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Ramzi Yousef

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All others we monitor."

 

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Biographical
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Quotes
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Born in Kuwait, to Pakistani Parents, Though Mother Had Palestinian Background
April 27, 1968
  • Although his father was a Baluchi, he had Palestinian heritage on his mother's side. (Ghost Wars, p. 250)

  • Yousef, whose family are Baluch Pakistanis, was brought up in Kuwait. (Holy War, p. 36)

  • Ramzi Yousef was born in Kuwait on April 27, 1968, as Abdul Basit Mahmoud Abdul Karim. (Ghost Wars, p. 248)

  • It was natural that Khalid's father should look for a fellow Baluchi to marry one of his daughters. The man chosen was Mohammed Abdul Karim and the young couple settled in a working-class suburb of Kuwait City where he worked as an engineer for Kuwait Airlines. In April 1968 they had a son, Abdul Karim Basir (Ramzi Yousef). (Masterminds of Terror, p. 89)

 

Yousef's Parents Move from Pakistan to Kuwait
About 1968
  • It was natural that Khalid's father should look for a fellow Baluchi to marry one of his daughters. The man chosen was Mohammed Abdul Karim and the young couple settled in a working-class suburb of Kuwait City where he worked as an engineer for Kuwait Airlines. In April 1968 they had a son, Abdul Karim Basir (Ramzi Yousef). (Masterminds of Terror, p. 89)

  • Like hundreds of thousands of other Pakistanis seeking opportunity in the oil boom era, Yousef's father, an engineer, had migrated to the Persian Gulf...They recruited fellow Muslims - drivers, cooks, welders, bricklayers, engineers, doctors, pilots - from impoverished neighboring countries such as Pakistan. For Baluchis such as Yousef's father the Gulf's pay scales delivered a middle-class urban life. He could send his children to private school and even European universities. (Ghost Wars, p. 247)

Khomeini Revolution in Iran
1979
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Iran-Iraq War, Yousef's Father Sided with Iraq During the Conflict
1980-1988
  • During the futile war between Iraq and Iran that lasted for nearly a decade and cost hundreds of thousands of lives on both sides, Yousef's father strongly supported Iraq. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 89)

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Yousef Travels to Baluchistan
October 1986
  • Yousef traveled back to Baluchistan in October 1986, aged 18. But by the end of November he was on his way to Britain to study, first at a higher education college in Oxford, before signing up for a higher national diploma in computer-aided electrical engineering in Swansea, south Wales. The course included micro-electronics - a skill he would later put to use as an expert bomb-maker. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 90)
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Yousef Leaves Baluchistan, Studies in Oxford
November 1986
  • Yousef traveled back to Baluchistan in October 1986, aged 18. But by the end of November he was on his way to Britain to study, first at a higher education college in Oxford, before signing up for a higher national diploma in computer-aided electrical engineering in Swansea, south Wales. The course included micro-electronics - a skill he would later put to use as an expert bomb-maker. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 90)
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Yousef Begins Attending School in Wales
After November 1986
  • Within a couple of years, Ramzi Yousef had joined Khalid and his other relatives in Peshawar. His first visit was in July 1988, during his summer vacation while he was still studying at college in Wales.(Masterminds of Terror, p. 92)
  • Ramzi Yousef, who had left Kuwait to study electrical engineering in Wales. Yousef made his first trip to Peshawar in 1988 during a semester break from Swansea Institute of Higher Education, where he was studying computer-aided electrical engineering. Then he returned the summer following graduation to train and offer instruction in explosives at the Sadda training camp for mujahideen. Controlled by Abdul Rasool Sayyaf, it was located in the wild Khumram Agency (agency was the bureaucratic term for the buffer zone between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which was managed by local Pashtun tribesmen) near the border town of Parachinar. (Pretext for War, pp. 98-99)

  • Yousef traveled back to Baluchistan in October 1986, aged 18. But by the end of November he was on his way to Britain to study, first at a higher education college in Oxford, before signing up for a higher national diploma in computer-aided electrical engineering in Swansea, south Wales. The course included micro-electronics - a skill he would later put to use as an expert bomb-maker. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 90)

 

Yousef Travels to Peshawar During Summer Break, Rendezvous with Uncle, KSM
July 1988
  • Within a couple of years, Ramzi Yousef had joined Khalid and his other relatives in Peshawar. His first visit was in July 1988, during his summer vacation while he was still studying at college in Wales.(Masterminds of Terror, p. 92)
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In Afghanistan Met Mahmud Abouhalima, Future Driver to Blind Sheikh
1988
  • There, he was welcomed by Mahmud Abouhalima, a 33-year-old Egyptian Yousef had met in Afghanistan in 1988. (Modern Jihad,
    pp. 3-4)
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Yousef Returns to Wales from Pakistan, To Complete Degree
Fall 1988
  • In the autumn he returned to Britain to complete his studies...(Masterminds of Terror, p. 92)

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Yousef Learned Perfect English While in Wales
1989
  • ...Yousef, who speaks perfect English with a British accent... (Pretext for War, p. 96)

  • He was educated as an electrical engineer in Wales, where he learned excellent English... (Holy War, p. 36)

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Graduated Electrical Engineering in Wales
1989
  • He was educated as an electrical engineer in Wales, where he learned excellent English... (Holy War, p. 36)

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Yousef's Uncle Abid (Brother of KSM) Killed in Afghanistan
1989
  • One of Khalid's brothers, Abid, was killed in 1989 during the final phase of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, while another, Zahid, became a senior figure in Al Qaeda with close connections to Osama bin Laden. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 89)

  • Two of his uncles had been martyred in the battle against the Soviets. (Ghost Wars, p. 249)

 

Uncle Zahid (Brother of KSM) Becomes Close to Osama Bin Laden
1989
  • They (KSM and Yousef) came to Peshawar, where Mohammed's brother was the head of one of the main Muslim relief organizations. Their friendliness was contagious. Karim (Yousef) became friends with Janjalani and spent some time in the Philippines training the latter's recruits... (Understanding Terror Networks, p. 42)

  • One of his uncles offered a connection to the Peshawar Islamist world: He was regional manager for a Kuwait-based charity called the Committee for Islamic Appeal. (Ghost Wars, p. 249)

  • One of Khalid's brothers, Abid, was killed in 1989 during the final phase of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, while another, Zahid, became a senior figure in Al Qaeda with close connections to Osama bin Laden. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 89)

 

Ramzi Yousef Seen at Sadda Training Camp, Learned Bomb-Making
1989
  • In the autumn he returned to Britain to complete his studies, but he was spotted again in 1989 at the Sadda training camp located in the Khumram Agency near Parachinar on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. The camp was under the control of Abdul Rab Rasool Sayyaf and Yousef instructed new recruits about explosives and bomb-making. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 92)

  • Ramzi Yousef, who had left Kuwait to study electrical engineering in Wales. Yousef made his first trip to Peshawar in 1988 during a semester break from Swansea Institute of Higher Education, where he was studying computer-aided electrical engineering. Then he returned the summer following graduation to train and offer instruction in explosives at the Sadda training camp for mujahideen. Controlled by Abdul Rasool Sayyaf, it was located in the wild Khumram Agency (agency was the bureaucratic term for the buffer zone between Pakistan and Afghanistan, which was managed by local Pashtun tribesmen) near the border town of Parachinar. (Pretext for War, pp. 98-99)

  • A former Al Qaeda member testified in a United States court that Ramzi Yousef (the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York) was himself one of the eager students at Al-Sadda during this period: 'near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, we got camp over there, and at that time run by Ibrahim al-Rari, and I saw [Ramzi Yousef] over there and he got trained over there.' (Al Qaeda's Jihad in Europe, p. 7)

