Skip to comments.World Trade Center, 1993 Terrorist Attack (don't say it too loudly - Yousef had IRAQI passport)
Posted on 09/08/2006 10:14:11 PM PDT by doug from upland
The World Trade Center (WTC) bombing of 1993 has long since been overshadowed by the attack that brought the twin towers down on September 11, 2001. Yet, at the time it occurred, the attack loomed as large on the American landscape as the towers themselves once did on the Manhattan skyline. The attack killed six people and injured more than a thousand, the first casualties from foreign terrorists on U.S. soil. American authorities identified at least eight perpetrators, but questions remain as to the ultimate cause of the attack.
The attack and its aftermath. At 12:18 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 1993, an explosion rocked the second level of the parking basement beneath Trade Tower One. The explosive material, as investigators would later determine, was somewhere between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds (544680 kg) of urea nitrate, a homemade fertilizer-based explosive.
The blast ripped open a crater 150 feet (46 m) in diameter and five floors deep, rupturing sewer and water mains and cutting off electricity. Over the hours that followed, more than 50,000 people were evacuated from the Trade Center complex. A stunned nation soon grasped a fact larger than the incident itself: foreign-sponsored terrorismwhich had long plagued Western Europe and parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Asiahad come to the United States.
Investigation and cleanup begins. The first analysis team to arrive came from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who soon brought in two examiners from the FBI Laboratory Explosives Unit. Over the week that followed, a team of more than 300 law-enforcement officers from various agencies throughout the country would sift through some 2,500 cubic yards (1,911 cubic meters) of debris weighing more than 6,800 tons (6,909 tonnes).
At the same time that this forensic investigation began, government authorities rushed to protect against physical, chemical, and biological hazards associated with the blast. The explosion had exposed raw sewage, asbestos, mineral wool, acid, and fumes from automobiles. Meanwhile, small electrical fires burned, and pieces of concrete and sharp metal hung threateningly from distended beams.
On Saturday, authorities installed seismographic equipment, cleared the area, and conducted a test run of an empty subway train. The results showed that with a few adjustments, the area could be rendered safe for the operation of the Port Authority Transportation system (PATH) on Monday, thus preventing a virtual shutdown of lower Manhattan. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration began taking steps to clean up biological and chemical debris.
Tracking the killers. Meanwhile, the forensic investigation expanded, with two chemists each from the FBI, ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms), and New York Police Department collecting and studying residue from the blast area. In the course of this work, investigators found a key piece of evidence: a 300-pound (136-kg) fragment of a vehicle that, based on the damage it had sustained, must have been at the very epicenter of the blast. Sewage contamination had rendered it unusable for residue analysis, but it bore something much better: a vehicle identification number (VIN).
This was not to be the first fortunate break for investigators. Authorities traced the vehicle to a Ryder truck rental facility in Jersey City, New Jersey, from which it had been reported stolen. On Monday, while FBI special agents were at the Jersey City facility to speak with personnel there, the Ryder clerk received a call from a man identified as Mohamed Salemeh. The latter demanded the return of his $400 deposit for the van in question, and the Ryder clerk arranged for him to return and collect the deposit on March 4, 1993. When Salemeh arrived, he was arrested.
A search of Salemeh's belongings led investigators to Nidal Ayad, a chemist working for the Allied Signal Corporation in New Jersey. Toll records and receipts helped lead to a safe house in Jersey City, New Jersey, where authorities found traces of nitroglycerine and urea nitrate. They also uncovered evidence that Salemeh and Ayad had obtained three tanks of compressed hydrogen gas, and in the course of searching a storage room rented by Salemeh, investigators found large caches of urea, sulfuric acid, and other chemicals used in making a bomb. On March 3, the New York Times received a letter claiming responsibility for the bombing, and subsequent investigation of DNA samples matched Ayad with the saliva on the envelope flap.
