Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A Timeline of al Qaeda's attacks

February 26, 1993 A powerful car bomb explodes in a garage beneath the World Trade Center in New York, killing six and wounding hundreds more. Six followers of radical Egyptian cleric Omar Abdel Rahman are convicted in the bombing. Rahman once led an Egyptian group that later merged with al Qaeda, and two of his sons are al Qaeda members.

June 25, 1996 A bomb kills 19 U.S. Air Force members at Khobar Towers, a military housing complex in the Saudi city of Dhahran. Although al Qaeda has not been conclusively linked to the attack, U.S. officials blame Osama bin Laden and pressure Sudan to expel him; he moves to Afghanistan.

August 7, 1998 Simultaneous bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania kill 224 people, mostly Kenyans. In retaliation, U.S. cruise missiles strike al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and a factory in Sudan that U.S. officials say was linked to bin Laden.

October 12, 2000 A massive bomb explodes in an attack on the Navy destroyer USS Cole during a port call in Yemen, crippling the vessel, killing 17 sailors and injuring 33.

September 11, 2001 Suicide hijackers commandeer four U.S. commercial flights in order to crash them into American landmarks. They crash two jumbo jets into the World Trade Center in New York and one into the Pentagon in Washington. The fourth attempt fails after passengers learn of the other flights and rush the hijackers. The incident ends when the plane, headed toward Washington, crashes into a field in Pennsylvania. The impact and fire at the World Trade Center cause the towers to collapse. By day's end, nearly 3,000 people have been killed.

April 11, 2002 A suicide truck bomber detonates his explosives near the entrance of a tourist-packed synagogue on the resort island of Djerba in Tunisia, killing 18 people, including a dozen German tourists. Authorities initially say the blast was an accident, but later call it a terror attack. Statements on a Web site believed linked to al Qaeda claim credit for the attack.

October 12, 2002 Deadly explosions rip through two popular nightclubs in Kuta on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, killing 202 people, most of them young Australians, and injuring more than 300. Dozens of victims are burned beyond recognition or blown to pieces. The attack is attributed to Jemaah Islamiyah, an Indonesian group affiliated with al Qaeda. Trials of the suspects are pending.

November 28, 2002 Shoulder-launched missiles are fired at an Israeli charter plane leaving Mombasa, Kenya. The missiles miss their target, but minutes later, three suicide bombers strike the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, killing ten Kenyans and three Israelis. A statement believed to be from al Qaeda claims responsibility.

May 12, 2003 Suicide truck bombers attack three secured residential compounds occupied mainly by Westerners in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, killing at least 21 and causing extensive damage. No evidence immediately ties al Qaeda to the attacks, but the tight coordination of the strikes raises suspicions.

May 16, 2003 Five near-simultaneous suicide bombings shocked the peaceful town of Casablanca, Morocco, killing 32 bystanders at targets including a downtown hotel, a Jewish community center and a Spanish restaurant. Moroccan authorities contend that the bombings were carried out by Moroccan citizens from poor slums around Casablanca, members of the clandestine al Qaeda-linked group, Salafia Jihadia.

August 5, 2003 A suicide car bomber detonates his explosives at the JW Marriott Hotel in central Jakarta, Indonesia, an American-owned hotel popular with expatriate business executives. The suicide blast causes heavy damage to the Marriott, kills 10 and injures more than 100. A few days later, al Qaeda claims responsibility for the bombing in an unsigned statement released to Arab media sites. Indonesian authorities believe al Qaeda's Southeast Asian arm, Jemaah Islamiyah, carried out the attack.

November 8, 2003 Seventeen people, including five children, were killed and 122 people were wounded in a suicide car bombing in a mostly Arab neighborhood in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the Saudi Press Agency said. The attackers stormed the affluent neighborhood near Riyadh's diplomatic quarter, first firing on security guards and then driving their explosives-laden cars through the gates. The Saudis blamed al Qaeda for the attack and pledged to track down those responsible.

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