On February 26, 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed by terrorists in retaliation for U.S. support of Israel. To mark the anniversary of this tragic event, we've put together these trivia questions to see how much you know about the World Trade Center's first brush with terrorism...
What Casualties and Damages Resulted from the Bombing? The explosion, which came from a truck bomb in the parking garage of the Vista Hotel directly beneath 2 World Trade Center, created a crater roughly 100 feet in diameter that extended both several stories below and several stories above the explosion site. Six people, all close to the epicenter, were killed immediately, and roughly 1,000 more were injured. The explosion also caused the ceiling at the nearby PATH rapid transit station to collapse. Plumes of thick black smoke quickly filled the stairwells and elevator shafts of both of the complex's twin towers, which lost power in the wake of the explosion. An estimated 50,000 people were evacuated from the complex, most forced to make their way down smoke-filled staircases in darkness.
What Key Piece of Evidence Led Investigators to the Bombers? Amidst the rubble created by the explosion, FBI investigators uncovered a vehicle identification number that appeared to have been deliberately, if imperfectly, obliterated. Shortly after finding the suspicious VIN, the FBI was able to match the number to that of a rented Ryder cargo van that had been reported stolen the day before the bombing. The van had been rented from Ryder by Mohammad Salameh, an Islamic fundamentalist, who showed up at Ryder offices on March 4 to demand the return of the $400 deposit on the van that he alleged had been stolen. FBI agents, waiting nearby, promptly arrested Salameh.
What Master Terrorist Funded the Attack on the World Trade Center? Ramzi Yousef, one of the terrorists involved in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, was a nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who funded the terror operation. After the capture of Mohammed in 2003, he admitted to being the mastermind behind many attacks. These included the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 9/11 bombing of the Twin Towers, the nightclub bombing in Indonesia and the shoe bombing attempt by Richard Reid in 2001.
What Happened to the Terrorists in the Bombing? Six of the terrorists were convicted of the bombing: Ramzi Yousef, Mohammad Salameh, Mahmud Abouhalima, Ahmed Ajaj, Nidal Ayyad and Eyad Ismoil, who was the driver of the rented van. The seventh terrorist, Abdul Rahman Yasin, had been born in the United States and escaped to the Middle East, and his whereabouts remain unknown.