Ramzi Yousef

Ramzi Yousef

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Ramzi Yousef was one of the main perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing
1993 World Trade Center bombing
The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 lb urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower into the South Tower , bringing...

 and a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot. In 1995, he was arrested at a guest house in Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, by the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 and United States Diplomatic Security Service
Diplomatic Security Service
The U.S. Diplomatic Security Service is the federal law enforcement arm of the United States Department of State. The majority of its Special Agents are members of the Foreign Service and federal law enforcement agents at the same time, making them unique...

, then extradited
Extradition
Extradition is the official process whereby one nation or state surrenders a suspected or convicted criminal to another nation or state. Between nation states, extradition is regulated by treaties...

 to the United States.

He was tried in New York City in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is a federal district court. Appeals from the Southern District of New York are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (in case...

 and along with two co-conspirators was convicted of planning the Bojinka plot. Yousef stated: "Yes, I am a terrorist, and proud of it as long as it is against the U.S. government and against Israel, because you are more than terrorists; you are the one who invented terrorism and using it every day. You are butchers, liars and hypocrites." He was sentenced to two life sentences for his part in the World Trade Center bombing and Bojinka plot.

Yousef's uncle is Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a senior al-Qaeda member accused of being the principal architect of the September 11 attacks. He is also in United States custody.

Early life


Yousef was born in Kuwait to a family of labourers originally from Balochistan
Balochistan (Pakistan)
Balochistan is one of the four provinces or federating units of Pakistan. With an area of 134,051 mi2 or , it is the largest province of Pakistan, constituting approximately 44% of the total land mass of Pakistan. According to the 1998 population census, Balochistan had a population of...

, Pakistan. While the rest of the family returned to Pakistan in the mid 1980s, Yousef was sent to England to continue his education. He wears contact lenses.

In 1986, he enrolled at Swansea Institute in Wales where he studied electrical engineering
Electrical engineering
Electrical engineering is a field of engineering that generally deals with the study and application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century after commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical...

, graduating four years later. He also studied at the Oxford College of Further Education to improve his English.

Yousef attended an Al-Qaeda training camp and became an expert in bomb making.

1993 World Trade Center bombing



The 1993 World Trade Center bombing
1993 World Trade Center bombing
The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a truck bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,336 lb urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower into the South Tower , bringing...

 occurred on February 26, 1993, when a car bomb
Car bomb
A car bomb, or truck bomb also known as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device , is an improvised explosive device placed in a car or other vehicle and then detonated. It is commonly used as a weapon of assassination, terrorism, or guerrilla warfare, to kill the occupants of the vehicle,...

 was detonated below Tower One of the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 in New York City. The 1,500 lb (680 kg) urea nitrate
Urea nitrate
Urea nitrate is a fertilizer-based high explosive that has been used in improvised explosive devices in Israel, Iraq, and various other terrorism acts elsewhere in the world, like the 1993 World Trade Center bombings...

-hydrogen
Hydrogen
Hydrogen is the chemical element with atomic number 1. It is represented by the symbol H. With an average atomic weight of , hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. Stars in the main sequence are mainly...

 gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower (Tower Two), to bring both towers down and kill thousands of people. It failed to do so but did kill six people and injured 1,042.

Ramzi Yousef sent a letter to the New York Times after bombing the WTC which spelled out the motive: "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." He later stated that he had hoped to kill 250,000 Americans to show them the exact pain they had caused to the Japanese in the Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Arrival in America


On September 1, 1992, a few days after leaving Khalden training camp
Khalden training camp
The Khalden training camp was a military training camp in Afghanistan. According to the documentary Son of al Qaeda there were hundreds of military training camps in Afghanistan which were tied to al Qaeda...

 in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 Yousef allegedly entered the United States with an Iraqi passport of disputed authenticity. His companion, Ahmed Ajaj
Ahmed Ajaj
Ahmed Mohammad Ajaj was convicted of participating in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He is currently serving a 115-year sentence in the Marion Penitentiary in Illinois for his role in the bombing.-Early Life:...

