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Bombing of World Trade Center in Manhatten 1993

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Bombing of World Trade Center in Manhatten 1993

"Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart

Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast"

By Ralph Blumenthal

Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building

a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center,

and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting

harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after

the blast.

The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb

and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by

an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer,

Emad Salem, should be used, the informer said.

The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of

hours of tape recordings that Mr. Salem secretly made of his

talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as

being in a far better position than previously known to foil

the February 26th bombing of New York City's tallest towers.

The explosion left six people dead, more than a thousand people

injured, and damages in excess of half-a-billion dollars.

Four men are now on trial in Manhattan Federal Court

[on charges of involvement] in that attack.

Mr. Salem, a 43-year-old former Egyptian Army officer, was used

by the Government [of the United States] to penetrate a circle

of Muslim extremists who are now charged in two bombing cases:

the World Trade Center attack, and a foiled plot to destroy

the United Nations, the Hudson River tunnels, and other

New York City landmarks. He is the crucial witness in the

second bombing case, but his work for the Government was

erratic, and for months before the World Trade Center blast,

he was feuding with th F.B.I.

Supervisor 'Messed It Up'

After the bombing, he resumed his undercover work. In an

undated transcript of a conversation

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