A Clue Almost Too Good to Be True

Investigators nail a suspect in the World Trade Center bombing

CALL IT FORENSIC FORTUITY. DAYS BEFORE THEY even hoped to reach the bottom of the crater dug out by a terrorist bomb at New York City's World Trade Center, law-enforcement technicians happened on a twisted shard from a van frame. It contained a traceable part of a vehicle ID number, leading to a van-lease paper trail in New Jersey and to a suspect. Four days later, FBI agents arrested Mohammed A. Salameh, 25, a Jordanian national of Palestinian descent residing illegally in the U.S., and charged him with taking part in the bombing. Five people died and more than 1,000 were...

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