20 years ago today, when a cell of Islamic extremists engineered a car-bomb that killed six people, injured more than 1,000 and caused more than a half-billion dollars in damage our first thought wasn’t terrorism. The bomb was planted in a parked Ryder van. The explosion left a crater half the size of a football field in the trade center garage.
Back then, our first thought wasn’t terrorism. We’ve learned.
The site was one of the largest crime scenes in NYPD history. Property damage estimates were in excess of a half billion dollars.
The 1993 attack is, of course, overshadowed by the attacks of September 11, 2001 that actually brought the towers down.
The four individuals responsible for the blast were apprehended within a month of the blast. Following a trial that lasted six months a jury convicted the four defendants in March 1994. These four were sentenced to 240 years in prison. The master mind behind the bombing was arrested in 1995 and subsequently also sentenced to 240 years in prison.
We now know that this was actually the first attack of Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda.
20 years later, even though Bin Laden is dead, we need to remember that Islamic extremists still hate us.
Not because of what we’ve done. But just because we are.