In the title compound, C10H8N4O4, two planar fragments, viz. the imidazole and nitrophenyl rings, are tilted at a dihedral of 57.89 (7)°. The nitro groups are twisted with respect to the neighbouring ring planes; the dihedral angle is 7.0 (3)° for imidazole and 9.68 (8)° for benzene. The crystal structure consists of centrosymmetric dimers generated by C—H...O hydrogen bonds, which are connected by C—H...N hydrogen bonds into rows along the  direction. The neighbouring rows are connected via C—H...O interactions into a two-dimensional network in the bc plane.