, carried multiple immigration documents among which was a crudely falsified Swedish passport. Providing a smokescreen to facilitate Yousef's entry, Ajaj was arrested on the spot as bomb manuals, videotapes of suicide car bombers and a cheat sheet on how to lie to U.S. immigration inspectors were found in his luggage. Directors of the American Counter-Terrorism program later tied the travel arrangements to a phone call from Omar Rahman to the Pakistani telephone number 810604.

Yousef was held for 72 hours and repeatedly interrogated but INS
Immigration and Naturalization Service
The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service , now referred to as Legacy INS, ceased to exist under that name on March 1, 2003, when most of its functions were transferred from the Department of Justice to three new components within the newly created Department of Homeland Security, as...

 holding cells were overcrowded and Yousef, claiming political asylum, was given a hearing date of November 9, 1992. He told Jersey City Police his name was Abdul Basit Mahmud Abdul Karim a Pakistani national born and brought up in Kuwait and that he had lost his passport. On December 31, 1992, the Pakistani Consulate in New York issued a temporary passport to Abdul Basit Mahmud Abdul Karim (SAAG 484 2002).

Yousef travelled around New York and New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 during which time he made calls to Sheikh
Sheikh
Not to be confused with sikhSheikh — also spelled Sheik or Shaikh, or transliterated as Shaykh — is an honorific in the Arabic language that literally means "elder" and carries the meaning "leader and/or governor"...

 Omar Abdel Rahman, a militant Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 preacher, via cell phone. Between December 3 and December 27, 1992, he made conference calls to key numbers in Baluchistan (SAAG 484 2002).

Ajaj never reclaimed the manuals and tapes which remained at the FBI's New York Office after Judge Reena Raggi
Reena Raggi
Reena Raggi is federal judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She was formerly a judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York....

 had ordered the materials released in December 1992. (Lance 2004 pp 51, 101)

Assembling the bomb


Yousef, aided by Mohammed Salameh and Mahmud Abouhalima
Mahmud Abouhalima
Mahmud Abouhalima is a convicted perpetrator of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing. His red hair earned him the nickname Mahmud the Red.-Life:...

 who were both present in El Sayyid Nosair
El Sayyid Nosair
El Sayyid Nosair is an Egyptian-born American citizen, convicted of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing...

's home the night Rabbi
Rabbi
In Judaism, a rabbi is a teacher of Torah. This title derives from the Hebrew word רבי , meaning "My Master" , which is the way a student would address a master of Torah...

 Meir Kahane
Meir Kahane
Martin David Kahane , also known as Meir Kahane , was an American-Israeli rabbi and ultra-nationalist writer and political figure. He was an ordained Orthodox rabbi and later served as a member of the Israeli Knesset...

 was assassinated, began assembling the 1500 lb (680.4 kg) urea nitrate-fuel oil device in his Pamrapo Avenue home in Jersey City ready for delivery to the WTC on February 26, 1993. He ordered chemicals from his hospital room when he had been injured in a car crash — one of three accidents caused by Salameh in late 1992 and early in 1993.

Speaking in code by phone on December 29, 1992, Ajaj told Yousef that he had won release of the bomb manuals but warned Yousef that picking them up himself might jeopardize his "business". On one book carried by Ajaj in 1992 there was a word which had been translated by the FBI as meaning "the basic rule" – this was later found to actually be "al Qaeda" – meaning "the base" (Lance 2004 p 32).

