News / Asia

A Timeline of bin Laden's Decades-Long Reign of Terror

A Timeline of bin Laden's Decades-Long Reign of Terror
A Timeline of bin Laden's Decades-Long Reign of Terror

A brief look at how Osama bin Laden terrorized the Western world with a series of deadly attacks after emerging from the ranks of a wealthy Saudi Arabian family to create and lead a global terrorist network:

1988: After aiding mujahideen fighters against the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden establishes al-Qaida, which means "the base" in Arabic.

1990-1991: The arrival of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia to help defend Kuwait, invaded by Iraq, angers bin Laden.  He clashes with Saudi authorities and is forced to leave for Sudan, where he sets up a base of operations for al-Qaida.

1992: A bomb explodes at a hotel in Yemen, shortly after a group of U.S. soldiers leave.  Intelligence officials later determine this was bin Laden's first attack.

1993: Terrorists linked to al-Qaida explode a truck bomb in a parking garage underneath the World Trade Center in New York City. The blast kills six people, but fails to bring down the towers.

1996: A truck bomb destroys Khobar Towers, a U.S. military residence in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 American soldiers.

1998:

February: Bin Laden declares to the world that it is the duty of every Muslim to "kill Americans wherever they are found."

August: Bombs explode simultaneously at the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing 224 people and wounding some 4,500 others. Then-U.S. President Bill Clinton declares bin Laden "Public Enemy Number One."

2000: Suicide attackers ram a boat full of explosives into the hull of the USS Cole in Yemen, killing 17 U.S. sailors and wounding more than 30 others.

2001:

September 11: Al-Qaida hijackers fly two passenger planes into the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York City and a third plane into the U.S. military headquarters outside Washington.  A fourth hijacked plane meant for another target in the U.S. capital crashes into a field in Pennsylvania.  In total, some 3,000 men, women and children die in the attacks.  Bin Laden later releases a tape in which he takes responsibility.

December: Passengers on a transatlantic flight from Paris to Miami prevent bin Laden-sympathizer Richard Reid from detonating explosives concealed in his shoes.

2002: Two bombs explode in a crowded nightclub area on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, killing 202 people, including 28 British citizens. Authorities blame an al-Qaida-linked group for the attack.

2003: 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is captured in Pakistan.  He reportedly gives interrogators information on bin Laden couriers.

2004: Bombs explode on commuter trains in the Spanish capital, Madrid, killing at least 190 people. In a new tape attributed to bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader reportedly offers a truce to European countries that do not interfere in the affairs of Muslims.

2005:

Four explosions hit London's transit system, killing more than 35 people and wounding at least 700 others.

Al-Qaida's number 3, Abu Faraj al-Libbi is arrested by Pakistani special forces and turned over to the CIA.

2006: A U.S. air strike kills one of bin Laden's top commanders, al-Qaida's leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

2007: U.S. officials learn the identity of one of bin Laden's courier's who will eventually lead them to him.

2010: U.S. intelligence officials identify the courier's residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

September 2010: President Obama is informed about the residence and told that a "high value target" is living there.  

March 2011: President Obama begins meetings on the situation.

April 29, 2011: President Obama authorizes special forces to proceed.

May 1, 2011: President Obama tells the world that Osama bin Laden has been killed by U.S. special forces following a 40-minute firefight at his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs