1993 World Trade Center Bombing Plot


By: Carmen B. and C.L. Thomas

On the morning of Friday, February 26, 1993, radical Islamic jihadists loaded a 1,200 pound fertilizer bomb onto a yellow Ford Econoline van rented from a Ryder dealership in New Jersey. Two of them, then drove it across the Hudson River into Manhattan, made their way south to the World Trade Center, entered the basement parking garage between the north tower and a hotel, parked in an illegal spot on a ramp, lit four 20-foot fuses, got into a car that had trailed them and sped off.  The bomb detonated at 12:17 p.m. shredding a hole almost 30 meters (100 feet) across the B-2 level of the parking garage beneath the World Trade Center’s North Tower.  Six people died (including a pregnant woman) and over 1,000 were injured by a subsequent blast that penetrated five stories of the reinforced concrete building.  Most experts surmised that the objective of the perpetrators was to diminish the structural integrity of the 110-story twin towers and adjacent buildings in the complex; thereby, causing their collapse resulting in a maximum loss of life. If the bomb would have been detonated during rush hour, thousands would have died.

Investigators sifting through the rubble soon came across the vehicle identification number for the rental van, which had been reported stolen the day before the attack. FBI agents then arrested Mohammad Salameh, who had rented the van under his own name, when he returned to the Ryder dealership to ask for his $400 deposit back. Subsequent arrests were made of Ahmad Ajaj, Nidal Ayyad and Mahmoud Abouhalima.  In March 1994, a federal jury convicted the four of them for their role in the bombing, and they were each sentenced to life behind bars. The blind cleric, Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman a.k.a “the pope of jihad” (former leader of the radical Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya in Egypt) was convicted of seditious conspiracy and received the same sentence.  In 1995, Ramzi Yousef, who was considered the mastermind of the bombing and the driver of the rental van, was captured in Pakistan.  Yousef claimed his reasoning was to avenge the sufferings that the Palestinian people had endured at the hands of the United States aiding Israel.  Several perpetrators, Nidal Ayyad, Mohammad Salamech, and Mahmud Abouhalima are believed to have had connections with al Fugra.

“Path to Paradise: Based on the True Story of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing” is an accurate, no nonsense, prophetic documentary exposing how the FBI and other government agencies failed to acknowledge and act upon information received years in advance which could have prevented the attack.  An accurate timeline is created which exposes the vulnerability of the United States and the determination of the radical Islamic terrorists. One of the most chilling scenes is when the FBI is flying over Manhattan in a helicopter with Ramzi Yousef and as they pass over the World Trade Center, Yousef coldly looks at them and delivers the following prophetic words, “Next time we’ll bring them both down.”  This docudrama has not been aired by HBO since 911; however, it is available for purchase. Path to Paradise was filmed on location, well produced, and maintains the viewer’s attention.

The World Trade Center bombing was a prelude to 9/11; thus, a major milestone on the continuation of radical Islamic terrorism against the United States. This was an official declaration of war by radical Islamic supremacism marking a shift from state sponsored terrorism to a broad, global radical Islamic jihad against America.[1]  Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman referred to the United States as the “head of the snake” and thereby striking the snake right in the beating heart of economic liberty.  Although there are progressive Muslims who desire a peaceful existence, they are disregarded as bad Muslims by the violent extremists.

Explosive history

Trained by US government, Rodney Hampton-El continued went on to jihadi preparation at an al-Fuqra camp in Pennsylvania.[2] Hampton-El, also known by his Muslim name, Abdul Rashid Abdullah, or “Dr. Rashid”, now sits in a Colorado Supermax prison, alongside a co-conspirator of their 1993 plotted “Day of Terror”, Ramzi Yousef. Included in an extensive plan of systematic attacks to induce widespread panic were bombings of New York’s historical tunnels, the UN building, as well as assassinations of high-level peoples. This, planned for not long after the first attempt on the World Trade Center. Though thankfully most of the plot was failed by interception of the FBI acting on a tip, the intended devastation did take place eight years later—almost exactly how Hampton-El described the original plan, yet using hijacked airplanes rather than bombs.

Although Hampton-El was found to be the creator of the bombs, loaded up in the truck rented by buddy Muhammad Salameh, and was referred to as “the ringleader” of the Trade Center bombing, he was never convicted for these acts. His sentence is based on information obtained from the “Day of Terror” investigation. That rented truck, filled with his bombs, blew a void from the parking garage of the Twin Towers, blasting powerfully enough to kill six, including a pregnant woman, and injure over a thousand innocent Americans.

Salameh along with Ahmad Ajaj, Nidal Ayyad and Mahmoud Abouhalima, were arrested and convicted for this bombing, but why wasn’t Hampton-El? Sheikh Abdel Rahman, Hampton-El and others connected with this Sheikh, including Yousef, were convicted on seditious conspiracy and related charges only for their roles in the “Day of Terror” plot.

Hampton-El was not the only terrorist connected to Jama’at al-Fuqra, and we will probably never know how many Fuqra members were involved. Jama’at al-Fuqra, also using the name Muslims of the Americas (MOA), is an Islamic sect whose leader is Sheikh Gilani in Pakistan, run many guerilla training camps all over the United States, Caribbean, and Canada since the 1970s. Most of them American-born, they are reared under a form of Wahhabism (a more extreme, fundamentalist branch of Islam) taught with Sufi mysticism, trained and prepped for war. The “imminent holy war”, that is. Evidence has linked the extremist group to not only the first World Trade Center bombing, but also the Shoe Bomber, DC Beltway Snipers, as well as many other criminal acts across the US.[3]

[1] The following is a gallery of fabulous photos from the 1993 WTC bombing memorial. Available at http://www.northjersey.com/photo-galleries/photos-world-trade-center-1993-bombing-victims-remembered-1.1278982.

[2] Mawyer, Martin (2012) Twilight in America. PRB Publishing.

[3] Id.

WMComplete 911 Timeline_ 1993 Bombing of the World Trade Center

WTC Appeal Court Record