During a CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 interview co-conspirator Abdul Rahman Yasin
Abdul Rahman Yasin
Abdul Rahman Yasin helped make the bombs used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing attack. Yasin is of Iraqi heritage and grew up in Baghdad...

 said that Ramzi originally wanted to bomb Jewish neighborhoods in New York City. Yasin added that after touring Crown Heights
Crown Heights, Brooklyn
Crown Heights is a neighborhood in the central portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn. The main thoroughfare through this neighborhood is Eastern Parkway, a tree-lined boulevard designed by Frederick Law Olmsted extending two miles east-west.Originally, the area was known as Crow Hill....

 and Williamsburg
Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Brooklyn, bordering Greenpoint to the north, Bedford-Stuyvesant to the south, Bushwick to the east and the East River to the west. The neighborhood is part of Brooklyn Community Board 1. The neighborhood is served by the NYPD's 90th ...

 Yousef had changed his mind. Yasin alleged that Yousef was educated in bomb-making at a training camp in Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

.

Explosion and aftermath


Yousef rented a Ryder
Ryder
Ryder System, Inc. , or Ryder, is an American-based provider of transportation and supply chain management products, and is especially known for its fleet of rental trucks. Ryder specializes in fleet management, supply chain management and dedicated contracted carriage. Ryder operates in North...

 van and on February 26, 1993, loaded it with explosives. Four cardboard boxes were packed into the back of the van, each containing a mixture of paper bags, newspapers, urea, and nitric acid and next to them were placed three red metal cylinders of compressed hydrogen. Four large containers of nitroglycerin were loaded into the center of the van with Atlas Rockmaster blasting caps connected to each (Reeve 1999 pp 154 ).

The van was driven into the garage of the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 where it exploded. Using his Pakistani passport, Yousef fled to Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 hours later. He remained at large until his capture in 1995.

As a result of the bombing, the FBI made Yousef the 436th person to be added to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, 1990s
The FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives during the 1990s is a list, maintained for a fifth decade, of the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.-FBI 10 Most Wanted Fugitives to begin the 1990s:...

 on April 21, 1993.

1993 Benazir Bhutto assassination attempt


After returning to Pakistan in February 1993 Yousef was in hiding after his unsuccessful attempt to destroy the World Trade Center. In the summer of 1993 Yousef allegedly took up a contract to assassinate the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto
Benazir Bhutto was a democratic socialist who served as the 11th Prime Minister of Pakistan in two non-consecutive terms from 1988 until 1990 and 1993 until 1996....

, which was initiated by members of Sipah-e-Sahaba. The plot failed when Yousef and Abdul Hakim Murad were interrupted by police outside Bhutto’s residence. At this point Yousef decided to abort the bombing and as they attempted to recover the device it blew up. Yousef went into hiding during the investigation.

1993 Iranian shrine bombing


After a failed attempt to bomb the Israeli embassy in Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, Yousef moved back to Pakistan and plotted a bombing inside Iran. Yousef has a deep hatred of Shiite Muslims, and most Iranians are Shiites. On June 20, 1994, a Shiite holy day, Yousef bombed the Imam Reza shrine
Imam Reza shrine
Imām Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran is a complex which contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza, the eighth Imām of Twelver Shi'ites. It is the largest mosque in the world by dimension and the second largest in capacity...

 in Mashhad
Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

, Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, one of the holiest and most important Shiite shrines. The attack killed 26 people and injured over 200. The group Yousef worked with this time included his younger brother, Abdul Muneem, and his own father, who was arrested and detained in Iran. While Yousef generally worked in concert with, or by orders from, Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

, the Mashhad bombing ran counter to bin Laden’s efforts that year to work with the Iranian-influenced Hezbollah militant group.

Bojinka Plot



After the Iranian shrine bombing, Yousef soon began planning the unsuccessful Bojinka Plot. The plan involved assassinating Pope John Paul II
Pope John Paul II
Blessed Pope John Paul II , born Karol Józef Wojtyła , reigned as Pope of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005, at of age. His was the second-longest documented pontificate, which lasted ; only Pope Pius IX ...

 while he visited the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, then, with attention focused on the Pope's death, planting bombs placed inside toy cars on United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

 and Delta Airlines flights out of Bangkok
Bangkok
Bangkok is the capital and largest urban area city in Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or simply Krung Thep , meaning "city of angels." The full name of Bangkok is Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom...

