Chronology of events related to the war with terrorism
Part 1: before 11 September 2001

compiled by Wm. Robert Johnston
last updated 8 September 2003

1957 Osama bin Laden born, son of Saudi multimillionare
1970s Osama bin Laden is strongly influenced by Islamist teachings
Feb 1979 Islamist revolution in Iran
26 Dec 1979 Soviet forces invade Afghanistan
early 1980 Osama bin Laden establishes base for mujahideen operations in Afghanistan
1986 Osama bin Laden begins leading mujahideen in military strikes
30 Jun 1989 military coup brings Islamists to power in Sudan
1989 Al Qaeda formed under leadership including Osama bin Laden
15 Feb 1989 Soviet forces withdraw from Afghanistan
21 Dec 1989 Mid-air bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 kills 280
2 Aug 1990 Iraq invades Kuwait
7 Aug 1990 U.S.-led coalition forces begin deploying to Saudi Arabia
17 Jan 1991 U.S. begins air attacks on Iraq
24 Feb 1991 U.S. ground attacks on Iraqi forces begin
27 Feb 1991 U.S. liberates Kuwait and declares ceasefire
Apr 1991 Osama bin Laden flees Saudi Arabia
1991 Osama bin Laden moves to Sudan
5 Jul 1991 BCCI bank closed by U.K., after which Osama bin Laden becomes leader of financial support for terrorist operations
13 Dec 1991 Iran and Sudan consolidate strategic partnership including support of organized terrorism
28 Apr 1992 Afghan guerrillas take control of Kabul from Communists
9 Dec 1992 U.S. Marines land in Somalia
29 Dec 1992 bombing of hotel in Aden, Yemen, kills 2 in first attack attributed to associates of bin Laden
1993 Al Qaeda begins seeking nuclear weapons and material
26 Feb 1993 bombing of World Trade Center in New York City kills 6
3-4 Oct 1993 Al Qaeda sponsors ambush of U.N. troops in Somalia, killing 18 U.S. servicemen
8 Oct 1993 U.S. announces it will withdraw from Somalia
1993 Osama bin Laden begins constructing terrorist training camps in Sudan
1 Mar 1994 most U.S. forces gone from Somalia
9 Apr 1994 Saudi Arabia revokes Osama bin Laden's citizenship
Nov 1994 first military success by Taliban, capture of Qandahar, Afghanistan
26 Jun 1995 Al Qaeda supports unsuccessful assasination attempt against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
13 Nov 1995 Two bombs kill 7 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, including 5 Americans
Sep 1995 Taliban captures Kabul
May 1996 Sudan expels bin Laden; Al Qaeda moves base of operations to Afghanistan
1996 Iran sponsors reorganization of Al Qaeda, with Osama bin Laden as leader
25 Jun 1996 Truck bombing of U.S. compound in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, kills 19 U.S. servicemen
Aug 1996 U.S. begins a secret grand jury investigation of bin Laden
1997 At least one future hijacker attending flight school in the U.S.
12 Nov 1997 Two Islamists convicted for 1993 World Trade Center bombing
8 Jun 1998 sealed indictment of Osama bin Laden issued by U.S. grand jury, charging him with leading Al Qaeda in international terrorism against U.S.
7 Aug 1998 Al Qaeda bombing of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 224
8 Aug 1998 Taliban captures Mazar-e Sharif
20 Aug 1998 President Clinton, against advice of top advisors, orders cruise missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan in retaliation for embassy bombings
4 Nov 1998 Osama bin Laden indicted by U.S. court for role in embassy bombings, with $5 million bounty offered for bin Laden
16 Jan 1999 Osama bin Laden indicted by U.S. Attorney General for Al Qaeda's role in multiple terrorist attacks and attacks in Somalia
14 Nov 1999 United Nations resolution demands that Afghanistan turn over Osama bin Laden, imposing sanctions
Dec 1999 Individuals linked to Al Qaeda captured while planning bombing in Los Angeles
12 Oct 2000 Suicide bombing of USS Cole in Yemen kills 17 US sailors
19 Jan 2001 United Nations ban on military aid to Afghanistan takes effect
29 May 2001 Four Al Qaeda associates convicted for role in African embassy bombings
Jun 2001 U.S. warns Afghanistan that its government will be held responsible for attacks by terrorists sheltered by Afghanistan
6 Aug 2001 Taliban arrests 24 foreign aid workers, including two American women, in Afghanistan on charges of spreading Christianity
21 Aug 2001 CIA asks FBI to find al-Midhar and Alhamzi; they are not located, and will hijack Flight 77 on 11 September
Aug 2001 Osama bin Laden threatens "unprecedented attacks" against the U.S.
9 Sep 2001 Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of Northern Alliance, seriously injured in car bombing assassination; he dies days later
10 Sep 2001 Osama bin Laden's deadline for his deputies to return to Afghanistan

Go to Part 2, 11 September 2001

Go to Part 3, after 11 September to end of 2001

Go to Part 4, 2002

© 2002, 2003 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 8 September 2003.
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