Convictionand continuing questions. The trail of investigation would eventually lead to Ramzi Yousef, who authorities believe was in the van that delivered the explosives to the WTC. With him was Eyad Ismoil. Also implicated in the bombing, along with Salemeh and Ayad, were Ahmad Ajaj, Mahmoud Abouhalima, and Abdul Rahman Yasin. On March 4, 1994, a jury found Salemeh, Ajaj, Abouhalima, and Ayad guilty on 38 counts, including murder and conspiracy, and the judge handed down multiple life sentences.
Yousef fled the country, and engaged in other terror plots before he was captured and brought to the United States from Pakistan in February 1995. He was sentenced to life plus 240 years. As of 2003, Yasin had not been captured, and was believed to be in Iraq. In October 1995, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind Egyptian cleric who taught at mosques in Brooklyn and New Jersey, was sentenced to life imprisonment for masterminding the attack. But some observers wonder whether the roots of the 1993 WTC attack run much deeper.
The fact that Yousef is the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a top figure in al-Qaeda, suggests a strong connection between the 1993 conspirators and the group who ultimately brought down the towers eight years later. After the September 2001, attack, it was the opinion of many investigators and analysts inside President George W. Bush's administration, that the perpetrators of that attack had a state sponsorIraq. A number of details, including the fact that Yousef was traveling on an Iraqi passport, as well as the date of the 1993 attackthe second anniversary of the U.S. liberation of Kuwait in the Persian Gulf Warfurthered suspicions of Iraqi involvement in the 1993 incident. Mohammed was later involved in masterminding the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, and was arrested in Rawalpindi, Pakistan on March 1, 2003.
SMILING...Generally speaking, it's been a very busy week on the internet.
Saddam Warned of WTC Attack Before 9/11, Praised bin Laden Afterward
Sunday, March 28, 2004 8:58 a.m. EST
On July 21, 2001, less than two months before 9/11, the state-controlled Iraqi newspaper Al-Nasiriya carried a column headlined "America, An Obsession Called Osama Bin Ladin." In the piece, Baath Party writer Naeem Abd Muhalhal predicted that bin Laden would attack the U.S. "with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House."
The same state-approved column also insisted that bin Laden "will strike America on the arm that is already hurting," and that the U.S. "will curse the memory of Frank Sinatra every time he hears his songs" - an apparent reference to the Sinatra classic "New York, New York." (Two 9/11 families were awarded over $100 million last May by U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer based on this and other evidence that Iraq was involved in 9/11.)
But after the 9/11 attacks, Saddam became the only world leader to offer praise for bin Laden, even as other terrorist leaders such as Yasser Arafat went out of their way to make a show of sympathy to the U.S. by donating blood to 9/11 victims on camera.
The day after the attacks, in quotes picked up by Agence France-Press, Saddam proclaimed that "America is reaping the thorns planted by its rulers in the world."
"There is hardly a place [in the world] that does not have a memorial symbolizing the criminal actions committed by America against its natives," AFP quoted the Iraqi dictator complaining, based on reports in the Iraqi News agency.
For his part, Uday flat-out praised the 9/11 attacks, saying, "These were courageous operations carried out by young Arabs and Muslims,"
As Richard Clarke and his fans in the Democrat-media complex report in ominous tones that President Bush ordered him to launch an unwarranted investigation into the 9/11-Iraq connection, it's worth remembering how much Iraq had done to justify that order.
Doug, that is an impressive list. We often see these incidents listed separately, but seldom in list form. I hope you don't mind if I copy it to show those Clinton defenders I might have the misfortune to meet?
I gave the source and "borrowed" it from someone else, so go ahead.
Clinton Indictment Cited Iraq-bin Laden Link
Though Democrats and most reporters insist there's no operational link between al-Qaida and Iraq, the Clinton Justice Department specifically cited such an alliance when it indicted the 9/11 mastermind six years ago, Weekly Standard reporter Stephen Hayes said Sunday.
"The Clinton administration, in a sealed indictment of Osama bin Laden in the spring of 1998, included very prominently, in the fourth paragraph, a discussion of this agreement," Hayes told WABC Radio's Monica Crowley.