.

Philippine Airlines Flight 434


On December 11, 1994, Yousef conducted a trial run of the plan by boarding a Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines
Philippine Airlines, Inc. operating as Philippine Airlines, is a flag carrier of the Philippines. Headquartered in the Philippine National Bank Financial Center in Pasay City, the airline was founded in 1941 and is the first and oldest commercial airline in Asia operating under its original name...

 Boeing 747
Boeing 747
The Boeing 747 is a wide-body commercial airliner and cargo transport, often referred to by its original nickname, Jumbo Jet, or Queen of the Skies. It is among the world's most recognizable aircraft, and was the first wide-body ever produced...

 designated as PAL434
Philippine Airlines Flight 434
Philippine Airlines Flight 434 was the route designator of a flight from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Pasay City, the Philippines, to New Tokyo International Airport , Narita near Tokyo, Japan, with one stop at Mactan-Cebu International Airport, Cebu, the Philippines.On December 11, 1994...

 from Manila
Manila
Manila is the capital of the Philippines. It is one of the sixteen cities forming Metro Manila.Manila is located on the eastern shores of Manila Bay and is bordered by Navotas and Caloocan to the north, Quezon City to the northeast, San Juan and Mandaluyong to the east, Makati on the southeast,...

 to Tokyo, Japan, with a stopover in the Philippine city of Cebu
Cebu
Cebu is a province in the Philippines, consisting of Cebu Island and 167 surrounding islands. It is located to the east of Negros, to the west of Leyte and Bohol islands...

. His identity for the flight was that of an Italian man named Armaldo Forlani. The cabin crew for this leg of the flight would later tell investigators that Yousef changed seats several times during the relatively short flight with his last seat change coming after a return from the lavatory.

Yousef assembled a bomb in the lavatory, set the timer to detonate four hours later, and put it in the lifejacket pocket under seat 26K on the right-hand side of the fuselage. Domestic flight attendant Maria Delacruz noticed that Yousef kept switching seats during the course of the Manila to Cebu flight, but the new cabin crew boarding at Cebu were not warned of this behavior. Yousef and 25 other passengers left the plane at Cebu, where 256 passengers and a different cabin crew boarded for the trip to Tokyo. Many of them consisted of Japanese people; some of them were coworkers traveling as part of a tour group. Airport congestion delayed the departure of Flight 434 from Cebu for 38 minutes. All of the passengers had boarded by 8:30 a.m. with the bomb having been planted around two hours earlier. PAL 434 cleared for takeoff at 8:48 a.m.

Two hours before arrival at Tokyo, at 11:43 am, the bomb exploded while Flight 434 cruised on autopilot 31000 feet (9,448.8 m) above Minami Daito Island (near Okinawa Island
Okinawa Island
Okinawa Island is the largest of the Okinawa Islands and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, and is home to Naha, the capital of Okinawa Prefecture. The island has an area of...

 and approximately 260 miles (420 km) southwest of Tokyo). The explosion ripped the body of 24-year old , the Japanese businessman occupying seat 26K, in half. Ten passengers sitting in the seats in front of and behind Ikegami were also injured. One needed urgent medical care. The bomb tore out a two square-foot (0.2 m2) portion of the cabin floor, revealing the cargo hold underneath, but leaving the fuselage of the plane intact. The rapid expansion of energy from the bomb caused the plane to expand vertically slightly, damaging cables to the steering and aileron controls, but the bomb's orientation—front-to-back, angled slightly upward from horizontal—caused the energy to be mostly absorbed by Haruki Ikegami's body, killing the businessman but sparing the other passengers and the plane from catastrophic damage.

