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Mastermind of trade center bombing gets life

Yousef
Yousef was convicted last November of the World Trade Center bombing   
January 8, 1998
Web posted at: 11:00 a.m. EST (1600 GMT)
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In this story: --------------------------

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the 1993 bombing at New York's World Trade Center, was sentenced Thursday to 240 years in prison plus life for the attack, which killed six people and injured more than 1,000.

After three days of deliberation in November, a federal jury convicted Yousef and Eyad Ismoil on murder and conspiracy charges for their roles in a plot by Islamic extremists to topple the trade center's two 110-story towers to punish the United States for its support of Israel.

Yasin
Yasin, another suspect, is believed to be hiding in Iraq   

Ismoil was accused of driving a truck with a 1,200-pound bomb into the World Trade Center's parking garage, where it was detonated on February 26, 1993. He's scheduled to be sentenced next month.

Four other men have already been convicted in the case, each receiving a sentence of 240 years in prison.

Another suspect, Adul Rahman Yasin, is still being sought and is believed to be hiding in Iraq.

Confession?

After the World Trade Center attack, both Yousef and Ismoil fled the United States on commercial airline flights. A $2 million reward from the U.S. government helped lead to the capture of Yousef in Pakistan in 1995.

Ismoil, captured that same year in Jordan, said he did not know there was a bomb in the truck.

World Trade Center bombing
Aftermath of the World Trade Center bombing on February 26, 1993   

A federal agent accompanying Yousef on his flight back from Pakistan testified during the trial that Yousef bragged about his role in the attack.

The agent, Brian Parr, told the jury that Yousef said he had hoped the explosion would topple one tower into the other, killing tens of thousands of people, to let Americans know they were "at war."

Yousef's lawyer accused Parr of lying.

Prosecutors presented evidence linking Yousef to a storage shed and apartment in Jersey City, New Jersey, where they said the bomb was made. Also, Yousef's fingerprints were found on bomb-making manuals.

Neither of the defendants testified during the trial. It remains unclear who financed the World Trade Center bombing and whether Yousef was taking orders from someone else.

Convicted in later bomb plot

While on the run, Yousef, or Abu Basit as he calls himself, spent time in the Philippines, where he planned "Project Bojinka" -- chaos in the sky, authorities said.

The plot called for one dozen U.S. planes to explode in mid-flight over the Pacific Ocean during a 48-hour period.

Yousef was charged with placing a bomb on a Philippine Air Lines 747 flight from Manila to Tokyo on December 11, 1994, in what prosecutors believe was a test run for "Project Bojinka." One passenger was killed.

Yousef and two other defendants were convicted in September 1996 after a trial in federal court in New York.

Correspondent Peg Tyre contributed to this report.
 
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