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February 26, 1993: The World Trade Center

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Chapter Summary

The 1993 bombing was the first large-scale terrorist attack in the United States. The bombing of the World Trade Center in New York was an enormous surprise to policy makers and the American public. At the operational and tactical levels, the government failed to interdict the World Trade Center bombing plot at a number of important points. Failures at several of the earliest stages of the intelligence cycle contributed to the larger failure at the World Trade Center. There was a whole series of policy and intelligence failures contributing to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center: to anticipate attacks on United States territory; to pursue potential terrorist conspiracies; to adequately secure important landmarks and deter terrorists; to sustain and enforce immigration policy; and to provide appropriate and balanced oversight and guidance to the intelligence and law enforcement community.

Keywords: American public; immigration policy; intelligence cycle; intelligence failures; World Trade Center



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