New York City landmark bomb plot

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The New York City landmark bomb plot was a planned follow-up to the February 1993 World Trade Center bombing designed to inflict mass casualties on American soil by attacking well known landmark targets throughout New York City in the United States. If the attack had been successful, it is likely it would have resulted in the death of thousands.[1] The plot was foiled in 1993 before it could be carried out.


The plot was espoused by the blind sheikh, Omar Abdel-Rahman, a radical Muslim cleric in New York City, to be carried out by some of his followers. Rahman was the spiritual leader of the al-Gama'a al-Islamiyya, a radical Egyptian Islamic group and had links to al-Qaeda.[2] One of Rahman's followers, El Sayyid Nosair, had assassinated Meir Kahane in 1990 and was linked to the 1993 Trade Center bombing.


The five targets to be attacked were the United Nations Headquarters, the Lincoln Tunnel, the Holland Tunnel, the George Washington Bridge, and the FBI's main New York office at the Jacob K. Javits Federal Building.[3] There was also some talk of bombing Jewish targets in the city[citation needed] as well as assassinating U.S. Senator Al D'Amato and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.[4]

The militants carried out extensive surveillance both inside and outside the targets using human probes, hand-drawn maps and video surveillance. Detailed notes were taken on the layout and design of the buildings, with stairwells, ballrooms, security cameras and personnel all reconnoitered. Similar attacks were carried out in Mumbai, later known as 2008 Mumbai attacks.[2]


An FBI informant named Emad Salem infiltrated the group and gathered information which led to the arrest of the plotters.[1]

The conspirators were arrested on June 24, 1993.[5] On October 1, 1995, Rahman and nine others were convicted by a New York jury on 48 of 50 charges, including seditious conspiracy, solicitation to murder Mubarak, conspiracy to murder Mubarak, solicitation to attack a U.S. military installation, and conspiracy to conduct bombings.[6]

According to lead prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy, at the trial it was shown that Sudan had "close ties" to Rahman and the other plotters. Sudanese diplomats assisted the planned attack on the United Nations Headquarters.[7]

Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and the nine others were convicted and sentenced to terms ranging from 25 years to life in prison.[8]

See also[edit]