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9/11 Anniversary: Major Events In Global War On Terrorism In Past Year (Part 5)

  • Charles Recknagel

Prague, 8 September 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The following factbox highlights major events in the war on terrorism from September 2003 to September 2004 that have been linked to Al-Qaeda or Al-Qaeda-inspired groups.

** 18 September 2003 -- U.S. President George W. Bush says there is no evidence that deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was involved in the 11 September 2001 attacks. Bush's comments came after an opinion poll in the United States found that nearly 70 percent of those asked believed Hussein was personally involved in the 9/11 strikes on New York and Washington.

** 8 November 2003 -- At least 17 people die in bomb attacks at a residential complex for mostly Muslim foreigners in Riyadh. The Saudi government blames the attack on Al-Qaeda.

** 20 November 2003 -- Bomb attacks on the British consulate and the headquarters of an international bank in Istanbul kill at least 27 people. Turkish authorities say the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers, reportedly linked to Al-Qaeda. The explosions occur less than a week after suicide bomb attacks against two synagogues in Istanbul kill 25 people.

** 29 December 2003 -- U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge orders foreign airlines to put armed sky marshals on designated flights to and from the United States, if intelligence indicates there's a potential threat.

** 5 January 2004 -- U.S. authorities begin photographing and fingerprinting foreigners entering the country by air or sea. The measures apply to visitors from all but 28 mainly European states.

** 20 January 2004 -- U.S. President George W. Bush says in the annual State of the Union speech before Congress that "we're tracking Al-Qaeda around the world, and nearly two-thirds of their known leaders have now been captured or killed."

** 29 January 2004 -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan warns in Brussels that the global war on terrorism must not lead to an erosion of human rights.

** 2 March 2004 -- Bombing attacks at Shi'a religious ceremonies in Baghdad and Karbala kill more than 140 people. The U.S. military blames Al-Qaeda associate Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi for coordinating the attacks.

** 11 March 2004 -- Bombs on commuter trains in Madrid kill 191 people in the first major post-9/11 terrorist attack in Europe.

** Late March/Early April 2004 -- Suspected Islamic militants launch suicide bombings and shooting attacks against government targets in Bukhara and Tashkent. At least 47 people are killed in the violence, including 33 attackers.

** 27 April 2004 -- Jordan says it foiled an Al-Qaeda plot to launch attacks against the U.S. Embassy in Amman and Jordanian government and intelligence targets.

** 29-30 May 2004 -- Gunmen attack a residential compound for foreigners in the eastern Saudi city of Khobar, killing at least 22 people. The head of the Saudi Al-Qaeda cell takes responsibility.

** 28 June 2004 -- The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the government must allow access to U.S. courts to all prisoners taken in the war on terrorism, whether they are U.S. citizens or foreigners.

** 4 July 2004 -- A ceremony is held in New York to mark the start of construction of the world's largest skyscraper on the site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center once stood.

** 30 July 2004 -- Suicide bombings in Tashkent outside the U.S. and Israeli embassies and inside the Uzbek Prosecutor-General's Office kill three law enforcement officers and a security guard, in addition to the three bombers.

** 2 August 2004 -- U.S. President George W. Bush endorses creating the position of a national intelligence director to oversee U.S. domestic and foreign intelligence operations in combating terrorism. The new post is among the recommendations of an official commission that investigated lapses in intelligence ahead of the 11 September attacks.

** 9 August 2004 -- Pakistani and U.S. officials say the recent arrests of militants in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, and Britain mark major successes in the war on terrorism. The arrested militants include Al-Qaeda computer expert Mohammed Naeem Noor Khan, arrested in Pakistan in July, whose cooperation leads to many of the subsequent arrests. Islamabad says 20 terrorist suspects were captured in Pakistan alone.

** 29 August 2004 -- A bomb kills at least seven people in Kabul outside the compound of an American contractor helping to train Afghan police. The bombing -- the deadliest in Kabul since 2002 -- follows warnings that the Taliban and other militant groups are planning major attacks in Kabul before the 9 October presidential election.

** 1 September 2004 -- Armed insurgents seize a school in Beslan, in the southern Russian republic of North Ossetia, taking some 1,000 adults and children hostage. Russian security forces storm the school two days later. At least 340 people -- half of them children -- die in the resulting violence. Russian President Vladimir Putin places blame for the hostage-taking on what he calls "international terrorism" and makes no mention of the Chechen conflict.

** 7 September 2004: More than 1,000 U.S. soldiers have now been killed in Iraq, which the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush has called the central battlefield in the war on terrorism.

More stories on the 9/11 anniversary from RFE/RL:

A Day Filled With Unforgettable Events, Images

War On Terrorism Expands To Global Battlefield

Experts Say Winning War on Terrorism Requires Patience, Flexibility

Firefighter's Widow Says, 'We Always Think We Have Tomorrow'