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World Trade Center Bombing: 1993-94 & 1997

Van Deposit Leads To Arrests, Far-reaching Conspiracy Alleged, Defendants Tied To Van, Bomb Manuals

Defendants: First trial: Mahmud Abouhalima, Ahmad Ajaj, Nidal Ayyad, and Mohammed Salameh; second trial: Eyad Ismoil and Ramzi Yousef
Crimes Charged: Multiple offenses, including explosive destruction of property, conspiracy, interstate transportation of explosives, and assault on a federal officer
Chief Defense Lawyers: First trial: Hassen lbn Abdellah, Atig Ahmed, Austin Campriello, and Robert Precht; second trial: Ismoil: Louis Aidala; Yousef: Roy Kulcsar
Chief Prosecutors: First trial: J. Gilmore Childers; second trial: Lev Dassin and David Kelley
Judge: Kevin T. Duffy
Place: New York, New York
Dates of Trials: First trial: September 14, 1993-May 24, 1994; second trial: August 3-November 12, 1997
Verdicts: Both trials: Guilty
Sentences: First trial: All defendants: 240 years imprisonment; second trial: Ismoil: 240 years imprisonment; Yousef: Life imprisonment without parole

SIGNIFICANCE: The trials resulted in successful prosecutions for the bombing of the World Trade Center, the first large-scale terrorist attack in the United States of the 20th century.

The tremor felt by tourists at the Statue of Liberty on February 26, 1993, was not an earthquake. The shudder reaching across New York Harbor was the shock of a bomb smashing four underground levels of the World Trade Center, shaking the twin towers of the 110-story complex. Electricity and elevators were cut off, leaving hundreds of office workers and visitors huddling in terror or struggling down dark stairways choked with black smoke.

Six people were killed and over 1,000 were injured by the blast. The United States had seemed immune from such terrorist attacks until this explosion. As a chill of vulnerability touched the nation's cities, investigators crept into the teetering rubble of the World Trade Center's basement, looking for clues.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994