Setting Up Terror Cell in Philippines
1989
  • With hindsight, Ramzi Yousef's decision to travel to the Philippines at this time indicates that he had made a decision; he would pass on his skills and work for the day when he could make a reputation for himself. Back in Pakistan after three months, Yousef returned to Dawal al-Jihad to teach explosives courses before leaving for the United States at the end of August 1992. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 95)

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Worked as Computer Operator in Kuwait
1989
  • When he returned home to the Gulf from Britain, Yousef found a job as a communications engineer in the National Computer Center of Kuwait's Ministry of Planning, a government sinecure that could ensure a comfortable life. (Ghost Wars, p. 248)

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Yousef Begins to Shift Hatred Towards KSM
1990s
  • While the Americans and other Western governments provided logistical support for the Arab jihad, Khalid and Ramzi Yousef had already begun to see beyond the end of the war and to nurture a deep hatred for the United States. American support for Israel negated everything they did in Afghanistan and once the Russians had been dealt with it would be the turn of the USA. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 92)

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Saddam Hussein Invaded Kuwait
August 1990
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Ramzi Yousef and Parents Flees Kuwait, During Invasion by Saddam Hussein, Go To Quetta, Pakistan
August 1990
  • Under interrogation, Ramzi Yousef admitted having fled Kuwait following the 1990 Iraqi invasion and enrolling in a six-month comprehensive training course (among a class of fifty-five other jihadi recruits) at various majahideen camps in Afghanistan, learning 'explosives, defensive tactics, weapons use, etc.' Several Arabic bomb-making manuals destined for Yousef were discovered inside an envelope marked with the letterhead of Lajnat Al-Birr Al-Islamiyya (the Benevolence International Foundation), the now designated Al Qaeda financial front group. (Al Qaeda's Jihad in Europe, pp. 71-72)

  • A year later his family's upward trajectory came to an abrupt halt. Saddam Hussein's army invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990, sacked the city, and sent thousands of foreign guest workers into hurried exile. Yousef's family fled to Quetta. They were refugees, albeit relatively wealthy ones. At some point after their return Yousef's parents slipped across the border and set up residence in Iran's province of Baluchistan. (Ghost Wars, p. 248)

 

Trains at Khalden Camp in Afghanistan
Late 1990
  • Yousef crossed into Afghanistan in late 1990 for training at an entry-level jihadist camp called Khalden, run by and for Arab mujahidin, not Afghans. He trained for about six months. He learned weapons tactics, basic explosives, and military maneuvers. There were about four or five dozen other Arab Islamists in the Middle East. Yousef later moved to a graduate-level camp for bomb makers, where he could apply his skills in electronics to the art of remote-controlled explosives. He learned the bombing techniques originally developed in the border-straddling guerrilla sabotage camps of Pakistani intelligence, which had been supplied with timing devices and plastic explosives by the CIA. (Ghost Wars, p. 249)

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Yousef Carries Out Some Bombing Attacks in Afghanistan, Mostly Experimentation
Late 1990
  • He carried out a few attacks in Afghanistan, not because he sought to participate in the Afghan civil war, he said later, but mainly to experiment. (Ghost Wars, p. 249)

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Yousef Moves To Pakistan, Marries
Early 1991
  • Early in 1991 he shifted back to Pakistan and married. During eighteen months of ensuing domesticity, he was in regular touch with radical Islamists along the Afghan border. He may have been in Peshawar during the spring of 1992 when Bin Laden returned briefly from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan to participate with Prince Turki in an effort to mediate the Afghan civil war. (Ghost Wars, p. 249)

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Yousef Taught Explosives Course Dawal al-Jihad in Pakistan
Before August 31, 1992
  • With hindsight, Ramzi Yousef's decision to travel to the Philippines at this time indicates that he had made a decision; he would pass on his skills and work for the day when he could make a reputation for himself. Back in Pakistan after three months, Yousef returned to Dawal al-Jihad to teach explosives courses before leaving for the United States at the end of August 1992. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 95)

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Yousef Buys False Iraqi Passport in Peshawar for $100
Before August 31, 1992
  • In September 1992, Yousef flew to New York on a false Iraqi passport he had purchased in Peshawar for $100. (Ghost Wars, p, 249)
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Yousef Leaves Peshawar for Karachi
August 31, 1992
  • On 31 August 1992, Ramzi Yousef left Peshawar for Karachi en route to New York City. Accompanying him was Ahmed Mohammad Ajaj, a former Domino's Pizza deliveryman from Houston, Texas....Yousef bribed a Pakistani official with $2,700 to arrange boarding cards for flight PK-703 to New York...Ajaj....was carrying...manuals and videotapes on the making of explosives, detonators and even a video of the suicide bombing of an American embassy. He was immediately taken into custody...While immigration officials questioned Ajaj, Yousef took a taxi and headed for the al-Kifah refugee centre, the New York City headquarters of Islamist terror, on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. (Modern Jihad, p. 3)

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Yousef Gets Forged Entrance Visa in Karachi, Heads for New York City
August 31, 1992
  • As neither one of them had a regular entry visa, Yousef bribed a Pakistani official with $2,700 to arrange boarding cards for flight PK-703 to New York. (Modern Jihad, p. 3)
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Arrives in New York City
September 1, 1992
  • "How did they get in?" I wondered. "What does their visa application say, terrorist?" Blitzer explained: "Well, two of them just showed up at JFK last year without any documents or even false docs. One of the two was detained because he had 'How to Make a Bomb' manuals on him." The other man was Ramzi Yousef. "So let me get this straight, we let a guy who was with a bomb builder, we let him get into a cab at JFK even though he shows up here without a passport?" I could not believe it. Immigration had given Yousef a citation to appear before an immigration magistrate at a later date and let him walk into the country. Ramzi Yousef was now the one FBI was fingering as the cell's leader. He had disappeared overseas after the attack. (Against All Enemies, p. 77)
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Yousef and Ajaj Carrying ID for Tucson
September 1, 1992
  • Tucson, not coincidentally, has been a fertile city for terrorists. When Ramzi Yousef and Ahmed Ajaj, plotters in the first World Trade Center bombing, arrived in the US in 1992, they carried identification tags listing them as working for the Al Bunyan Islamic Information Center in Tucson. (American Jihad, p. 133)

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Yousef Tells JFK Immigration "Political Persecution from Saddam Hussein" Seeking Asylum
September 1, 1992
  • Yousef arrived at JFK in New York on 1 September and requested political asylum, claiming he had been persecuted by Iraqi soldiers during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 95)

  • Arriving in New York without a visa, Yousef told immigration inspectors that he was requesting asylum. After being fingerprinted, he was released but ordered to show up for a later hearing. From the airport he apparently took a taxi to the East Village of Manhattan, where he met with Mahmoud Abouhalima. A graduate of one of Osama bin Laden's training camps, Abouhalima was also a former associate of El Sayyid Nosair, who was acquitted of charges he killed Rabbi Meir Kahane, the head of the Jewish Defense League, an anti-Arab terrorist group. (Pretext for War, p. 99)


Ahmed Ajaj

Ajaj Arrested, Found to Have Bomb-Making Manuals in Possession
September 1, 1992
  • Discovered in Ajaj's possession was an explosives manual, the title of which was mistranslated as "The Basic Rule" when it was entered into evidence at the Trade Center trial. The New York Times later correctly retranslated it as "Al Qaeda, The Base." (Holy War, p. 140)

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Wanted to Attack Israel, But Security Too High
Before September 1, 1992
  • He considered attacking Israeli targets but found them extremely difficult because of high security. If it was impossible to attack the enemy directly, then the next best thing to do was to "attack a friend of your enemy," as he put it later on. (Ghost Wars, p. 250)

