"Did Osama not bomb WTC 2 times, the first being unsuccessful?"
The 1993 World Trade Center bombing
occurred on February 26, 1993, when a car bomb
was detonated below the North Tower
of the World Trade Center
in New York City
. The 1,500 lb (680 kg) urea nitrate
gas enhanced device
was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower (Tower Two), bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people.
It failed to do so, but did kill six people and injured 1,042.
The attack was planned by a group of conspirators including Ramzi Yousef
, Mahmud Abouhalima
, Mohammad Salameh
, Nidal Ayyad, Abdul Rahman Yasin
and Ahmad Ajaj
. They received financing from Khaled Shaikh Mohammed
, Yousef's uncle. 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: Yousef, the mastermind behind the bombings, and Eyad Ismoil, who drove the truck carrying the bomb.
, who was born as Abdul Basit Mahmoud Abdul Karim in Kuwait
, spent time at Al-Qaeda training camps
before beginning in 1991 to plan a bombing attack within the United States
. Yousef's uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Ali Fadden
, who later was considered the principal architect of the September 11 attacks
, gave him advice and tips over the phone, and funded him with a US$
660 wire transfer
Yousef arrived 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 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.
Yousef set up residence on Nicole Pickett Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey
, traveled around New York
and New Jersey and called Sheik 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 urea nitrate
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.
El Sayyid Nosair
, one of the blind sheik'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 .38 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 followup 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 Joint Chiefs of Staff, and 1,440 rounds of ammunition. (Lance 2004 26 )
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. Yousef ignited the 20-foot fuse, and fled. Twelve minutes later, at 12:17:37 pm, the bomb exploded in the underground garage, generating an estimated pressure of 150,000 psi
The bomb opened a 30-m (98 ft) wide hole through four sublevels of concrete. The detonation velocity of this bomb was about 15,000 ft/s (4.5 km/s).
The bomb instantly cut off the center's main electrical power line, knocking out the emergency lighting system. The bomb caused smoke to rise up to the 93rd floor of both towers, including through the stairwells which were not pressurized.
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.
Also as a result of the loss of electricity 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
, and Time Warner Cable
. Telephone service for much of Lower Manhattan was also disrupted.
Altogether, six people were killed and 1,042 others were injured, most during the evacuation that followed the blast.
The towers did not collapse, according to Yousef's plan, but the explosion did damage the garage badly. Nevertheless, 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 later after the bombing.
Yousef had left Jersey City much earlier in the morning, thus questions linger as to why he waited to noon to attack when the parking area was much less crowded. Conspirator Mahmud Abouhalima
later stated that the original plan was to attack the United Nations headquarters
earlier in the morning. Author Simon Reeve
theorized that something went wrong, such as Yousef encountering too much security, and the target was changed to be the World Trade Center.