Ramzi Yousef

Ramzi Yousef is one of the main perpetrator in the 1993 bombings of The World Trade Center, in New York. He along with his Jordanian friend used 1,500 lb (680 kg) urea nitrate-hydrogen gas enhanced device to knock off the two towers of the WTC. Although the bomb failed to damage the towers, the deadly attack took 6 innocent lives. A 7 month pregnant woman lost her life in the attack.

The Background

Ramzi Yousef was born in 27th April 1968. His place of birth is debated, whether he was born in UAE or Kuwait, but he holds a Pakistani citizenship. His real name is Abdul Basit Mahmoud Abdul Karim and he used “Ramzi Yousef” as his alias. Yousef’s parents belonged to Pakistan and his mother is believed to be the sister of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed who is the principal architect of the 9/11 attacks. Yousef was educated in Swansea Institute in United Kingdom where he studied electrical engineering. He returned to Pakistan and began to learn bomb making in a terrorist training camp in Peshawar. He entered USA in the year 1992.

The Attack

The attack took place on February 26, 1993 at 12:17:37 p.m. Ramzi Yousef and his accomplice drove a yellow rider into the basement of the trade center. Their intention was to crash the North Tower (Tower 1) into the South Tower (Tower 2), bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people. The bomb exploded with a estimated pressure of 150,000 psi and the velocity of the bomb was calculated to about 15,000 ft/s (4.5 km/s). Six people were killed and 1,042 people were injured in the bombing. Ramzi Yousef escaped USA hours after the attack, using his Pakistani passport. It was believed that he might have fled to Iraq or Pakistan.

The Aftermath

Post investigation, Yousef was named one of the main accused and the FBI added him as the 436th person on its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on 21 April 1993. After his escape to Pakistan later, he tried to assassinate the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto. His plan failed and he went into hiding again. Yousef planted a bomb in Philippine Airlines Flight 434 to conduct a trial. His main aim was to kill Pope John Paul II by planting bombs inside several United and Delta Air Lines flights out of Bangkok. Pope was visiting Philippines during that period.
Yousef even plotted to bomb a U.S. airliner in the year 1995, but the plan failed by a whisker.

The Arrest and prison life

On 7 February 1995 Yousef was arrested in the Su-Casa Guest House in Islamabad, Pakistan. He was about to leave Islamabad and make his way into Peshawar, before his arrest. His former accomplice tipped off the Special Agents of the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service about his location and was rewarded 2 million US dollars. Yousef was extradited to USA immediately after his arrest and was put on trial in the same year. He was convicted in the plot to kill the Pope, Philippine Airlines Flight 434 and the bombings of World Trade Center. He is incarcerated at ADX Florence, Colorado with a sentence of life imprisonment with no possibility of parole plus 240 years.

Image credit to NY Daily News

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Charles Bronson

Charles Arthur “Charlie” Salvador (also known as Charles Bronson and born Michael Gordon “Mickey” Peterson; 6 December 1952) is an English criminal who is often referred to in the British press as the “most violent prisoner in Britain” and “Britain’s most notorious prisoner“. Although he never killed anyone, he has spent more time in jail than most of Britain’s mass murderers. Read on to know the amazing facts about this notorious savage.


The Background

Bronson was born in Luton, Bedfordshire, England. By the age of 13, Charles Bronson was part of a gang of four robbers and was reprimanded in juvenile court after he was caught stealing. “As a boy, he was a lovely lad” his aunt, Eileen Parry quoted, who was a mayoress in 1960’s. “He was obviously bright and always good with children and mild-mannered, never a bully; he would defend the weak” she added.

The First Crime

Charles Bronson faced prison for the first time at Risley, serving time on remand for criminal damage after he smashed some parked cars following an argument with his girlfriend’s father; following his trial, Charles Bronson was fined and given probation. Bronson then worked as a furniture removalist, while regularly fighting on his nights out. After getting involved in petty crime, Bronson got into serious trouble for the first time after crashing a stolen lorry into a car. Bronson ran 90 miles (140 km) away from the scene to his parents’ home, where he was apprehended. The driver of the car survived the collision so Bronson got off lightly, receiving yet more fines and probation. After his trial, he returned to petty crimes and menial labour.

The Sentence

Charles Bronson was arrested for a robbery when he tried to get away with £26. He was caught and sentenced to seven years, with an option to release in four years if his behavior was good. He soon ended up on the punishment block after attacking two prisoners without provocation and later after an altercation he attacked a prison officer, and was sent to the punishment block. Chlorpromazine (which made him violently ill) a sedative was injected to him, and six months were added to his sentence. And this was just the beginning of the string of attacks on inmates, officers, and even terrorists.

Michael Peterson to Charles Bronson – The brief period of freedom

He was briefly released from Gartree and in the year 1987 he changed his name to Charles Bronson. He had a short-lived career in illegal bare-knuckle boxing in the East End of London. Charles Bronson also claimed to have killed a rottweiler with his bare hands in a £10,000 underground fight, though later said this was “not something I’m proud of because I love animals”.

The hostages

Charles Bronson took a number of people as hostage while being in prison. This included Deputy Governor, librarian, a doctor, inmates, lawyers, prison staff and even terrorists. The most noted incident was taking the terrorists as hostage. In 1996, Bronson took two Iraqi terrorists and a third prisoner Jason Greasley, hostage after one of them accidentally bumped into him and didn’t apologize. At one point, he forced the terrorists to tickle his feet and call him “General”. He demanded a plane to take him to Libya, two Uzi sub-machine guns, 5,000 rounds of ammunition, and an axe. He even threatened to eat one of the hostage, if the demands weren’t met.

Charles Bronson’s Artwork and Charity

The Charles Salvador Art Foundation was founded to promote his artwork and “help those in positions even less fortunate than his own” to participate in art. On 28 April 2010, BBC News reported that artwork by Bronson was displayed on the London Underground for two weeks. The display was organised by Art Below, which is unrelated to the official Transport For London art program, and there is controversy over whether it should have been shown. His work has since been removed by an unknown party. In 2016, one of his artworks was auctioned to raise money for the treatment of a child with cerebral palsy.

Movie on Charles Bronson

Bronson, which loosely follows Bronson’s life, was released in Britain on 13 March 2009. Tom Hardy was roped in to play Bronson’s role. Hardy was desperate to make sure that he didn’t upset Bronson with his performance in case he ended up “rolled up in a carpet and dropped to the bottom of the Thames.” So while filming, he made sure to have a close friend of Bronson’s on hand for questions and spent a lot of time with Bronson’s family.

So, these were some the facts about Charles Bronson. If you liked this article, please share and comment below.