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Yousef Made Many Calls and Visits to Ajaj, Who Had Plenty of Money
  • Yousef had made contact with Salameh within a few days of arrival, and telephone records showed that they called Ajaj frequently over the next six months in New York City, where Ajaj remained in prison. Ajaj seemed to have mysterious connections and unlimited funds. (American Jihad, p. 46

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Idea for Bombing World Trade Center Likely Originated Long Before Yousef's Arrival
Before September 1, 1992
  • The idea to attack the World Trade Center appears to have originated well before the 1993 attack. (Terror in the Name of God, p. 251)

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Yousef Made Frequent Calls To Number in Pakistan, Probably KSM
September 1, 1992
  • During his six-month stay in the United States Youesf always kept in touch with someone back in Pakistan. The likelihood is that it was Khalid. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 95)

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Many Even Telephoned Osama bin Laden
September 1992 - February 1993
  • Ramzi Yousef had even called bin Laden from New York. (Against All Enemies, p. 79)

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Yousef Made Frequent Calls To Number in Pakistan, Probably KSM
September 1, 1992
  • During his six-month stay in the United States Youesf always kept in touch with someone back in Pakistan. The likelihood is that it was Khalid. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 95)

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Yousef Tried and Failed to Release Gas Into Ventilation System of World Trade Center
Somewhere Between September 1992 - February 1993
  • Ramzi Yousef attempted to release the gas into the ventilation system of the World Trade Center prior to his bombing in 1993, and couldn't quite manage it. (One Percent Doctrine, p. 194)

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World Trade Center Bombing Intended to Kill 250,000 - Equivalent to Palestinian Deaths by Israel and/or Nuclear Explosions in Japan
February 26, 1993
  • Yousef envisioned the flaming wreckage of the twin structures crashing down upon the Wall Street district, crippling the economic heart of America and killing perhaps as many as 250,000 innocent people. (Al Qaeda's Jihad in Europe, p. 72)

  • Since that time, they have been trying to put Hiroshima and Magasaki in a jihadi perspective. Two signs of the jihadist will to use such a weapon were the 1993 and 2001 attacks on New York. In 1993, Ramzi Yousef and Sheikh Omar abdul Rahman knew that by exploding a truck inside the World Trade Center's underground parking garage at least one tower might collapse, killing tens of thousands, the equivalent of a nuclear detonation. (Virtual Jihad, p. 244

  • He decided that he should construct his bomb so that its force would wreck the central beam of one of the center's 110-story twin towers. Yousef hoped that as the first tower fell it would topple the second building. He calculated this would cause about 250,000 deaths, which be believed was roughly the number of casualties caused by America's atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. (Ghost Wars, pp. 249-250)
  • ...Yousef intended to topple one tower onto the other, bringing the entire complex down and killing what he hoped would be 250,000 people - a toll he thought equaled the pain of the Palestinians had experienced because of America's support of Israel. (Looming Tower, p. 202)

Yousef Tried to Get Nuclear Materials for Dirty Bomb for World Trade Center
February 26, 1993
  • Intelligence sources say this contact, who was close to Bin Laden, tried to obtain nuclear material so that the bomb detonated beneath the World Trade Center would be a radioactive dirty bomb. In the end, this attempt failed, but it did not stop Ramzi Yousef making the bomb and organizing the attack. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 95)

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WTC Bomb Made from Urea Nitrate and Nitro-Glycerine
February 26, 1993
  • The huge 1,200-lb bomb was slowly assembled, made from urea nitrate and nitro-glycerine. Added to this were three tanks of compressed hydrogen. Investigators said it was the largest improvised device ever assembled in America. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 95)

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Bomb in World Trade Center Intended to Be Mixed with Poisonous Hydroxide Gas, But Too Expensive
February 26, 1993
  • He had wanted to use hydroxide, a poison gas, but found it too expensive. (American Jihad, pp. 51-52)

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World Trade Center Bomb Laced with Cyanide
February 26, 1993
  • Yousef...He laced the bomb with cyanide, hoping that toxic fumes would kill people who managed to survive the initial blast...The cyanide burned up when the bomb went off, and poisoned no one. (Securing the City, pp. 15-16)

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Yousef Drove Vehicle into World Trade Center Parking Garage
February 26, 1993
  • Six months later, a yellow Ford Econoline Ryder rental van was driven down the sloping ramp into the World Trade Center garage and parked in a space next to a concrete wall on the B-2 level. Packed inside the 295 cubic feet of space behind the driver's seat was twelve hundred pounds of high explosive - a witch's brew of nitroglycerine, urea pellets, sulfuric acid, aluminum azide, magnesium azide, and bottled hydrogen. Attached to the bomb were four fuses, each twenty feet long and covered with surgical tubing to help prevent escaping smoke. Once lit, the fuses burned at the rate of one inch per two-and-a-half seconds. (Pretext for War, p. 100)

  • The bombers drove two vehicles into the towers' underground parking garage, transferred the explosives into one vehicle and drove off in the other. (Sacred Rage, p. 253)

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Bomb Could Not Be Placed Exactly Where Wanted, Prevented "Perfect" Detonation
February 26, 1993
  • Luckily, Yousef's plan did not work to perfection: the van with the explosives was parked several metres away from the "ideal" spot, where it would have caused maximum damage, and parts of the bomb failed to detonate. Nevertheless, six people lost their lives in the attack and hundreds more were physically and psychologically injured. (Modern Jihad, p. 4)

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WTC Bomb Cost $400 To Build; Whole Operation was $15,000 Mostly from Friends and Family, Though Some Charity Money
  • Although the FBI and the CIA succeeded in tracing some of Yousef's money to Germany, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, without a confession or a major breakthrough it was impossible to discover the identity of the sources. Yousef insisted that the whole operation cost no more than $15,000 and that more than half of that came from friends and family. The court did not press him to reveal his financial sources because they were not considered vital in establishing his innocence or guilt during the trial. So he never explained how he paid for the vast expenditures incurred carrying out other deadly attacks in Asia, including the ambitious Bojinka plot. (Modern Jihad, p. 8)

  • The materials needed to construct Yousef's bomb cost about $400. (Ghost Wars, p. 250)
  • Ramzi Yousef, for example, received funds which were meant to be charitable donations from a company importing Holy Water from Mecca to Pakistan. (Modern Jihad, p. 120)

 

Ramzi Yousef Lit Four 20-Foot Long Fuses
February 26, 1993
  • Yousef lit four twenty-foot-long fuses and fled to a vantage point just north of Canal Street, from which he expected to see the buildings fall. (Looming Tower, p. 202)

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Yousef Watched WTC Explosion from Just North of Canal Street
February 26, 1993
  • Yousef lit four twenty-foot-long fuses and fled to a vantage point just north of Canal Street, from which he expected to see the buildings fall. (Looming Tower, p. 202)

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Most Dead and Casualties in US Since Civil War
February 26, 1993
  • The explosion blew through six stories of structural steel and cement, all the way down to the PATH train station below the garage and up to the Marriott ballroom above it. The shock was so great that tourists felt the ground shudder a mile away on Ellis Island. Six people were killed and 1,042 were injured, generating the greatest number of hospital casualties of any event in American history since the Civil War. (Looming Tower, pp. 202-203)

  • 26 February 1993: Ramzi Yousef detonated a bomb in the underground garage of the World Trade Center in New York City, killing six people and wounding one thousand. Bin Laden said Yousef was "a Muslim who defended Islam from American aggression." (Through Our Enemies Eyes, p. 152)

 

