Never Forget. That’s what we said after the islamic terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, but many barely remember anymore, to our great disgrace. That was the second time the Twin Towers in Manhattan were attacked, but it seems the world was eager to forget the first World Trade Center bombing, which happened on February 26, 1993 – twenty-four years ago this Sunday.
February 26, 1993, a truck loaded with bombs, parked in a public garage below the North Tower of the World Trade Center and exploded. Terrorists set of the powerful homemade bomb by way of a twenty-foot fuse. The blast killed six innocent civilians. The bomb was powerful enough to create a 200 by 100 foot hole in the building. Approximately a thousand office workers suffered smoke inhalation injuries. One hundred and twenty four of those injured were rescue personnel. Seventeen kindergarteners were trapped when the electrical power line was knocked out and one woman in labor was airlifted out of the area to a hospital.
The terrorists intended for the North Tower to come crashing down and topple the South Tower. Seven men have been convicted for their role in the attack but only six have been caught.
Many have forgotten the first truck bombing of the World Trade Center in the wake of 9/11. A son of a victim in the attacks, Stephen Knapp Jr., is quoted in the New York Times: “It started on Feb. 26, it played out on 9/11, and it is still going on now.”
Our Parish has not forgotten. Every February, the families and friends of people who died and those who were injured, hold a memorial Mass at St. Peter’s Church.
The person credited as being the mastermind behind this evil act of islamic jihad, the so called “blind sheikh”, Omar Abdel-Rahman, died this past Saturday in prison, but he was treated to a grand funeral that was attended by thousands of admirers in Egypt:
He was convicted in the World Trade Center bombing—as well as plotting a wider “war of urban terrorism”—in 1995. His death was met with statements of mourning from al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. Meanwhile, his hometown was filled with chants of “we will defend you with blood and soul, Islam” for his funeral. “If he were a bad man, people from all over the country wouldn’t have came to attend his funeral,” said a lawyer who traveled more than 100 miles to be there. MORE
Here is some more information about the attack, via History.com:
In September 1992 explosives expert Ramzi Ahmed Yousef arrived in New York City on a flight from Pakistan and began planning an attack on the World Trade Center, with the alleged goal of toppling the north tower into the south tower. He received help from followers of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind, Egyptian-born Muslim cleric who spoke in sermons of destroying the “edifices of capitalism.” The plotters rented a storage locker in New Jersey, where they stockpiled urea, nitric acid, sulfuric acid and other ingredients for making bombs. They simultaneously concocted a nitroglycerin trigger at a nearby apartment and scouted out the World Trade Center’s underground floors.
On February 26, 1993, the plotters loaded their homemade bomb, which weighed about 1,200 pounds, into a yellow Ford Econoline van they had 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.
At 12:17 p.m. the bomb exploded, knocking out the World Trade Center’s sprinklers, generators, elevators, public address system, emergency command center and more than half of the high-voltage lines that fed electricity to the complex. The FBI later called it the “largest by weight and by damage of any improvised explosive device that we’ve seen since the inception of forensic explosive identification.” Six people died, including a pregnant woman. More than 1,000 others were injured, mostly from smoke that snaked its way up the stairwells and elevator shafts. Yet both towers remained standing.
As rescue workers dug for victims, survivors began making their way out by any means possible. A woman in a wheelchair was carried down 66 flights of stairs by two friends. A class of singing kindergartners descended from the 107th floor. A group of engineers stuck in an elevator pried open the doors and then used car keys to cut a hole in the sheetrock walls leading out to a 58th-floor women’s bathroom. Nearly 30 people with medical conditions were taken to the roof and whisked away by police helicopter. By late that night, the buildings had been completely cleared. They would not reopen for nearly a month.
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.
Meanwhile, authorities uncovered a related plot in which followers of Sheikh Abdel Rahman planned to blow up the George Washington Bridge, the United Nations headquarters and other New York City landmarks. In that case, the sheikh and nine co-defendants were found guilty of seditious conspiracy and other terrorism-related charges. A third case led to life sentences for Yousef, who was captured in Pakistan in 1995, and the driver of the rental van, who was captured in Jordan that same year. Only one suspect, who fled to Iraq after being questioned and released by the FBI, remains at large.
Heckuva guy, that Rahman, huh? This is who they celebrate, as our own murdered dead are largely forgotten by our country.
This Sunday, please remember: John DiGiovanni, Robert Kirkpatrick, Stephen A. Knapp, William Macko, Wilfredo Mercado, and, Monica Rodriguez Smith and her unborn child. Please remember their families, and remember all who were wounded that day as well. Please pray for an end to islamic terrorism.
MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla of the Resistance at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals – including Siberian Husky Dalmatian Lab Puppies and their parents.
See also by Zilla at DaTechGuyBlog: