posted on Sep, 28 2005 @ 07:00 AM
Sep 27, 2:42 AM ET
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A long-awaited civil trial over the 1993 truck bombing of the World Trade Center began on Monday with victims charging that
authorities failed to heed their own warnings about an attack on the symbolic site.
Hundreds of victims are suing the owners of the Twin Towers over security procedures before February 26, 1993, when Islamist militants exploded a
truck bomb in an underground parking garage, killing six and wounding more than 1,000.
Several people are serving life prison terms for the attack, and the trial in New York state civil court will determine whether the owners -- the Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey -- can be held liable. If so, separate suits from hundreds of victims and business owners could go forward.
The plaintiffs say the Port Authority failed to act for years on numerous warnings that the World Trade Center was vulnerable to attack long before
the bombing. The Twin Towers were destroyed on September 11, 2001, when Muslim militants crashed two hijacked airliners into them.
Plaintiff lawyer David Dean said the public underground parking garage was left unguarded even though presidential limousines and the Secret
Service's ammunition were stored there.
"The Port Authority predicted exactly what happened. Why didn't they do something about it?" said Dean, citing security assessments by the Port
Authority and outside consultants.
"The 1993 World Trade Center attack was unprecedented. It was the first attack by foreign terrorists on American soil," Kasowitz said.
Walter Stokes, an engineer who was in the basement and suffered severe injuries, said he was frustrated by the legal delays.
"I hope it finishes soon ... The Port Authority should be held responsible. I have dealt with these people. They just don't care," Stokes said.
[edit on 28-9-2005 by MattMarriott]