$300 Million in Damage to World Trade Center
February 26, 1993
  • On February 26, 1993, a bomb was detonated under the World Trade Center in New York, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000; it also caused over $300 million damage. (Messages to the World, p. 53)

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Yousef Took Plane To Pakistan, About 6 pm EST, First Class Ticket
February 26, 1993
  • Yousef had boarded a plane for Pakistan six hours after the bomb detonated. (American Jihad, p. 46)

  • He mentioned that when he escaped to Pakistan, he bought a first-class ticket because he had discovered the first-class passengers received less scrutiny than those in coach. (Ghost Wars, p. 273)

Yousef's Accomplices Send Several Claims of Responsibility to New York Media
Februay 27, 1993
  • The next day, one of the members of the cell called the New York Daily News "tips line" and claimed responsibility for the bombing on behalf of the "Liberation Army," which was the name Yousef gave to his terrorist group. "We conducted the explosion at the World Trade Center. You will get our demands by mail. This is the Liberation Army." The letter containing the demands was sent to the New York Times. It said that the World Trade Center was bombed in retaliation for American support and demanded changes in American foreign policy in the Middle East. If the demands were not met, the letter warned, more terrorist "missions" would be carried out against military and civilian targets in America and abroad. It also warned that future attacks could be carried out by "suicidal soldiers." (Pretext for War, pp. 100-101)

  • The CIA and FBI had no doubts about the authenticity of the message. This was because they found a second "Liberation Army" letter, never sent, on a computer disk seized from the office of one of the cell members in New Jersey. Although the letter had been deleted, computer experts were able to recover it. This second letter made it very clear that they were planning to return to finish what they had started at the World Trade Center. "Unfortunately, our calculations were not very accurate this time....However, we promise you that next time it will be very precise, and the World Trade Center will continue to be one of our targets in the US, unless our demands are met." (Pretext for War, p. 102)

  • He mailed letters claiming responsibility to New York newspapers. The letters claimed the attack for the "Liberation Army, Fifth Battalion" and issued three political demands: an end to all US aid to Israel, an end to diplomatic relations with Israel, and a pledge to end interference "with any of the Middle East countries [sic] interior affairs." If these demands were not met, Yousef and his colleagues wrote, the group would "continue to execute our missions against military and civilian [sic] targets in and out of the United States. This will include some potential Nuclear targets." The Liberation Army had 150 "suicidal soldiers ready to go ahead," the letters claimed. "The terrorism that Israel practices (which is supported by America) must be faced with a similar one." The American people should know "that their civilians who got killed are not better than those who are getting killed by the American weapons and support." For a terrorist sermon composed by a graduate of Arab jihad training camps in Afghanistan, his letter struck remarkably secular political themes. It made no references to Islam at all. Its specific demands might have been issued by Palestinian Marxists. (Ghost Wars, pp. 250-251)

  • An earlier, discarded draft of Yousef's letter, found by American investigators on a computer belonging to one of his co-conspirators, added a warning which captured Yousef's frustration that he could not afford a potent enough bomb. "Unfortunately, our calculations were not very accurate this time" read the deleted sentence. "However, we promise you that next time, it will be very precise and WTC will continue to be one of our targets unless our demands have been met." (Ghost Wars, p. 251)

 

Yousef Arrives in Karachi from NYC, Then Goes to Quetta, Working for Islamic Charity
February 27, 1993
  • Yousef left New York within hours, flying first to Karachi and then on to Quetta in Baluchistan where he stayed with his two younger brothers and his young wife and child and began working for an Islamic charity as a cover. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 95)

  • Hours later, the thick spiraling clouds of black and gray smoke pouring out of the World Trade Center were still visible as Ramzi Yousef rode to Kennedy Airport. In his pocket was a ticket on Pakistan International Airlines flight to Karachi, and from there to Quetta, Pakistan, on the Afghanistan border. (Pretext for War, p. 100)

 

Yousef Moving Back and Forth Between Quetta Home and Bin Laden Safe House in Peshawar
1993
  • ...Yousef escaped to Pakistan, where he lived in his home in Quetta and in Al Qaeda's safe house in Peshawar. Osama had by then departed for Khartoum but Yousef kept in touch with the Al Qaeda leadership. (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 238)

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Assassination Attempt on Benazir Bhutto Maims Yousef, When Bomb Explodes Too Soon
Summer 1993
  • While in Pakistan, Yousef tried to assassinate the country's first woman prime minister, Benazir Bhutto. Truly a one-man global jihad. (Holy War, p. 36)

  • Yousef, for example, planned to follow the World Trade Center bombing with the assassinations of Pope John Paul II and the prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, and the nearly simultaneous in-flight bombings of eleven US passenger airliners. (Inside Terrorism, p. 248)

  • Together with Abdul Hakim and Abdul Shakur, both from Kuwait, he tried to assassinate Benazir Bhutto, then running for election as prime minister, but the bomb exploded prematurely, injuring Yousef's left eye. (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 238)
  • For the next two years, Yousef involved himself in a whirlwind of terrorist operations. The same year he injured himself when he tried to kill Pakistan's then Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, with a car bomb. A detonator exploded prematurely and he had to go to the hospital with serious eye injuries. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 96)

 

Yousef Arrives in Thailand, Fails to Blow Up Israeli Embassy
Spring 1994
  • In the spring of 1994, Ramzi Yousef moved to Thailand where he tried to blow up the Israeli Embassy. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 97)

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Shrine of Imam Reza

Yousef, Brother and Father Bomb Shrine of Prophet Muhammad's Grandson, Reza
June 1994
  • In June 1994, along with his own father and his younger brother, Abdul Muneem, he set out to bomb the shrine of the Prophet's grandson, Reza, in Mashad, close to the Afghan border in eastern Iran. The small bomb they used caused extensive damage to the prayer hall and killed 26 people. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 97)

  • Indefatigable in his determination to stage fresh attacks, he tried in February 1995 to get to Thailand in order to bomb the US embassy in Bangkok. Yousef was also involved in the bombing of a Shia mosque in Iran. (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 239)
  • Ahmad Ramzi Yousef, who built the vehicle bomb that damaged the World Trade Center and killed six New Yorkers on February 26 1993, is also alleged to have instigated a bomb attack the following year on the Shia shrine of Imam Reza in Mashad, Iran. (Shia Revival, p. 166)


 

US and Pakistan Examine Safe Houses But Nothing Unusual Found
1993 - 1994
  • Under American pressure raids were quickly mounted on the Quetta house and later on the house in Peshawar that belong to his uncle Zahid al-Sheikh. By the time the authorities arrived, however, both men had fled, leaving behind a trail of paperwork that tied the very closely to Bin Laden. p. 95)

  •  


 

Osama Bin Laden Assigns Yousef and KSM to Return to Philippines, Introduced to Abu Sayyaf Leadership Via Bin Laden
1994
  • After Ramzi Ahmed Yousef bombed the World Trade Center in February 1993, Osama dispatched him to the Philippines for a second time to infiltrate Filipino Islamist groups. Financially backed by Khalifa, he was to train the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in terrorist techniques. Osama personally forged the link with Abdurajak Janjalani, the founder and leader of ASG, and introduced Yousef to him in Peshawar. ASG's organization, ideology, target selection and tactics are deeply influenced by Al Qaeda... (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 232)

  •  


KSM

Yousef and KSM Fly to Philippines, To Help Train the Abu Sayyaf Group in Mindanao
After June 1994
  • In 1994, following their bombing of the World Trade Center, Khalid Shaikh and Ramzi Yousef flew to the Philippines to aid a local terrorist organization, Abu Sayyaf. Organized by several dozen veterans from the Afghan war, the group was hoping to establish an independent Muslim nation in the southern part of the country. (Pretext for War, pp. 133-134)