In spite of the damage to the steering and aileron controls, the cockpit crew were able to manipulate the plane's speed and direction by varying the engines' throttle settings. Captain Eduardo Reyes was able to make an emergency landing at Naha Airport
Naha Airport
-Incidents:* On December 1, 1994, Ramzi Yousef planted a bomb on Philippine Airlines Flight 434, with the intent of mass murder. The bomb exploded on the Boeing 747-283B en route from Cebu to Tokyo, killing one passenger...

 on Okinawa
Okinawa Prefecture
is one of Japan's southern prefectures. It consists of hundreds of the Ryukyu Islands in a chain over long, which extends southwest from Kyūshū to Taiwan. Okinawa's capital, Naha, is located in the southern part of Okinawa Island...

 (southern Japan), saving 272 passengers and 20 crew. The plane became a crime scene and bomb fragments found in and around the blast zone, as well as the lower half of Ikegami's body, provided clues pointing investigators back to Manila.

Discovery by police


After the successful test run of his trial bomb, Yousef returned to Manila and began preparing at least a dozen bombs each with a larger weight of explosive materials. Just weeks before the Bojinka Plot was due to be launched, however, a fire started in Yousef's Manila flat, forcing Yousef to flee the room, leaving everything behind. The fire made the apartment staff suspicious, and soon police, led by Aida Fariscal
Aida Fariscal
Aida D. Fariscal is a former police officer and watch commander in the Manila Police Department in the Philippines. She is now a retired grandmother living on pension in a one bedroom apartment. Her name is largely unknown outside of the Philippines. She was depicted in the 2006 docudrama The Path...

, raided the flat and uncovered the plot. A Philippine National Police
Philippine National Police
The Philippine National Police is the national police force of the Republic of the Philippines. It is both a national and a local police force in that it does provides all law enforcement services throughout the Philippines...

 raid in another Manila apartment also revealed evidence that Abdul Murad, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and Yousef had drawn up plans for flying an airplane into the CIA headquarters. The information was passed on to the FAA, who warned individual airlines.

1995 U.S. airliner bombing attempt


Despite the international manhunt for Yousef, he had managed to escape from Manila to Pakistan. On January 31, 1995, Yousef flew from Pakistan to Thailand and met with associate Istaique Parker. Yousef told Parker to check two suitcases filled with bombs, one on a Delta Airlines flight and another on a United Airlines flight. Both bombs were timed to blow up over populated areas of the U.S. Parker spent much of the day at the airport, but was reportedly too scared to approach the airlines with the suitcases. Finally, Parker returned to Yousef's hotel and lied that employees at the airline cargo sections were asking for passports and fingerprints, making it too risky to go ahead with the plan.

Yousef, still wanting to get the bombs on a plane bound for the U.S., called a friend with diplomatic immunity
Diplomatic immunity
Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity and a policy held between governments that ensures that diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country's laws...

 in Qatar who was willing to take the suitcases to London and then fly them to the U.S., where they would explode mid-flight and destroy the plane. Yousef planned to use the friend's diplomatic immunity to ensure the suitcases would be loaded on the plane. According to Simon Reeve's book The New Jackals, the name of this friend has not been revealed, but his father is said to be a very senior politician and leading member of the establishment in Qatar (at the time, Yousef's uncle, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was living in Qatar as the guest of a Qatari cabinet official). However, a problem developed and the planned planting of the suitcases could not be carried out. Yousef and Parker returned to Pakistan on February 2, 1995.(Reeve 1999 pp 98–100)

Arrest, conviction and prison life



Following a tip-off from Istaique Parker, on February 7, 1995, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 and U.S. Diplomatic Security Service
Diplomatic Security Service
The U.S. Diplomatic Security Service is the federal law enforcement arm of the United States Department of State. The majority of its Special Agents are members of the Foreign Service and federal law enforcement agents at the same time, making them unique...

