Ramzi Yousef, Capture & Captivity
The North Tower was still standing, over one thousand people were injured and only six were killed in the blast which suffered the tower from the garage thru five floors to B-6 Level. Looking at the downtown skyline as the cold, cloudy date of February 26th grew darker, Abdul Basit Mahmoud Abdul Karim otherwise known as Ramzi Yousef, viewed and became disappointed. His wish was for the North Tower to lose it’s grip at the base and topple the North Tower into the South Tower collapsing together onto the cold Lower Manhattan skyline, killing tens of thousands. Yousef would later admit he didn’t have the necessary funding to build the urea-nitrate bomb bigger.
An FBI explosives expert will later state, “If they had found the exact architectural Achilles’ heel or if the bomb had been a little bit bigger, not much more, 500 pounds more, I think it would have brought her down.” Ramzi Yousef would later board a flight out of Newark Airport and flee to Pakistan. he didn’t wait long to plan another operation, yet this one would entail much more than just planting a bomb in a building……it was to plant timing mechanisms on board 12 airliners, all traveling to and from the United States from numerous airports in SE Asia. It would be named, Bojinka Plot.
Meanwhile FBI investigators along with the NYPD worked meticulously amongst the smoldering black rubble located 6 floors down in the North Tower. The bomb blast had left a 100-ft wide hole through four sub-levels of concrete. Knocking out power in the tower with rising black smoke to the 93rd floor. Most of the over 1,000 injured, suffered smoke inhalation. Over 300 agents from the FBI were on the scene in the coming days, the investigation even had a code name, TRADEBOM. While combing through the rubble in the underground parking area, a bomb technician located some internal component fragments from the vehicle that delivered the bomb.
Miraculously the vehicle identification number (VIN), found on a piece from an axle, gave investigators crucial information that led them to a Ryder truck rental outlet in Jersey City. Most of the FBI lead investigators had initially thought the perpetrators had long left the country or were absent from public view, hidden far away. By luck, one investigator called Ryder in Jersey, they found an application for the truck under the name, Mohammed A. Salameh. Salameh was still in the country, even more mesmerizing….Salameh was coming back to the Ryder location to report the truck stolen and ask for a 200 dollar refund of his security payment. FBI investigators would end uo arresting Salameh. Shortly afterwards most of the suspects involved in the blast would be detained and arrested.
To note, on Salameh’s application, he gave a phone number and address to where he was staying. Ana apartment who’s landlord was named Josie Hadas. Hadas would later be revealed to be a Mossad agent, the FBI was told to cease investigating the matter of Hadas. But when the FBI and NYPD went to the apartment of Hadas, they would find bomb making manuals and bomb materials, fuses, powder. All of this was taken in for processing. The story of who was Josie Hadas, remained a mystery to this day.
February 6th 1995….DSS Special Agents Jeff Riner and Bill Miller, the RSOs assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan, along with Pakistani police and members from the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), arrest, without incident, Ramzi Yousef, Riner would take a photograph of Yousef, who was just seemingly waking up from sleep. The tip off to Yousef’s whereabouts came from an associate to Yousef, Istaique Parker, who was recruited for planting bombs aboard the airliners in the Bojinka Plot. The operation failed to materialize when Yousef and Abdul Hakim Murad, an associate to Yousef, were mixing chemicals for the bombs in which caused thick acrid smoke to flow out of the motel room windows when chemicals Murad was mixing in the sink combined with human error caused a combustion. Both men fled, but the laptop in which Bojinka Plot was kept on, was still inside the motel room.
With Philippine police and firemen rushing to the scene, Yousef told Murad to get the laptop back. Murad tried and was apprehended as he tried to flee. Abdul Hakim Murad, who went to flight school in the United States, later told interrogators that he and Yousef had considered a suicide aircraft attack on the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Detailed in the Bojinka Plot was plans to assassinate Pope John Paul II, Plant 12 timing bombs in board airliners. Now with almost everyone involved in the 1993 WTC Bombing apprehended, except Abdul Rahman Yasin who was in Iraq prison at this time and unknown to anyone inside the United States. The trial of Ramzi Yousef began in 1996 as Yousef and two co-conspirators (Abdul Hakim Murad &Wali Khan Amin Shah) were also indicted for the Bojinka Plot. Yousef was also indicted for being involved in the 1993 WTC Bombing.
January 8, 1998….Judge Kevin Thomas Duffy would find all 3 men guilty for their roles in the Bojinka Plot, and sentenced Murad and Shah to 240 years. Yousef received the same sentence for being not just involved with Bojinka Plot but also the mastermind of the 1993 WTC Bombing. The next day, Yousef would give an hour statement, in which he said the following:
“You keep talking also about collective punishment and killing innocent people to force governments to change their policies; you call this terrorism when someone would kill innocent people or civilians in order to force the government to change its policies. Well, when you were the first one who invented this terrorism.
You were the first one who killed innocent people, and you are the first one who introduced this type of terrorism to the history of mankind when you dropped an atomic bomb which killed tens of thousands of women and children in Japan and when you killed over a hundred thousand people, most of them civilians, in Tokyo with fire bombings. You killed them by burning them to death. And you killed civilians in Vietnam with chemicals as with the so-called Orange agent. You killed civilians and innocent people, not soldiers, innocent people every single war you went. You went to wars more than any other country in this century, and then you have the nerve to talk about killing innocent people.
And now you have invented new ways to kill innocent people. You have so-called economic embargo which kills nobody other than children and elderly people, and which other than Iraq you have been placing the economic embargo on Cuba and other countries for over 35 years. . . .
The Government in its summations and opening statement said that I was a terrorist. Yes, I am a terrorist and I am proud of it. And I support terrorism so long as it was against the United States Government and against Israel, because you are more than terrorists; you are the one who invented terrorism and using it every day. You are butchers, liars and hypocrites.”
Duffy would then respond in kind….
“ Ramzi Yousef, you claim to be an Islamic militant. Of all the persons killed or harmed in some way by the World Trade Center bomb, you cannot name one who was against you or your cause. You did not care, just so long as you left dead bodies and people hurt.”
He then gave an extra addition to Yousef’s sentence, all of his time will be spent while in “solitary confinement”. Yousef is held at the high-security Supermax ADX Prison in Florence, Colorado. Yousef’s uncle, Khalid Sheikh Muhammad would later be investigated for his role in the 9/11 attacks, was found to also be involved in the Bojinka Plot as a co-conspirator, for which the 9/11 attacks originated from.