  • As part of their work for Abu Sayyaf, Yousef spent a short period of time in the Mindanao city of Basilan, where he trained around twenty members of the group in bomb-making. (Pretext for War, p. 134)

 

Yousef Moves to Tiffany Apartments in San Juan Region of Manila
August-September, 1994
  • At the Tiffany apartments in Eisenhower Street, San Juan, Metro Manila, where he (KSM) lived with Ramzi Yousef in August and September 1994, he used the name Salem Ali. Yousef called himself Dr Adel Sabah. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 97)

  • Khalid Shaikh and Yousef then moved to Manila...(Pretext for War, p. 134)

 

Yousef Goes By Alias of Dr. Adel Sabah
August-September, 1994
  • At the Tiffany apartments in Eisenhower Street, San Juan, Metro Manila, where he (KSM) lived with Ramzi Yousef in August and September 1994, he used the name Salem Ali. Yousef called himself Dr Adel Sabah. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 97)

  •  

 

Yousef Bombs Greenbelt Theater in Manila
10:30 pm local time
December 1, 1994
  • Their first attack was the bombing of the Greenbelt Theater in Manila on 1 December. (Masterminds of Terror, pp. 97-98)

  • Wali Khan Amin Shah placed a bomb under a seat, injuring several

  • Yousef gave him a small package and instructed him to plant it in the ninth seat of the fourth row in Cinema "C" at the Greenbelt Theater on Taft Avenue in Manila. Yousef had set the Casio timer to detonate minutes after Shah placed it. Given the time of the late-night screening, he wasn't sure how many casualties there would be...Yousef had laced the nitrocellulose with sulfur. (1000 Years for Revenge, pp. 236-237)

 

Yousef Moves to Dona Josefa Apartments in Malate Region of Manila
December 8, 1994
  • A week later, on 8 December, they moved to the Dona Josefa apartments in Malate, Metro Manila... (Masterminds of Terror, pp. 97-98)

  •  

 

Yousef Starts Bomb Factory in His Dona Josefa Apartment
December 8, 1994
  • Yousef was building his bomb factory in Room 603 of the Dona Josefa Apartments. (Pretext for War, p. 134)

  •  


Wali Khan Amin Shah

Two Jihadis Join Yousef and KSM in Manila
December 8, 1994
  • ...where they were soon joined by another old friend and former jihadi, Wali Khan Amin Shah, an Afghani with an Uzbek background. (Masterminds of Terror, pp. 97-98)

  •  

Philippines Airlines Flight 434 Bombed
December 11, 1994
  • On December 11, 1994, Yousef went to Ninoy Aquino International Airport near Manila to try out his newly developed air bomb. That evening, he boarded Philippine Airlines Flight 434 bound for Tokyo, with a stopover at the Philippine resort town of Cebu. A Boeing 747-200 jumbo jet, the plane carried 273 passengers and a crew of 20. To get past security, he had removed the liquid from a small bottle of contact lens solution and replaced it with cotton balls soaked in extremely explosive nitroglycerine. He had also modified the Casio digital watch he was wearing to work as a timing device. He did this by attaching electronic components to the alarm bell in the small space underneath the watch's calculator. All that was visible was a tiny plug. Tiny nine-volt batteries he had taken out of children's toys were hidden in the heels of his shoes. After takeoff, Yousef went to the rest room and snapped a small fusing system, made of lightbulb filaments and the two nine-volt batteries, into the plug on the back of his watch. Then he wrapped the watch around the device and set the timer for four hours. Returning to his seat, 26k - a window seat off the right wing near the center fuel tank - he hid the bomb in the life jacket pouch underneath his seat cushion. When the plane landed at Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Yousef was one of the forty-six passengers who deplaned. A short while later, when the plane took off for Tokyo, Yousef was not aboard. Instead, seat 26k was now occupied by a Japanese industrial sewing machine maker, Haruki Ikegami, twenty-four, who was returning home from a business meeting in Cebu. At 11:43 pm, about two hours into the flight, the alarm on the watch triggered the lightbulb filaments, which ignited the nitroglycerine-soaked cotton. The resulting blast nearly tore Haruki Ikegami in two, killing him instantly. At the time, the plane was over Minami Daito Island, 960 miles southwest of Tokyo. Ten others were wounded, and a hole ripped in the floorboard severed the aileron control cables that run the length of the aircraft and control the wing flaps. Despite severely crippled steering systems, the pilot was able to turn the plane around and land safely in Okinawa. Although Flight 434 was not blown out of the sky, the bomb worked perfectly and encouraged Yousef and Murad, who began filling fourteen more contact lens solution bottles with nitroglycerine. The same technique would be used on the eleven American aircraft targeted over a two-day period, January 21-22. The bombers would come from the twenty or so people who made up Yousef's highly compartmentalized Manila cell. (Pretext for War, pp. 136-137)

  • On 11 December 1994, Khalid and Yousef successfully placed a bomb on a Philippines Air (PAL) airliner bound for Japan, killing a Japanese national and seriously wounding 11 others. The bombing was in revenge for the arrest of Ramzi Yousef's accomplices in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 98)
  • Yousef demonstrated comparable operational cleverness with the method he devised for bombing US airliners over the Pacific (and which he successfully tested, with a small amount of explosive, on a Philippine Airlines plane in December 1994). The technique involved bringing on board innocuous-looking items (including a prepared digital watch and a bottle for contact lens solution that really contained a liquid explosive), assembling them in a lavatory, and leaving the assembled device hidden on the aircraft when the terrorist got off at an intermediate stop. (Terrorism and US Foreign Policy, p. 39)

Yousef Telephoned Associated Press, Claiming Responsibility for Philippines Air Bombing
December 11, 1994
  • [After bombing Philippines Airlines...] Although the name Al Qaeda was not used, Yousef phoned the Associated Press in Manila and claimed responsibility for the attack. (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 233)

  •  

 

Murad Arrived at Josefa Apartments on Boxing Day, 1994
December 26, 1994
  • One clue might lie in the background of Abdul Hakim Murad, the childhood friend from Kuwait who arrived in Manila on Boxing Day 1994 and was arrested at the Dona Josefa apartment two weeks later. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 98)

  •  

 

Yousef's "Recruit" Ishtiaque Parker, in Pakistan, Turns Yousef In
December 1994 to February 1995
  • Abdul Basit Karim (Ramsi Yousef) tried to recruit Ishtiaque Parker, a South African student at Islamabad Islamic University. Karim's brother-in-law, a student at the same university, met Parker by chance and took an interest in his South African citizenship. Two days later, he introduced Parker to Karim (Yousef), who poured on the charm and expressed an interest in marrying a South African girl in order to get a South African passport. Karim (Yousef) met him again two or three times and carried on innocuous conversations. In December 1994, Karim (Yousef) broke cover and told him about his involvement with the 1993 World Trade Center bombings and several other bombings. He asked Parker to take a bag overseas for him in return for $10,000 and told him he would provide specific instructions later. Karim (Yousef) left for the Philippines and returned precipitously after the fire in Manila ruined his plans for the Bojinka plot. He called Parker, who by this time was terrified of Karim (Yousef). They both flew to Bangkok, where Karim (Yousef) packed explosives in suitcases and dispatched Parker to the airport to send them as cargo with a US carrier. Parker went and returned but lied that security was too tight to carry out the plan. They both returned to Islamabad. After their return, Karim (Yousef) told Parker that his computer had fallen into the hands of the police in Manila and that Parker's name was in it. This terrified Parker even more. The next day Karim (Yousef) told Parker to take a small package to a Shiite mosque the following day. Instead, Parker telephoned the US embassy and revealed what he knew. On the basis of this information, a mixed US-Pakistani force arrested Karim (Yousef) on February 7, 1995. (Understanding Terror Networks, p. 109)

