New York commemorated the 30th anniversary of the first attack on the World Trade Center perpetrated by Al Qaeda. Governor Kathy Hochul, along with historic representatives of the city and family members of the six dead and more than 1,000 injured, gathered at Ground Zero to pay tribute to the victims.
30 years ago, the World Trade Center bombing shook New York City and the world.
Today we mourn those whose absences we still deeply feel — and remember New York’s strength and resilience. pic.twitter.com/52OQWVdmMn
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) February 26, 2023
On Feb. 26, 1993, a car bomb parked in a subway parking garage beneath the Twin Towers exploded around 12:15 p.m. local time. The force of the more than 1,300 pounds of explosives caused a huge crater on the edge of the North Tower. Robert Kirkpatrick, William Macko, Stephen A. Knapp, John DiGiovanni, Wilfredo Mercado and Monica Rodriguez, who was pregnant, were killed in the attack. In addition, more than 1,000 people were reported injured.
At first there were doubts about who carried out the attack. Authorities came to suspect the founder of the Medellin Cartel, Pablo Escobar. However, minutes after the explosion, security forces found part of the body of the vehicle bomb in the rubble. This clue was decisive in finding the perpetrators and certifying that it was a jihadist attack. Authorities learned that the vehicle bomb was a rental, and the first terrorist was arrested while trying to retrieve the lease deposit.
On February 26, 1993, at 12:05 pm, Ramzi Yousef and Eyad Ismoil parked a rented van on the underground B-2 parking level of the World Trade Center, lit four twenty-foot time fuses, and walked away. See post on Instagram for more information. pic.twitter.com/f8qPxGR1Wj
— Jack Carr (@JackCarrUSA) February 26, 2023
Investigators concluded that the attack was carried out by an isolated terrorist cell with links to Al Qaeda and led by Ramzi Yousef. The cell was dismantled a few months after the attack, but Yousef managed to flee and hide from justice for two years.
In 1995, Yousef was captured in Pakistan and deported to the United States. A New York court sentenced him to life in prison. He is serving his sentence at ADX Florence prison in Colorado.