"They called it an understanding between Iraq and al-Qaida, whereby al-Qaida agreed not to agitate against the Iraqi regime," Hayes said. "In exchange the Iraqi regime agreed to supply assistance on weapons development."
Since the outbreak of the Iraq war, numerous Clinton administration officials have argued there was no link between Iraq and al-Qaida.
But in his book "The Connection," Hayes details the portion of the Clinton administration's bin Laden indictment that contradicts those claims, then notes:
"The fact remains that six senior Clinton administration national security officials are on the record defending [the Aug. 20, 1998 strike against Sudan], citing an Iraqi connection."
This newsmax item from a couple of years ago has some intersting info too (I hope you don't mind me posting these in your thread).
Media Misleads on 9/11 Commission Finding re Iraq-al Qaida
Reports Wednesday morning that the 9/11 Commission has determined there was no cooperation between Iraq and Al Qaida are completely false - and are undoubtedly driven by the media's determination to contradict Bush administration's claims that such a link exists.
"9/11 Panel Says Iraq Rebuffed Bin Laden" reads the headline on the Associated Press report on today's Commission staff statement.
But that's not what the Commission staff report actually said.
The below passage, for instance, does more to confirm the Bush administration's claims of an Iraq-al Qaida link than it does to contradict them.
"The Sudanese, to protect their own ties with Iraq, reportedly persuaded Bin Ladin* to cease [support for anti-Saddam Islamists in Northern Iraq] and arranged for contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda*.
"A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting Bin Ladin in 1994. Bin Ladin is said to have requested space to establish training camps, as well as assistance in procuring weapons, but Iraq apparently never responded." [Staff Statement No. 15, Page 5]
Apparently never responded? How, pray tell, does the AP derive from those words the conclusive claim that Iraq "rebuffed" Bin Laden?
The Commission statement continues:
"There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and al Qaeda also occurred after Bin Ladin had returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship."
What's the evidence for this less-than-conclusive surmise?
"Two senior Bin Ladin associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between al Qaeda and Iraq," says the Commission.
Such a statement begs the question, why does the Commission, let alone the press, take the word of two senior bin Laden associates over, say, Iraq's new prime minister, Iyad Allawi.
Last December he told the London Telegraph, "We are uncovering evidence all the time of Saddam's involvement with al-Qaeda."
Reacting to the discovery of an Iraqi intelligence document placing 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta in Baghdad two months before the attacks, he continued:
"This is the most compelling piece of evidence that we have found so far. It shows that not only did Saddam have contacts with al-Qaeda, he had contact with those responsible for the September 11 attacks."
In fact, nowhere does the Commission make the claim that Iraq and al Qaida never cooperated. What it does say is: "We have no credible evidence that Iraq and al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States." [NewsMax italics]
Apparently Dr. Allawi's asssement counts for nothing.
Even so, it's worth noting that elsewhere in today's staff statement, the 9/11 Commission asserts:
"With al Qaeda at its foundation, Bin Ladin sought to build a broader Islamic Army that included terrorist groups from Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Oman, Tunisia, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Somalia, and Eritrea. Not all [terrorist] groups from these states agreed to join, but at least one from each did." [Staff Statement No. 15, Page 3]
In other words, at least one terror group from Iraq did form an alliance with bin Laden.
Another problem: if the press is going to take today's staff statement as gospel, certain long-held media assumptions will need to be drastically revised, such as the widely accepted notion that al Qaeda was involved in the first World Trade Center bombing.
Not true, says the Commission.
"Whether Bin Ladin and his organization had roles in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center . . . remains a matter of substantial uncertainty," the staff statement says, before insisting, "We have no conclusive evidence" of a bin Laden link. [Staff Statement No. 15, Page 6]
The same goes for "Operation Bojinka," the 1995 plot to hijack 12 airliners hatched by Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed that experts say was the blueprint for the 9/11 attacks.