 Special Agents, including Bill Miller and Jeff Riner, raided room number 16 in the Su-Casa Guest House in Islamabad
Islamabad
Islamabad is the capital of Pakistan and the tenth largest city in the country. Located within the Islamabad Capital Territory , the population of the city has grown from 100,000 in 1951 to 1.7 million in 2011...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, and captured Yousef before he could move to Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

. Parker was paid $2 million for the information leading to Yousef's capture (Rewards for Justice – RFJ). During the raid, agents found Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

 and United Airlines
United Airlines
United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees United Air Lines, Inc., is the world's largest airline with 86,852 employees (which includes the entire holding company United Continental...

 flight schedules and bomb components in children's toys, and Yousef was found to have chemical burns on his fingers.

Yousef was sent to a prison in New York City and held there until his trial. In court Yousef said, "Yes, I am a terrorist, and proud of it as long as it is against the U.S. government and against Israel, because you are more than terrorists; you are the one who invented terrorism and using it every day. You are butchers, liars and hypocrites." On September 5, 1996, Yousef and two co-conspirators were convicted for their role in the Bojinka plot and were sentenced to life in prison
Life imprisonment
Life imprisonment is a sentence of imprisonment for a serious crime under which the convicted person is to remain in jail for the rest of his or her life...

 without parole
Parole
Parole may have different meanings depending on the field and judiciary system. All of the meanings originated from the French parole . Following its use in late-resurrected Anglo-French chivalric practice, the term became associated with the release of prisoners based on prisoners giving their...

. U.S. District Court Judge Kevin Duffy
Kevin Duffy
Kevin Thomas Duffy is an American lawyer and currently a senior judge on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.-Early life, education, and career:...

 referred to Yousef as "an apostle of evil" before recommending that the entire sentence be served in solitary confinement
Solitary confinement
Solitary confinement is a special form of imprisonment in which a prisoner is isolated from any human contact, though often with the exception of members of prison staff. It is sometimes employed as a form of punishment beyond incarceration for a prisoner, and has been cited as an additional...

.

On November 12, 1997 Yousef was found guilty of masterminding the 1993 bombing and in 1998 he was convicted of "seditious conspiracy" to bomb the World Trade Center towers.

The judge sentenced Yousef to 240 years for the Trade Center attack, and life in prison for killing Haruki Ikegami in 1994.

He is held at the high-security Supermax prison ADX Florence
ADX Florence
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility is a supermax prison for men that is located in unincorporated Fremont County, Colorado, United States, south of Florence. It is unofficially known as ADX Florence, Florence ADMAX, Supermax, or The Alcatraz of the Rockies...

 in Florence
Fremont County, Colorado
Fremont County is the thirteenth most populous of the 64 counties of the state of Colorado of the United States. The county is named for explorer and presidential candidate John C. Frémont. The county population was 46,824 at the 2010 census. The county seat is Cañon City. The Cañon City...

, Colorado
Colorado
Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

. The handcuffs Ramzi Yousef wore when he was captured in Pakistan are displayed at the FBI Museum in Washington, DC. His Federal Prisoner number is: 03911-000.

Religion


According to interviews with ADX Florence
ADX Florence
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility is a supermax prison for men that is located in unincorporated Fremont County, Colorado, United States, south of Florence. It is unofficially known as ADX Florence, Florence ADMAX, Supermax, or The Alcatraz of the Rockies...

 staff Yousef prayed almost every hour and refused to leave his cell for recreation when he first arrived at the facility as he did not wish to undergo the required strip search. Ramzi made frequent, unsuccessful attempts to convert Timothy McVeigh
Timothy McVeigh
Timothy James McVeigh was a United States Army veteran and security guard who detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995...

 to Islam when sharing the same cell.

Yousef now leaves his cell and claims to have converted to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, though the prison staff do not believe Yousef's conversion is sincere.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed



In 1997, Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 said during an interview that he did not know Yousef but claimed to know Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 attacks
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

 and Yousef's uncle. According to the 9/11 Commission
9/11 Commission
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9/11 Commission, was set up on November 27, 2002, "to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks", including preparedness for and the immediate response to...

, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said under interrogation that "Yousef was not a member of al Qaeda and that Yousef never met Bin Laden."

Further reading