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1993: World Trade Center bombed

It was a day whose horrific events would be forever seared into the memories of millions. On Sept. 11, 2001, a group of Islamic extremists hijacked U.S. passenger jets and flew them into the twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Ten years later, we present eyewitness accounts and survivors' stories from the day that has become known as 9/11.

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Thick black smoke billows up through New York's World Trade Center, as thousands of frightened employees file down the stairwells to escape. "I was very scared I would never see my children again," says a woman who was evacuated from one of the twin towers after the massive explosion occurred below. In this CBC-TV report from Feb. 26, 1993, just hours after the blast, the cause of the explosion -- which has killed several and injured many others -- is still unclear.
• Construction on the World Trade Center began in 1966. The north tower was completed in December 1972, followed by the south tower in July 1973. The 110-storey buildings became known as the twin towers, and they were the two tallest buildings in the world at the time of their completion. Later that same year, however, they were surpassed by the Sears Tower (now called the Willis Tower) in Chicago.

• The 1993 World Trade Center explosion was caused by a massive truck bomb in the underground parking garage. The blast was intended to knock the north tower into the south tower, bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people inside. Although the bomb failed to have the intended consequences, six people and one unborn baby were killed and more than 1,000 were injured as a result of the bomb.

• A letter was sent to the New York Times after the bombing, purportedly from the men responsible for the deed, explaining their motives: "We declare our responsibility for the explosion on the mentioned building. This action was done in response for the American political, economical, and military support to Israel, the state of terrorism, and to the rest of the dictator countries in the region."

• In 1994, four men were convicted of carrying out the bombing and sentenced to life in prison: Mahmud Abouhalima, Nidal Ayyad, Ahmad Ajaj, and Mohammad Salameh. In 1997, two more were convicted: Ramzi Yousef, who is now known to have been the mastermind behind the bombings, and Eyad Ismoil, who drove the truck.

• Yousef is the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a member of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization. In 2004, Mohammed was named as "the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks" in the 9/11 Commission Report.
Medium: Television
Program: Prime Time News
Broadcast Date: Feb. 26, 1993
Host: Peter Mansbridge, Pamela Wallin
Reporter: David Halton
Duration: 4:57

Last updated: October 24, 2014

Page consulted on October 24, 2014

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