The Path to a Counterterrorism Doctrine

On February 26, 1993, Islamic terrorists detonated a truck bomb in the basement garage of Tower One of the World Trade Center. Within days, master bomber Ramzi Yusuf was hunted as a fugitive and three coconspirators were identified and arrested. This prompt and definitive resolution of a stunning act of terrorism on United States soil seemed to demonstrate that existing authorities and procedures were sufficient to address the “terrorism problem.” But our understanding of the terrorism threat was flawed, and the lessons we took from the attack and subsequent investigation were flawed as well.


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