There has been few and very minor assaults directly against Americans on U.S. soil from foreign adversaries. On January 25, 1993 an illegal Pakistani immigrant, Mir Aimal Kansi, opened fire near the entrance of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters in Virginia. The attack killed 2 employees and wounded others. Apparently, the Central Intelligence Agency was a target because of its interference in Pakistani matters during the war in Afghanistan. (Kephart, 2005)
According to the Encyclopedia of New York State, at 12:18 P.M. on Friday, 26 Feb 1993, a powerful explosion shook the earth and knocked out the power in Lower Manhattan, New York. Most would say it felt like an earthquake. It had marked the beginning of a new phase of terrorism involving the killing of innocent civilians. A bomb that weighed somewhere between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds had exploded in the underground parking garage of the World Trade Center (WTC), the tallest building in the Manhattan complex. The explosion created the dark, smoke-filled stairways of the building and forced an immediate evacuation of about 50,000 people from the 110- story WTC that took more than six hours. The bomb had created a crater that was about 150 feet across and five floors deep and killed 6 people who were in the surrounding area. There were more than 1,000 people who were injured and treated for smoke inhalation. There was estimated $500 million in damages that day. (2005. Pg.1723.)
For roughly two months before to the bombing, the plotters had gathered the materials they needed to create this explosive device. Living in New Jersey, the terrorists had rented a storage space where they staged an area to build the device and then loaded the bomb into a rented van. The van was then driven into the basement of the North Tower where the timer was set and the bomb was left to go off. The placement of the bomb was carefully planned as the men sought out to weaken the structural integrity of the World Trade Center. This would cause building to collapse down on the neighboring buildings within the complex and would enable them to impose a large number of casualties. They were unsuccessful in producing a massive causality count as the buildings did not collapse. This was due to their limited funding and they were unable to create a large enough explosive. (Tucker, 2001) Robert Blitzer, a senior FBI official, suggested that Nidal Ayyad, a chemical engineer and undercover spokesman for the group, may have had more deadly plans in mind. It was believed that soon after the bombing of the World Trade Center, Nidal Ayyad began searching for chemical supply houses seeking to obtain more chemicals to begin the construction of another bomb. (Parachini. Pg. 192)
A few days after the bombing, a yellow Ryder van that was rented and used to place the homemade urea-nitrate bomb (fertilizer bomb) was traced to Jersey City, NJ. On May 24th 1994, Judge Kevin T. Duffy stated that the bombers...