On February 26, 1993, a small group of terrorists perpetrated an attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City. Headed by Pakistani Islamist Ramzi Yousef, the group successfully placed a bomb in the parking garage located below the WTC. The bomb went off shortly past noon, creating a nearly 100-foot crater beneath the building. Six people were killed instantly and more than a thousand were injured. This attack was one of the first conducted by Islamist extremists on US soil.
For more information on terrorism in the United States, check out the following HSDL Feature Topic page:
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On March 11, 2004 an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell coordinated bombings in the Madrid commuter train system. The bombs were detonated in the morning of March 11, killing 191 people and wounding 1,800. While no direct link between the group and al-Qaeda was found, the attack heightened fear and anxiety surrounding al-Qaeda activity.
To learn how these attacks affected US policy, check out this CRS (Congressional Research Service) report from the HSDL collection: March 11 Terrorist Attacks in Madrid and Spain’s Elections: Implications for U.S. Policy [October 5, 2004]
March 11, 2011 is the anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster that occurred in northeast Japan following a magnitude-9 earthquake. The earthquake generated a large tsunami that struck the coastal power plant and destroyed the generators responsible for cooling 3 of its 6 nuclear reactors. This resulted in a meltdown of the reactors and a release of radioactive material into both the atmosphere and surrounding water.
This disaster prompted a review of nuclear power plant safety and security around the world, including a review of American coastal power plants in California. The following document from the HSDL collection outlines one aspect of U.S. response to the disaster: Fukushima Fallout: Regulatory Loopholes at U.S. Nuclear Plants
On March 20, 1995, members of the Japan-based terrorist organization, Aum Shinrikyo, released a deadly nerve agent, sarin, onto a Tokyo commuter subway train. The attack killed thirteen people and injured nearly a thousand others. This event is a prominent example of the potentially disastrous consequences that can occur when a non-state terrorist organization obtains and operationalizes a weapon of mass destruction.
The following are a few resources from the HSDL collection on the Aum Shinrikyo attack:
On March 22, 2014, four miles east of Oso, Washington, a major landslide a massive landslide claimed 43 lives, and destroying 49 homes (and other structures) in the “unincorporated neighborhood known as ‘Steelhead Haven.'” This landslide has been referenced as the “deadliest single landslide event in United States history.” President Obama declared this event a major disaster. In April, a declaration was requested by Governor Inslee, proposed a plan to help approximately 30 families who were in need of assistance to which the Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington advised these families to register with FEMA. Around April 5th, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) mentioned that the Green Mountain Lookout Heritage Protection Act would “provide a glimmer of hope for the long-term recovery of this area.”
Information and quotes taken from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_Oso_mudslide
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On April 3, 1996, Theodore Kaczynksi, the man responsible for sending bombs in the mail over an 18-year period and known largely as the “Unabomber”, was arrested. Kaczynski sent a total of 16 bombs to various recipients, such as universities, professors, and large corporations, which ultimately resulted in the death of 3 people and the injury of 23 others. Kaczynski, who was identified as a social recluse and radical environmentalist, is one of the prime examples of lone wolf terrorism in US history.
For more information on lone wolf terrorism, check out the HSDL Featured Topic:
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At the annual Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013, 282 people were injured and four were killed, including an MIT police officer when two pressure-cooker bombs exploded near the crowded finish line. President Barack Obama remarked after the capture of suspect Dzokhar Tsarnaev on April 19, 2013 that “After the attacks on Monday, I [President Obama] directed the full resources of the Federal Government to be made available to help State and local authorities in the investigation and to increase security as needed. And over the past week, close coordination among Federal, State, and local officials—sharing information, moving swiftly to track down leads—has been critical to this effort.”
President Obama’s entire remarks may be viewed here.
“On April 16, 2007, Seung Hui Cho, an angry and disturbed student, shot to death 32 students and faculty of Virginia Tech, wounded 17 more, and then killed himself. The incident horrified not only Virginians, but people across the United States and throughout the world.” The killings took place in two attacks, one at a dormitory at 7:15 a.m., and the other almost three hours later in a classroom building.
[Read the report] of the Review Panel presented to Tim Kaine, then Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
“An explosion with the force of a small earthquake rocked the Central Texas farming town of West on April 17, 2013. Tons of ammonium nitrate stored at the West Fertilizer Co. detonated after a fire erupted at the plant. The blast killed 15 people, including a dozen first responders, and injured more than 300. A nursing home, apartment complex, schools and private homes were destroyed.”
Click here to view the special section published in the Dallas Morning News.
The Waco siege ended on this day in 1993 after a 51-day standoff between the Branch Davidians and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). The siege was surrounded by controversy over the actual events of the siege, including the origin of the fire that ended the siege.
The HSDL Blog has an entry discussing the Waco siege and its aftermath titled “20 Years Later: The Waco Siege“.