The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 lb (606 kg) urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower (Tower Two), bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people. It failed to do so, but did kill seven people and injured thousands.
The attack was planned by a group of conspirators including Ramzi Yousef, Mahmud Abouhalima, Mohammad Salameh, Nidal A. Ayyad, Abdul Rahman Yasin and Ahmad Ajaj. They received financing from Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, Yousef's uncle. In March 1994, four men were convicted of carrying out the bombing: Abouhalima, Ajaj, Ayyad and Salameh. The charges included conspiracy, explosive destruction of property and interstate transportation of explosives. In November 1997, two more were convicted: Yousef, the mastermind behind the bombings, and Eyad Ismoil, who drove the truck carrying the bomb.
Ramzi Yousef, who was born as Abdul Basit Mahmoud Abdul Karim in Kuwait, spent time at Al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan, before beginning in 1991 to plan a bombing attack within the United States. Yousef's uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Ali Fadden, who later was considered the principal architect of the September 11 attacks, gave him advice and tips over the phone, and funded him with a US$1,400 wire transfer.
Yousef arrived in the United States on September 1, 1992, traveling with Ahmed Ajaj from Pakistan, though both sat apart on the flight and acted as though they were traveling separately. Ajaj tried to enter with a Swedish passport, though it had been altered and thus raised suspicions among INS officials at John F. Kennedy International Airport. When officials put Ajaj through secondary inspection, they discovered bomb making instructions and other materials in his luggage, and arrested him. The name Abu Barra, an alias of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, appeared in the manuals. Yousef tried to enter with a false Iraqi passport, claiming political asylum. Yousef was allowed into the United States, and was given a hearing date.
Yousef set up residence on Nicole Pickett Avenue in Jersey City, New Jersey, traveled around New York and New Jersey and called Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a controversial blind Muslim cleric, via cell phone. After being introduced to his co-conspirators by Abdel Rahman at the latter's Al-Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn, Yousef began assembling the 1,500 lb (680 kg) urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device for delivery to the WTC. He ordered chemicals from his hospital room when injured in a car crash – one of three accidents caused by Salameh in late 1992 and early in 1993.
El Sayyid Nosair, one of the blind sheik's men, was arrested in 1991 for the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane. According to prosecutors, "the Red" Mahmud Abouhalima, also convicted in the bombing, told Wadih el Hage to buy the .357 caliber revolver used by Nosair in the Kahane shooting. In the initial court case in NYS Criminal Court Nosair was acquitted of murder but convicted of gun charges (in a related and followup case in Federal Court, he was convicted). Dozens of Arabic bomb-making manuals and documents related to terrorist plots were found in Nosair's New Jersey apartment, with manuals from Army Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, secret memos linked to Joint Chiefs of Staff, and 1,440 rounds of ammunition. (Lance 2004 26)