America Attacked: 9/11 - PRIOR ATTACKS - WTC BOMBING

PRIOR ATTACKS - WTC BOMBING (Illustration) Disasters Famous Historical Events Film American History

For nearly three decades, the World Trade Center's twin towers were a distinctive landmark in New York City. The view, at night, was particularly spectacular.


September 11 was not the first time terrorists attacked the World Trade Center.

On 26 February 1993, six people died, more than a thousand were injured and 50,000 Trade Center workers were evacuated when a bomb in excess of 1,000 pounds exploded on the second level of the parking basement. The home-made device had been driven into the building in a stolen Ryder truck.

The explosion’s epicenter was under the northeast corner of the Vista Hotel, also known as 3 World Trade Center. (The same hotel, on 9/11, was owned by Marriott.)  Although the twin towers remained intact, the hotel was closed for months, undergoing repairs. The blast, as depicted in this FBI photo, tore a deep crater in the parking structure. 

The attack plan in 1993, as authorities later learned, was to topple one tower so it fell on the other, spewing forth cyanide gas and killing tens of thousands of Americans. At the time, and later, few people realized the scope of what the terrorists had set in motion.

It is now believed that September 11's events began to take shape soon after the 1993 bomb failed to produce the hoped-for catastrophic results. If true, the well-coordinated attack on the United States was eight years in the making.

Two years after the bombing, but before Ramzi Yousef was arrested for his role in the failed attempt to topple the twin towers, he and his fellow terrorists plotted another spectacular disaster. Using a liquid explosive designed to pass through airport security, the terrorists planned to blow up eleven commercial American aircraft in one day.

That plot was foiled when Yousef started a fire in Manilla.

When he fled the scene of the Manilla fire, Yousef left his computer behind. It contained what authorities needed to arrest him. Soon after, he was apprehended in Pakistan and extradited to the United States.

He, and five other conspirators, were tried and convicted for their role in the 1993 WTC bombing. Each received a prison sentence of 240 years.

A key piece of evidence, uncovered the day after the parking-garage bombing, had tied the defendants to the act.  It was a totally mangled piece of the vehicle which one of the defendants had leased.  The bomb had gone-off inside that van.

In its Winter 1995/1996 edition, The National Interest published an article (by Laurie Mylroie) about several highly debatable issues.  One of those issues was the possibility of future terrorist actions against the United States (and its interests).

The article’s main concern - that uncoordinated communication between U.S. law enforcement agencies “may have created a niche for terrorism within America’s borders” - raised a point still hotly debated today.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Sep 12, 2019

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"PRIOR ATTACKS - WTC BOMBING" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Feb 17, 2020.
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