Osama bin laden portrait

Timeline of al Qaeda

By Bobbity
  • The US begins to fund anti-communist rebels

    Jimmy Carter signs into law several bills that provide funding for the anti-communist organisation,
  • Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan

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    Soviet War in Afghanistan

  • al Qaeda formed

    First meeting of the members of the organization that would come to be known as al Qaeda. Al Qaeda was originally formed to fight for Muslim causes on an international scale.
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    al Qaeda

    A timeline of al Qaeda, starting with the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, and ending in the modern day.
  • Bin Laden angered by US deployment near Mecca and Medina.

  • Bin Laden moves to Sudan.

    Bin Laden moves to Sudan, and begins to establish training camps for terrorists.
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    Bin Laden establishes training facilities for terrorists in Sudan.

    Bin Laden spends time in Sudan, training terrorists and establishing training camps.
  • Bombing of Hotel in Aden, Yemen.

    First al Qaeda attack against US forces. A hotel containing US troops is bombed, two killed.
  • First attack on World Trade Center,

    The first terrorist attack on America. Six killed, and 1,500 injured.
  • 12 terrorists planning bombing arrested by FBI.

    Having been planning to blow up several targets in New York, 12 terrorists were caught and arrested while mixing the chemicals required for bombs.
  • Eighteen US servicemen killed in Somalia.

    Somali militia group believed trained by al Qaeda shoots down two Black Hawk helicopters, kills eighteen.
  • Bin Laden returns to Afghanistan.

    Facing international pressure, Sudan expels Bin Laden, and he returns to Afghanistan.
  • US military base in Saudi Arabia bombed, 19 dead.

    A bomb explodes in a US military complext, and kills 19 American servicemen. The US believes that al Qaeda may have been involved.
  • Bin Laden issues fatwa calling for attacks on US citizens.

    Bin Laden and his associates decree that it is the duty of every Muslim in every country to kill US citizens.
  • US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed; 220 dead.

    Trucks laden with bombs drive into US embassies, and kill more than 220 people, and injuring over 5,000.
  • US retaliates; launches airstrikes on terrorist camps.

    The US, furious after the embassy bombings, launches air strikes against terrorist training camps in Sudan and Afghanistan.
  • Attack on a US warship in Yemen kills 17.

    Two suicide attackers detonate bombs on the USS Cole in Aden port, and kill 17 American sailors.
  • 9/11. World Trade Center destroyed, 3000 dead.

    Three commercial airliners are hijacked, and flown into both of the towers in the World Trade Center, and into the Pentagon. A fourth airliner also hijacked, but terrorists overcome by passengers, and the plane does no damage. Over 3,000 dead in all the attacks.
  • US invasion of Afghanistan.

    Seeking vengeance over 9/11, the US and allies begin the invasion of Afghanistan, intent on rooting out al Qaeda.
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    The Afghan War

    Out for blood after 9/11, the US and its allies invade Afghanistan, in a conflict that still rages today.
  • Terror suspect held after trying to blow up plane.

    A British man was arrested on a flight from Paris to Miami after trying to blow up a plance with explosives hidden in his shoes.
  • Blast at Tunisian synagogue kills 17 people.

    A fuel tanker is blown up outside a synagogue one the Tunisian island of Djerba, killing 19 and injuring a further 14. al Qaeda claims responsibility.
  • Bomb attacks on Bali nightclubs kill 202.

    Two bombs decimate a busy nightclub area in the Balinese town of Kuta, killing 202 - most of which were tourists. Bombings carried out by South East Asian militant network - has connections with al Qaeda.
  • 13 Israelis killed in Kenya.

    Sixteen people, including three suicide bombers, are killed in a blast at an Israeli owned hotel in Mombasa. al Qaeda claims responsibility.
  • al Qaeda Sheikh, senior figure captured.

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who helped to plan 9/11, is arrested in a joint Pakistani/US operation near Islamabad.
  • Dozens killed in Saudi bombings.

    At least 34 people are killed in a series of bomb attacks in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh.
  • Bomb attacks in Casablanca kill 45.

    Bomb attacks kill 45, including 12 attackers. The militia group held responsible for the suicide attacks is believed to have links with al Qaeda.
  • Suicide bombers attack two Turkish synagogues.

    At least 23 are killed, and more than 300 injured in two suicide attacks on synagogues in Istanbul. Al Qaeda blamed.
  • British Consulate and bank bombed: 27 dead.

    Attacks on the British Consulate and a British bank kill 27, and wound more than 450. Two al Qaeda linked groups claim responsibility.
  • Islamic terrorists bomb a ferry in the Phillipines: 116 dead.

    Islamic terrorists kill 116 people aboard a ferry in the Phillipines.
  • Iraq Ashura bombings

    A series of planned bomb detonations killed at least 178 Shi'a Muslims. The attacks were linked to al Qaeda.
  • Bombs tear apart trains in Madrid, killing 191 people.

    191 people killed in the bombing of a train in Madrid, and a further 1,800 injured. The Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, which is said to support al Qaeda.
  • Senior figure in Iraqi government killed in suicide attack.

    Ezzedine Salim, head of the Iraqi Governing Council, is killed by a suicide bomber near the headquarters of the US led coalition in Baghdad.
  • Militant shooting spree in Saudi Arabia kills 22.

    Gunmen from a group linked to al Qaeda kill 22 in a shooting spree, then take several hostages. They are eventually taken down by a team of commandos, and the hostages rescued.
  • US engineer beheaded in al Qaeda.

    al Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia behead Paul Johnson, a US engineer, after holding him captive for a week.
  • al Qaeda's number three caught by Pakistanis.

    Pakistan arrests the senior al Qaeda member Abu FarahalLibbi.
  • Bombs explode in the London train system.

    2 people dead, and 700 injured after two bombs go off in the heart of London. No one caught, but al Qaeda suspected of the attack.
  • Suicide bombers destroy hotel: 60 dead.

    A suicide bombing of the Hayatt hotel in Amman kill 60 people, and injure hundreds more.
  • Bombs go off in Algiers, 33 killed.

    Two bombs explode in Algiers, one at the prime minister's office, and another at a police station. 33 are killed.
  • Baghdad Iraq Bombings; almost 200 dead.

    Five car bombs exploded across Baghdad, killing nearly 200 people.
  • Yazidi community Iraq bombings: 796 dead.

    Four co-ordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Kurdish towns of Qahtaniya and Jazeera, near Mosul. The bombs are estimated to have killed 796 people, and injured a further 1,562.
  • Danish Embassy bombed, six dead.

    Al Qaeda claims responsibility for the bombing of the Danish embassy in Pakistan that killed six and injured a dozen more.
  • Baghdad suicide bombing: 155 dead.

  • Khost suicide bombing, seven CIA agents dead.

    An Al Qaeda suicide bomber posing as a double agent detonated a bomb in a CIA camp, killing seven CIA officials, and seriously wounding six more.
  • Cargo plane bomb plot foiled.

    Two bombs, each 300 to 400 grams of plastic explosives were found on seperate cargo US cargo planes. al Qaeda took responsibility for the plot.
  • Death of Osama Bin Laden

    Killed in a raid on his compound in Pakistan by US navy seals, the head of al Qaeda, and the master of 9/11, was finally brought to justice. However, his death has had negative consequences too: US relations with Pakistan are near breaking point, and extremists all over the world are urging violent reprisals for the killing.