  • ...Indeed, Karim's (Yousef's) premature attempt to recruit Ishtiaque Parker, a stranger, backfired and resulted in his arrest. (Understanding Terror Networks, p. 42)

 

Yousef's Bomb Recipes in Manila Included Sodium Hydroxide, Water, Picric Acid, and Sulfuric Acid
January 7, 1995
  • In the kitchen were recipes from Hell: "Put 0.5 g of sodium hydroxide with 30 ml of warm water. Add to them 3 g of picric acid...very slowly add sulfuric acid to the liquid until its color is changed to orange, then to brown." (Pretext for War, p. 135)

  •  


Josefa Apartments, where fire broke out

Fire Breaks Out in Dona Josefa Apartments
January 7, 1995
  • ...Following the arrest of Abdul Hakim Murad on January 7, 1995, as he and Ramzi Yousef were cooking chemicals for Bojinka in the Philippines, Yousef managed to escape back to Pakistan. But just a month later, he was located, arrested, and brought back to the United States. (Pretext for War, p. 164)

  • In the rush to escape, Yousef forgot his laptop, which contained vital information. Abdul Hakim Murad, one of the accomplices, was sent to recover the computer, but was arrested by the police. (Modern Jihad, pp. 8-9)

  • Police responded to a fire at the Tiffany Mansion apartments in Manila on January 7, 1995. The apartment belonged to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the Baluchi Islamist who was Yousef's uncle. Inside the apartment police found one of Yousef's cohorts, Abdul Hakim Murad. (Ghost Wars, p. 274)

 

Ramzi Yousef's Accomplice In Manila, At Time Of Fire, A Suicide Pilot
January 7, 1995
  • In the rush to escape, Yousef forgot his laptop, which contained vita information. Abdul Hakim Murad, one of his accomplices, was sent to recover the computer, but was arrested by the police. He later admitted to being a qualified pilot recruited by Yousef to carry out a suicide mission. According to Murad's confession, Yousef intended to hijack several commercial flights in the US and crash the planes into the CIA headquarters and the Pentagon.
    [source: Modern Jihad, p. 8-9]
  •  

 

Bonjinka Plot to Bomb US and Israeli Embassies,
January 1995
  • In January, an accidental explosion in Manila led the Philippine National Police to the bomb-making lab of Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center attack. Inside they found evidence of a new terrorist plot to blow up twelve American airplanes in Asia, assassinate the pope, bomb US and Israeli embassies in Manila, and crash an airplane into CIA headquarters. Filipino police quickly arrested an accomplice, Abdul Hakim Murad, and the FBI nabbed Yousef in Pakistan a few weeks later. (Spying Blind, p. 130)

  •  

 

Planning of Bojinka Did Not Require Extensive Terrorist Training Camps
January 1995
  • The activities of the peripatetic Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, reputed mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, during his sojourn in the Philippines in 1994 and 1995 is a case in point. Yousef's grand scheme to bomb simultaneously eleven American commercial aircraft in midflight over the Pacific Ocean (the infamous "Bojinka" plot), for example, did not require extensive operational bases and command and control headquarters in an existing country to facilitate its planning and execution. (Inside Terrorism, p. 283)

  •  

 

Bojinka Called for Bombing of Department Stores, Commercial Centers, Government Installations, Kidnappings and Assassinations
January 1995
  • ...Al Qaeda launched Oplan Bojinka in 1994, under Yousef's direction, the details of which emerged in the US trial of Yousef. Its principal elements were to assassinate Pope John Paul II and President Clinton during their visits to Manila; to assassinate President Fidel V. Ramos, two senior government officials, several foreign ambassadors to the Philippines and other diplomats, military and police officials and private individuals; to bomb commercial centers, department stores, the US embassy, an international school, Catholic churches and vital government installations; to kidnap prominent personalities for ransom, hold up banks and financial institutions and rob commercial establishments such as SM department stores; to assassinate miscellaneous US and Israeli nationals; to bomb eleven passenger aircraft flying over the Asia-Pacific region. (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 233)

  •  

 

Phase of Oplan Bojinka to Bomb Catholic Churches, Government Installations, and International School
January 1995
  • Oplan Bojinka also involved hitting various targets in the Philippines including the US Embassy, the International School, Catholic churches and government installations. But the heart of the plan was a plot to blow up 11 airliners simultaneously as they flew over the Pacific. In each case a bomb would be planted under a seat and the bomber would leave the plane during a stopover. Khalid was the main organizer. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 99)

  •  

Yousef Plotted Assassination of Pope John Paul II in Manila for January 15, 1995
  • Yousef, for example, planned to follow the World Trade Center bombing with the assassinations of Pope John Paul II and the prime minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, and the nearly simultaneous in-flight bombings of eleven US passenger airliners. (Inside Terrorism, p. 248)

  • ...Only a small portion of the bomb-making ingredients, however, was intended for the pope. Just enough to outfit a suicide bomber dressed up as a priest, who would make his way to the vicinity of the pontiff and detonate the charge...the planned assassination of the pope during his visit to Manila from January 12 to 16, 1995. (Pretext for War, p. 136)

  • Al Qaeda members Yousef, Murad and Wali Khan Amin Shah rented an apartment in Manila, where they prepared the plan to assassinate Pope John Paul II, who was due to arrive in January 1995. If the pipe bomb attack failed, Al Qaeda planned for an operative disguised as a priest to shoot the Pope. (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 238)

  • Khalid's idea was to explode a bomb near the stage where the Pope would be saying Mass in front of tens of thousands of worshippers. In the pandemonium that followed, snipers were to open up at random on the fleeing crowd. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 98)

  • Khalid Shaikh and Yousef then moved to Manila, where they came up with a plan to assassinate the religious leader of the Christian world, the Pope, during a planned visit to the Philippines in January 1995. The assassination would also serve as a diversion for a much more ambitious terrorist operation, one that would be carried out at almost the same time against the United States. (Pretext for War, p. 134)

  • More important, the apartment was only a block away from the papal ninciature, which was to play host to Pope John Paul II during his visit, and plans were for the Pontiff's motorcade to travel down General Quirino Avenue, right under their window...Tucked into the corner of a bedside mirror, above a new crucifix, rosary, and a Bible, was a picture of the Pope...a piece of paper with a phone message from a tailor: "The priest's cassock that had been ordered was ready for a final fitting." (Pretext for War, p. 135)

  • The "helper" may have been Abdul Hakim Murad (1968 - ), an alleged conspirator in the abortive terrorist scheme named Operation Bojinka. This was a series of plots, developed by Ramzi Yousef and his uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to destroy 11 airliners on January 21 and 22 1995, to kill John Paul II on January 15 1995, and to crash a plane into CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia...Murad subsequently confessed to Filipino interrogators under torture, and was extradited to the USA on April 12 1995; his testimony would help convict Yousef. (Messages to the World, p. 75)

  • Yousef had also been involved in plots to assassinate Pope John Paul II during an official visit to the Philippines and in a plan to have a suicide pilot fly a small plane loaded with explosives into CIA headquarters. (At the Center of the Storm, pp. 250-251)

Oplan Bojinka Plan for Private Plane, Piloted by Murad, To Crash into CIA Headquarters in Langley, Packed with Explosives
  • The "helper" may have been Abdul Hakim Murad (1968 - ), an alleged conspirator in the abortive terrorist scheme named Operation Bojinka. This was a series of plots, developed by Ramzi Yousef and his uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to destroy 11 airliners on January 21 and 22 1995, to kill John Paul II on January 15 1995, and to crash a plane into CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia...Murad subsequently confessed to Filipino interrogators under torture, and was extradited to the USA on April 12 1995; his testimony would help convict Yousef. (Messages to the World, p. 75)

