1993 World Trade Center Truck Bombing.
RFJ paid a reward of $2 million for information that led to the capture of Pakistani terrorist Ramzi Ahmed Yousef.
Yousef was the mastermind of the February 1993 World Trade Center truck bombing in New York City that killed six people and wounded more than 1,000 others. Within hours of the bombing, Yousef escaped on a plane to Pakistan.
Yousef resurfaced in the Philippines where he developed a complex terrorist plot. Yousef planned to assassinate Pope John Paul II on January 14, 1995 while the pontiff was touring the Philippines, and to blow up 12 U.S. airliners in Asia a few days later. The overall plot was known as “Oplan Bojinka,” a term which, translated into Arabic slang, means “Operation Explosion” or “Operation Big Bang.”
Before they could execute their plan, Yousef and co-conspirator Abdul Hakim Ali Hashim Murad were forced to flee their apartment in Manila on January 6, 1995 when a chemical mixture created a cloud of smoke, which poured out of the apartment window. Yousef asked Murad to return to the apartment to retrieve a laptop computer and other incriminating evidence. When Murad got back to the apartment, however, he was confronted by police who had already arrived at the scene. Yousef, realizing that Murad must have been caught, fled to Pakistan.
In February 1995, an informant, seeing an RFJ ad on a matchbook and motivated by the possibility of a reward payment, contacted the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan and provided information leading to Yousef’s location.
On February 7, 1995, Pakistani authorities, assisted by U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Security special agents, arrested Yousef in Islamabad and extradited him to the United States to stand trial on terrorism charges.
From September 1996 through January 1998, Yousef was tried and convicted on terrorism-related charges in three separate trials. On January 8, 1998, a federal judge sentenced him to life imprisonment plus 240 years in prison.