War and Conflict


What happened after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing?

During the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigation that followed the February 26, 1993, tragedy, it was learned that the World Trade Center was one of several intended targets of an Islamic extremist group. The bomb explosion in lower Manhattan killed six people and started a fire that sent black smoke through the 110-story twin towers, injuring hundreds and forcing 100,000 people to evacuate the premises.

Days later, on March 4, 25-year-old Mohammed A. Salameh, an illegal Jordanian immigrant, was arrested in Jersey City, New Jersey. Salameh was later found to be a follower of self-exiled Islamic fundamentalist leader Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman (1933-), who was wanted by Egypt for having incited antigovernment riots in 1989. In June investigators seized Arab terrorists they accused of plotting to blow up several New York City sites, including the United Nations headquarters and the Holland and Lincoln tunnels. U.S. authorities then arrested Rahman and imprisoned him on suspicion of complicity in the World Trade Center bombing. On October 1, 1995, a federal jury found Rahman and nine other militant Muslims guilty of conspiring to carry out a campaign of terrorist bombings and assassinations aimed at forcing Washington to abandon its support of Israel and Egypt.

The 1993 bombing foreshadowed the terrorist strikes of September 11, 2001, which destroyed the landmark twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan and launched what came to be called a global war on terrorism.


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