  • Yousef had also been involved in plots to assassinate Pope John Paul II during an official visit to the Philippines and in a plan to have a suicide pilot fly a small plane loaded with explosives into CIA headquarters. (At the Center of the Storm, pp. 250-251)

  • The plot to crash a plane into CIA headquarters was described in a briefing report written by the Manila police and sent to American investigators. Murad said the idea arose in conversation between himself and Yousef. The Filipino police wrote that winter that Murad planned "to board any American commercial aircraft pretending to be an ordinary passenger. Then he will hijack said aircraft, control its cockpit, and dive it at the CIA headquarters. There will be no bomb or any explosive that he will use in its execution. It is simply a suicidal mission that he is very much willing to execute." (Ghost Wars, p. 275)

  • Although Oplan Bojinka - an operation to destroy eleven US airliners over the Pacific, to crash an explosive-laden plane into the Pentagon and the CIA headquarters and to assassinate President Clinton and Pope John Paul II in Manila - was exposed, Al Qaeda was not vigorously monitored, nor were its leaders hunted down. (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 8)


Abdul Hakim Murad

Pacific Airliner Bombing Stage of Oplan Bojinka Planned for January 21-22
  • The "helper" may have been Abdul Hakim Murad (1968 - ), an alleged conspirator in the abortive terrorist scheme named Operation Bojinka. This was a series of plots, developed by Ramzi Yousef and his uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to destroy 11 airliners on January 21 and 22 1995, to kill John Paul II on January 15 1995, and to crash a plane into CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia...Murad subsequently confessed to Filipino interrogators under torture, and was extradited to the USA on April 12 1995; his testimony would help convict Yousef. (Messages to the World, p. 75)

  • He had also plotted, together with his right hand man, Abdul Hakim Murad, as well as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, his uncle, to destroy eleven American airplanes in midair, a plot that was successfully tested on a Philippine airliner in December 1994, killing one passenger and injuring at least six others. The plot became known as the Bojinka Plot, which is Serb-Croat for "the explosion." (Terror in the Name of God, p. 251)

  • Yousef was arrested in Islamabad, Pakistan, in 1995, and later tried and convicted in US courts for his part in planning "Operation Bojinka," which envisioned simultaneously blowing up twelve airliners over the Pacific. (At the Center of the Storm, pp. 250-251)

  • Now he, Yousef, and Khalid Shaikh were planning a complex, highly coordinated series of bombings on nearly a dozen American airliners flying across the Pacific to US airports. Its code name was Bojinka, "loud bang" in Serbo-Croatian. It was to take place about a week after the planned assassination of the pope during his visit to Manila from January 12 to 16, 1995. (Pretext for War, p. 136)

Ramzi Yousef's Manila Fire Revealed Early Links With Al Qaeda
  • The decoding of the data in the laptop revealed a link between Ramzi Yousef and Al Qaeda, through Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, regarded by the Filipino authorities as the regional head of Al Qaeda (and regarded as one of the men suspected of having masterminded the Bali bombing in October 2002).
    [source: Modern Jihad, p. 9]
  • A decade ago, Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing, was storing detailed plans to destroy United States airliners on encrypted files on his laptop computer. (My FBI, p. 305)

  • Oplan Bojinka also involved hitting various targets in the Philippines including the US Embassy, the International School, Catholic churches and government installations. But the heart of the plan was a plot to blow up 11 airliners simultaneously as they flew over the Pacific. In each case a bomb would be planted under a seat and the bomber would leave the plane during a stopover. Khalid was the main organizer. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 99)

  • He also found something much more remarkable: "One report, which suggested an alternate plan to blowing up of 11 airliners, mentioned crashing the airliners into the World Trade Center in New York, the White House and Pentagon in Washington DC, the John Hancock Tower in Boston, Sears Tower in Chicago and Transamerica Tower in San Francisco. Note that the original plan was the bombing or blowing up of 11 airliners. The crashing was an alternate plan (at that time). (Masterminds of Terror, p. 99)


Beit-Ashuhada (House of Martyrs) Guesthouse

Yousef Escapes Philippines, Arrives at Al Qaeda Safe House in Pakistan
January 7 or 8, 1995
  • The encrypted data on his personal computer was so complex that even when the FBI mirrored his hard drive they took several months to decode his data. Ultimately this revealed the plans for Bojinka, and Murad and Shah were arrested. After saying good-bye to his girlfriend in Manila, Yousef slipped the net, escaping to Peshawar, where he stayed in Osama's Beit-Ashuhada (House of Martyrs). (Inside Al Qaeda, pp. 238-239)

  • From 1993 to 1995, when he was finally captured, Ramzi Yousef had resided on and off in Peshawar at the Bayt Ashuhada (House of the Martyrs), one of the guest houses financed by Bin Laden. (Modern Jihad, pp. 5-6)

 

Murad Tortured by Manila Police, Reveals Bojinka Plans
January 1995
  • But on January 7, 1995, as Yousef and Murad were cooking their deadly brew, a fire broke out in their apartment and Murad was captured and subjected to a lengthy and torturous, interrogation. In addition to details on Bojinka, the techniques Murad described included an astonishing preview of what would take place in September 2001, just six years later...As with the World Trade Center bombing, Murad admitted that the airborne terrorism directed at America was a result of its support for Israel. "What do you mean by Liberation Army?" asked the interrogator. It was the same name Yousef had given the cell that had bombed the World Trade Center in New York one year earlier. Said Murad, "We shall liberate all the Muslims from the United States, from Israel." (Pretext for War, pp. 137-138)

  • Similarly, Ramzi Ahmad Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, reportedly planned to follow that incident with the simultaneous bombings of 11 US passenger airliners. (Countering the New Terrorism, p. 13)

 

Yousef Tried To Enter Thailand, To Bomb US Embassy in Bangkok
Februay 1995
  • Indefatigable in his determination to stage fresh attacks, he tried in February 1995 to get to Thailand in order to bomb the US embassy in Bangkok. Yousef was also involved in the bombing of a Shia mosque in Iran. (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 239)

  • Abdul Basit Karim (Ramsi Yousef) tried to recruit Ishtiaque Parker, a South African student at Islamabad Islamic University...He called Parker, who by this time was terrified of Karim (Yousef). They both flew to Bangkok, where Karim (Yousef) packed explosives in suitcases and dispatched Parker to the airport to send them as cargo with a US carrier. Parker went and returned but lied that security was too tight to carry out the plan. They both returned to Islamabad. After their return, Karim (Yousef) told Parker that his computer had fallen into the hands of the police in Manila and that Parker's name was in it. This terrified Parker even more. The next day Karim (Yousef) told Parker to take a small package to a Shiite mosque the following day. Instead, Parker telephoned the US embassy and revealed what he knew. On the basis of this information, a mixed US-Pakistani force arrested Karim (Yousef) on February 7, 1995. (Understanding Terror Networks, p. 109)

