'Proud terrorist' gets life for Trade Center bombing
Ramzi Yousef not eligible for parole
January 8, 1998
Yousef in court Thursday
Web posted at: 1:22 p.m. EST (1822 GMT)
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NEW YORK (CNN) -- A judge Thursday sentenced the man convicted of
masterminding the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and
an airplane bombing in 1994 to life in prison without parole.
The judge further recommended that he spend the sentence in
Ramzi Yousef's full sentence -- life in prison plus 240 years
-- follows two separate New York trials.
"Mr. Yousef, you are a virus that must be locked away," said
U.S. District Judge Kevin Duffy, who read a passage from the
Koran, the holy writings of the Islamic faith.
The judge said Yousef claimed to be a Muslim fundamentalist
but actually cared nothing for the religion. Instead, he
said, Yousef adored "the cult of death."
"You adored not Allah but the evil you had become. I must say
as an apostle of evil, you have been most effective," Duffy
said. "You just wanted to kill for the thrill of killing
Before sentencing, Yousef made a rambling, 17-minute
statement in which he said, "Yes, I am a terrorist and proud
of it as long as it is against the U.S. government."
Yousef and Judge Duffy during the sentencing
He denounced the U.S. government as "liars and butchers" for
what he called its support of Israel.
In addition, a victim's statement was read from Ed Smith,
whose wife Monica was killed in the Trade Center bombing. In
it, Smith said Yousef should never be free again.
Duffy said he will recommend that Yousef remain in solitary
for life and be visited only by his lawyers.
Duffy, noting that someone might be "perverse enough to buy
your story," also fined Yousef $4.5 million and ordered him
to pay $250 million in restitution so that any money he might
make the rest of his life would go to his victims.
Six people were killed in the February 26, 1993, bombing of
the twin towers in lower Manhattan. The December 1994 bombing
of a Philippines Airline flight killed a Japanese passenger.
Yousef was convicted of the airliner bombing in an earlier
Map of Project Bojinka terrorist plot
Prosecutors showed at that trial that Yousef also planned to
blow up a dozen U.S. airliners over the Far East in January
1995, as part of a terrorist plot he called "Project
Bojinka," or chaos in the sky, authorities said.
Aftermath of the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993
Yousef was captured in February 1995 in Pakistan, where he
had fled after a fire in a Philippines apartment attracted
police to a computer containing details of his plots.
Prosecutors said his terror campaign began when he arrived in
the United States in September 1992 to pick a target for a
Settling on the twin towers of the Trade Center, then the
world's second tallest buildings, he joined with other
Islamic extremists to buy the chemicals and equipment,
He fled the United States the night of the bombing, leaving
behind letters condemning U.S. support of Israel and
threatening more terrorism.
After three days of deliberation in November, a federal jury
convicted Yousef and Eyad Ismoil on murder and conspiracy
charges for their roles in New York bombing.
Ismoil was accused of driving a truck with a 1,200-pound bomb
into the Trade Center's parking garage, where it was
detonated. He's scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Four men already convicted in the case
Four other men have already been convicted in the case, each
receiving a sentence of 240 years in prison.
Another suspect, Adul Rahman Yasin -- who was born in Bloomington, Indiana, and moved to Iraq in the 1960s -- is
still being sought and is believed to be hiding in Iraq.
Correspondent Peg Tyre contributed to this report.