"[Mohammed] was not, however, an al Qaeda member at the time of the Manilla [Bojinka] plot," Commission staffers say, even though they acknowledge he went on to mastermind the 9/11 attacks.
The press is furiously spinning the 9/11 Commission staff statement in a bid to discredit the Bush administration. Americans should go to the Sept. 11 Commission web site and read the conclusions for themselves: http://www.9-11commission.gov/
* Commission spellings
BUMP for great freeping!
Cheney Links Saddam to '93 World Trade Center Attack
Speaking in New Orleans on Thursday, Vice President Dick Cheney drew direct connection between Iraq and al Qaida's efforts to destroy the World Trade Center, noting that one of the key operatives in the first attack on the Twin Towers was granted sanctuary by Saddam Hussein.
"After the 1993 World Trade Center attack, Iraq gave sanctuary to one of the bombers, Abdul Rahman Yasin," Cheney told a gathering at the city's D-Day Museum.
Cheney detailed Iraq's role in the first World Trade Center attacks on NBC's "Meet the Press":
"We know, for example, in connection with the original World Trade Center bombing in '93 that one of the bombers was Iraqi, returned to Iraq after the attack of '93," he told host Tim Russert. "And we've learned subsequent to that, since we went into Baghdad and got into the intelligence files, that this individual probably also received financing from the Iraqi government as well as safe haven."
"Now, is there a connection between the Iraqi government and the original World Trade Center bombing in '93? We know, as I say, that one of the perpetrators of that act did, in fact, receive support from the Iraqi government after the fact."
The blast ripped open a crater 150 feet (46 m) in diameter and five floors deep....
This was a very serious explosion.
www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-09-17-iraq-wtc_x.htm - 61k
Here's one link. Be aware USA Today being typical of the Clown Car Media (CCM) tries to soft peddle this information in their article, including Saddam's connections with Al Qaeda.
I don't think FR allows you to post from USA Today, so maybe try a Google search for other articles on this. I found this, but it's long and I didn't read it: http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:DmSKyYC_XGAJ:cns.miis.edu/research/wtc01/pdfs/toxter11.pdf+Abdul+Rahman+Yasin+1993+World+Trade+Center+bombing+escaped+to+Iraq&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=6&ie=UTF-8
(Reuters) - Iraqi intelligence agents contacted Osama bin Laden when he was in Sudan in the mid-1990s as part of an effort by Baghdad to work with foes of the Saudi ruling family, The New York Times reported on Friday, citing a newly disclosed document.
U.S. officials described the document as an internal Iraqi intelligence report detailing efforts to seek cooperation with several Saudi opposition groups, the newspaper said.
The document states that Iraq agreed to rebroadcast anti-Saudi propaganda.
Doug, ignore the second link I posted. It's worthless speculation. They claim on nothing more than that the bombers were clumsey that this rules out state sponsorship of the 1993 WTC attack. Such fecklessness actually was a hallmark of Iraqi-sponsored terrorism if you look at the history of it.
I'll find you a better second link.
An Iraqi passport?
Iraq has always been a seedy waste of a land and with poor border controls and in truth, a passport is just a forum of I.D. - an internationally accepted means of I.D..
Here is a link to a more intelligent analysis than that second link I initially provided:
The first attack on the World Trade Center was orchestrated by the governor of Texas and his associate Dick Cheney. Evil Republicans are behind all other so-called "terrorist" attacks. Islamofacists love us and mean us no harm. All we have to do is ignore them and they will go away.
(Is it just me, or would anyone else like to see a real 9/11 investigation-not the so-called "CYA for the Clinton administration" that called itself the 9/11 Commission? Why don't the Repubs call for one? Jamie Gorelick, Mr. Bill, Docs-in-the-Socks Sandy, and the rest need to answer for their part in what led to the failure to stop the 9/11 attacks.)
(I don't understand why Docs-in-the-Socks wasn't sent to jail for what he did- More whimpering and cowering by Republicans I suppose. Grrrrrr! The problem is that if no-one takes stealing classified documents seriously- the public won't either. )
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