Yousef Snatched in Rendition Program in Islamabad from Either Holiday Inn or Su Casa
Febuary 7, 1995
  • Brian Parr stood in the darkness beside an American military transport jet on the tarmac of Islamabad's civil-military airport. Parr was a six-year Secret Service veteran assigned to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York. He was a specialist in transporting dangerous prisoners. Twenty-four hours earlier he had been summoned to Washington and told to scramble for a flight to Pakistan. His prize now approached in a vehicle driven by Pakistani and intelligence officers. It was just after sunset, February 8, 1995. From the back of the vehicle stepped Ramzi Yousef...With FBI agents Bradley Garrett and Charles Stern, Parr escorted Yousef into the American plane. The day before, Pakistani intelligence officers and commandos had burst into Room 16 of the Su Casa guest house in Islamabad, arresting Yousef as he prepared to leave the capital. Pakistan's government had agreed to turn Yousef over to the United States to face charges in the World Trade Center bombing...Asked by Garrett whether he had committed the World Trade Center bombing, Yousef replied, "I masterminded the explosion." (Ghost Wars, pp. 272-273)

  • In February 1995, Pakistan captured Ramzi Yousef and returned him to the United States...(Through Our Enemies Eyes, p. 154)

  • We snatched Ramzi Yousef, who was under indictment for murder in the first World Trade Center attack, from a hotel in Pakistan and just missed nabbing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Qatr. (My FBI, p. 215) On 1995, FBI agents snatched Yousef out of a guesthouse in Pakistan known to be sponsored by Osama bin Laden and returned him to New York, where he was tried and convicted not only of the earlier World Trade Center bombing but also of a plot to destroy eleven US airliners in flight over the Pacific. (My FBI, p. 281) Courageous agents and officers from both services (the FBI and the CIA) apprehended Ramzi Yousef from his fleabag Pakistani hotel and brought him back to stand trial in New York City. (My FBI, p. 308)

  • ...a month later, on 7 February 1995, he was arrested at the Holiday Inn, Islamabad, by Rehman Malik, director-general of Pakistan's Federal Investigation Agency. (Masterminds of Terror, p. 99)

 

After Snatch of Yousef, Pakistan No Longer Regarded as "Safe Territory"
February 7, 1995
  • But after the arrest of Ramzi Ahmed Yousef in Pakistan, Osama realized that Pakistan could no longer be counted upon as a safe haven. (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 52)

  •  

 

Ramzi Had Newspaper Clippings and Bomb Detonators in Possession at Time of Snatch
February 7, 1995
  • Similarly, when Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the alleged mastermind behind the 1993 bombing of New York's World Trade Center, was apprehended in Pakistan two years later, police found in his possession two remote-control explosive devices, along with a collection of newspaper articles detailing his exploits. (Inside Terrorism, p. 248)

  • Other terrorists too have delighted in the attention their global exploits have brought them. When he was captured in Pakistan, Ramzi Yousef, subsequently convicted for his role in the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, had a large collection of newspaper clippings about his exploits. (What Terrorists Want, p. 96)

 

At Time of Snatch, Yousef Had Letter Demanding Release of Sheik Omar Rahman
February 1995
  • When he was arrested on 7 February 1995 in Islamabad, Ramzi Yousef also had in his possession a draft letter headed, "We Demand his Release", written by the "Liberation Army" and claiming the "ability to make and use chemicals and poison gas...for use against vital institutions and residential populations and the sources of drinking water and others." (Masterminds of Terror, pp. 99-100)

  •  

 

Yousef Flown from Pakistan to New York, in Custody
February 1995
  • After being captured in Pakistan, he was flown into Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York, and then transferred to an FBI helicopter for the trip to the Metropolitan Correctional Center next to Federal Plaza in Lower Manhattan. (Looming Tower, p. 357)

  •  

 

Intended to Topple One Tower Into Other
February 1995
  • Following his later capture in Pakistan, Yousef told FBI agents that 'he wished...to cause the towers to fall...[he] indicated that, had he been able to obtain additional financing, he would have been able to construct the device in such a way to focus more of the blast horizontally, against 'the beam' of the World Trade Center tower, and would have been able to topple one tower into the other.' (Al Qaeda's Jihad in Europe, p. 72)

  •  

Yousef Tells Interrogators Bombed WTC Over America's Israeli Policy, Felt Guilty Over Deaths
February 1995
  • Yousef said he took no thrill from killing American citizens and felt guilty about the civilian deaths he had caused. But his conscience was overridden by the strength of his desire to stop the killing of Arabs by Israeli troops. "Itís nothing personal," he said, but bombing American targets was the "only way to cause change." He had come to the conclusion that only extreme acts could change the minds of people and the policies of nations. He cited as one example the suicide bombing of the US Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1984, which ultimately led to the withdrawal of American troops from that country. As another example he mentioned the US atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a shock tactic that forced Japan to surrender quickly. Yousef said he "would like it to be different," but only terrible violence could force this kind of abrupt political change...He mentioned no other motivation during the flight and no other issue in American foreign policy that concerned him. (Ghost Wars, p. 273)

  • Luckily, Yousef's plan did not work to perfection: the van with the explosives was parked several metres away from the "ideal" spot, where it would have caused maximum damage, and parts of the bomb failed to detonate. Nevertheless, six people lost their lives in the attack and hundreds more were physically and psychologically injured. (Modern Jihad, p. 4)

  • "Yes, I am a terrorist and I am proud of it. And I support terrorism as long as it was against the United States government and against Israel, because you are more than terrorists; you are the ones who invented terrorism and are using it every day. You are butchers, liars and hypocrites." (Modern Jihad, p. 11)

 

Yousef Says WTC Would Have Fallen If Enough Money Available
February 1995
  • When Yousef was finally captured in 1995, in Pakistan, FBI agents flew him back to New York. The helicopter that would take Yousef to his American jail cell in Manhattan flew past the World Trade Center, and one of the agents commented that the towers were still standing. "They wouldn't be if I had enough money and explosives," came the reply. (Holy War, p. 37)

  • Ramzi Yousef, who spent three years in a safe house provided by Bin Laden prior to his arrest, made clear to the FBI that he intended to knock the two buildings down, but that a lack of funds had prevented him from achieving his ambitious goals. (Terror in the Name of God, p. 251)

 

Murad Brought to US from Philippines
April 12, 1995
  • ...Murad subsequently confessed to Filipino interrogators under torture, and was extradited to the USA on April 12 1995; his testimony would help convict Yousef. (Messages to the World, p. 75)
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Convicted Project Bojinka
September 5, 1996
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Guilty Verdict WTC '93 Bombing
February 12, 1997
  • While staying in Islamabad in February 1995, however, he was betrayed by a former accomplice to the Pakistan authorities and extradited to the US to face eleven charges related to the WTC attack and his plans to destroy American aircraft. After months of evidence, the verdicts were pronounced on February 12, 1997, proclaiming him guilty on all counts. He is serving a 240-year sentence in America's most secure prison. In retaliation for his extradition, Al Qaeda killed four American oil workers in Pakistan. (Inside Al Qaeda, p. 239)

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Abu Sayyaf Group Kidnaps Fifty from School, Demands US Release Yousef
April 2000
  • The connections between Abu Sayyaf and Yousef were further underlined in April 2000 when the group kidnapped fifty people from schools on one of the southern islands of the Philippines and demanded the release of Yousef from his American prison, where he is now serving a 240-year term. (Holy War, p. 141)

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Yousef's Student, Ammar al-Baluchi, Helped Logistics for 9/11, Evacuate Al Qaeda from Afghanistan, and Organize Shoe Bomber Attacks
2000-2001
  • Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali, known as Ammar al-Baluchi, was a young computer programmer who had been mentored by none other than Ramzi Yousef. With KSM he moved money around for the 9/11 hijackers. During and after the American counterattack in late 2001, Al-Baluchi helped organize the evacuation of Al Qaeda's leadership from Afghanistan to Pakistan. He also served as KSM's go-between with the shoe bombers Reid and Badat. (Securing the City, p. 88)

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Allegedly Converted to Christianity
2005
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