When: February 26, 1993
The facts: A car bomb explodes on the second level of the World Trade Center's underground parking garage just after noon, killing six people and forcing the evacuation of more than 50,000 people from both towers. Many are trapped for hours in dark, smoke-filled stairwells and elevators, and a class of kindergarteners from P.S. 95 in Brooklyn, stranded on the 107th-floor observation deck, takes all day to walk to the ground level, singing the Barney theme song on their way down.
The idiot: Less than a week later, Mohammed A. Salameh, a follower of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, a militant Islamic leader whom the INS is trying to deport is apprehended after he attempts to recover the $400 security deposit on the van used to plant the bomb. "I can't believe that such devastation could be caused by someone so dumb," one detective said.