The first strike at the democratic nation marked the beginning of global terror in the USA. It was organized by the Islamic fundamentalists seeking to destabilize the situation in the country, sow discord, and set out terms and conditions to the authorities. On February 26, 1993, the Arab terrorists planted a bomb in the garage of the World Trade Center. As a result, six people were killed and over one thousand were injured. The culprits were quickly identified, but the Clinton administration asked the FBI to treat the attack as an ordinary crime and not a terrorist conspiracy of the Islamic extremists. However, this political correctness appeared to be costly to the American officials. The authorities put forward a hypothesis with respect to the Iraqi nature of the terrorist act. They claimed that an isolated group of criminals under the ideological leadership of the Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman had carried out the attack in New York City. In fact, the first World Trade Center bombing was organized by the Islamic terrorists related to Al-Qaeda who had entered the US territory due to bureaucratic negligence and the lack of adequate inter-agency coordination. James Kallstrom, who headed the New York office of the FBI, expressed this view immediately after the attack.
Americaâ€™s support for Israel, foreign policy, and Islamic fundamentalism were the main motives for the terrorist act that had been thoroughly planned. The attack was planned by the Al-Qaeda terrorists affiliated with the Liberation Army. Their main demands were to stop Americaâ€™s aid to Israel, break the US diplomatic relations with Israel, and cease any interference in the internal affairs of the Middle Eastern countries. The group had declared that the attack on the World Trade Center would be the first one if officials did not satisfy its demands. The organizers of the explosions admitted that the World Trade Center bombing was a terrorist act. They justified it because terrorism, which Israel practiced and supported by the US officials, should be confronted similarly, as they claimed.
The law enforcement agencies and the government considered that through the attack, the perpetrators sought to sow discord and destabilize the situation in the country. According to the terroristsâ€™ plans, the attacks were intended to spread panic among Americans. The planning began in 1991, when one of the organizers, Ramzi Yousef was instructed on how to organize the bombing (Bullock, Haddow, Coppola, Yeletaysi, 2009). When he illegally crossed the US border, the plan was carried out. After meeting with his accomplices, Yousef began to assemble a bomb for the terrorist act on the World Trade Center. When planning the attack, the perpetrators had carefully examined objects, but the FBIâ€™s informant disclosed their plans. However, even having the necessary information, the FBI could not prevent the explosion and deaths of civilians. The FBIâ€™s records did not specify to what extent the federal government had been aware of the terrorist attack.
On February 26, 1993, the perpetrators made their first attempt to blow up the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. However, this terrorist attack, as well as many others, was not carried out completely; therefore, significant casualties were prevented. Initially, the terrorists intended to kill nearly 250,000 people who were in the World Trade Center at that time (Bullock et al., 2009). Ramzi Yousef drove the truck packed with explosives that exploded in the underground garage of the North Tower of the World Trade Center. At that time, there were almost 250,000 people in the World Trade Center.
In order to prevent further attacks, the US officials have to reconsider their immigration policy and verify for what reasons individuals seek refuge in the USA. Security should be enhanced in every public place. Before the terrorist act of 1993, Americans were not familiar with Al-Qaeda. The US government chose ÐµÑ€Ñƒ law enforcement approach to respond to the bombing properly. In the 1990s, the activity of the military and intelligence community was not effective. Only during the tenure of President George W. Bush, a full-scale fight against extremism began. The officials sent armed troops abroad and developed the strategy to combat Al-Qaeda both at home and overseas. The attempts undertaking to destroy Americansâ€™ freedom and the way of life had to be eradicated. A comprehensive plan issued by the FBI was focused on counterterrorism. In 1996, after the bombing in Oklahoma City, congressmen introduced changes to the immigration laws in the form of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act and Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (McWhirter, 2006). After the World Trade Center bombing, the Immigration and Naturalization Service set a task to gather all necessary information on foreigners coming to study in the USA.
To conclude, the radical terrorism of the Middle East hit Americans in 1993. The World Trade Center bombing marked the era of the war against extremism nationwide and worldwide. The main lesson for the intelligence community, politicians, and civilians is to never underestimate the potential threat that can destroy democratic values and freedom, no matter how remote the enemies may seem. To prevent further terrorist acts, Americans have to realize that the dangerous Al-Qaeda movement spreads. Thus, it threatens homeland security and requires more sanctions and radical actions against potential perpetrators.
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