
Wanted Matchbooks
First World Trade Center Bombing

Matchbooks offering a reward for information leading to Ramzi Yousef and Abdul Rahman Yasin, who were wanted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, were passed out throughout the Middle East. Ten Most Wanted Fugitive #436 Yousef Most was apprehended in 1995. Most Wanted Terrorist Yasin is still at large.

  • The U.S. Department of State is offering a reward of up to $2 million for information leading to his arrest. If you have information about YOUSEF, contact the U.S. embassy or consulate. In the U.S contact the F.B.I, or call 1-800-HEROES-1
    P.O. Box 96781
    Washington, D.C. 20090-6781 U.S.A
  • Ramzi Ahmed Yousef
  • Ramzi Ahmed Yousef
  • Abdul Rahman Yasin

1993 World Trade Center Bombing

WikipediaThe 1993 World Trade Center bombing was a terrorist attack carried out on February 26, 1993, when a van bomb detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. The 1,336 lb (606 kg) urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to send the North Tower crashing into its twin, the South Tower, taking down both skyscrapers and killing tens of thousands of people. It failed to do so, but killed six people, including a pregnant woman, and caused over a thousand injuries. About 50,000 people were evacuated from the buildings that day.

The attack was planned by a group of terrorists including Ramzi Yousef, Mahmud Abouhalima, Mohammad A. Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Abdul Rahman Yasin, and Ahmed Ajaj. 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 organizer behind the bombings, and Eyad Ismoil, who drove the van carrying the bomb.

Emad Salem, an FBI informant and a key witness in the trial of Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad, and Wali Khan Amin Shah, stated that the bomb itself was built under supervision from the FBI. During his time as an FBI informant, Salem recorded hours of telephone conversations with his FBI handlers. In tapes made after the bombing, Salem alleged that an unnamed FBI supervisor declined to move forward on a plan that would have used a "phony powder" to fool the conspirators into believing that they were working with genuine explosives.

The Attack
On Friday, February 26, 1993, Ramzi Yousef and a Jordanian friend, Eyad Ismoil, drove a yellow Ford Econoline 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 (6.1 m) fuse, and fled. Twelve minutes later, at 12:18 p.m., the bomb exploded in the underground garage, generating an estimated pressure of 150,000 pounds per square inch (1,000,000 kPa). The bomb opened a 100-foot-wide (30 m) hole through four sublevels of concrete. The detonation velocity of this bomb was about 15,000 feet per second (10,000 mph; 4.6 km/s). 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 both towers. 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. Location of the explosion

Six people were killed: five Port Authority employees, one of whom was pregnant, and a businessman whose car was in the parking garage. Additionally, over 1,000 people were injured, most during the evacuation that followed the blast. 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". It is known that 15 people received traumatic injuries 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.

Also as a result of the loss of power, most of New York City's radio and television stations (save for one, WCBS-TV (channel 2)) 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. Yousef escaped to Pakistan several hours after the bombing.

Six people were killed:

  • John DiGiovanni age 45, a dental products salesperson
  • Robert "Bob" Kirkpatrick age 61, Senior Structural Maintenance Supervisor
  • Stephen Knapp age 47, Chief Maintenance Supervisor, Mechanical Section
  • Bill Macko age 57, General Maintenance Supervisor, Mechanical Section
  • Wilfredo Mercado age 37, a receiving agent for Windows on the World restaurant
  • Monica Rodriguez Smith age 35, a secretary, who was seven months pregnant

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.

Other Wikipedia Citings