The damaged USS Cole



1999:
==early.1999 > [] The dot.com boom is overheating.  The overseers of the Nasdaq are becoming increasingly concerned over what is beginning to look like a speculative bubble, but they do little more than send ‘advisories’ to Nasdaq member firms and print cautionary ads in the Wall Street Journal.      [wap.Nov.11.2002]

==early.1999 > [X] State Department counterterrorism coordinator Michael Sheehan proposes that the US pressure Muslim states that directly or indirectly aid al-Qaeda - most especially, Pakistan.  Sheehan’s proposals land “with a resounding thud,” and are ignored.      [nyt.Oct.29.2001]

==Feb.12 > [] Clinton is acquitted of impeachment charges by the Senate.

==Feb.--- > [X] Two Chinese army officers publish the book Unrestricted Warfare, which suggests that America’s high-tech war machine can be countered by utilizing assassinations, hacker attacks, and terrorism.  Some Japanese police officials come to believe that the book inspired al-Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks.      [tait]

==Feb.--- > [X] After a number of hoaxes involving bogus anthrax mailings, a federal contractor dealing with the problem asks biological warfare expert William C. Patrick III to write a paper describing what to expect if terrorists send real anthrax through the mail.  The anthrax attacks of Oct.2001 will use very much the same method Patrick outlines in his report, causing speculation that the perpetrators had access to the classified document.      [nyt.Dec.03.2001]

==Mar.12 > [X] A State Department security official testifies before Congress that American embassies and other diplomatic facilities have received 650 ‘credible threats’ from al-Qaeda since the Aug.1998 embassy bombings.      [berg]

==Mar.24 > [] NATO begins a full-scale bombing campaign against Serbia.

==Apr.--- > [X] A Saudi government audit finds that leading businessmen have been transferring millions of dollars to al-Qaeda through the National Commercial Bank, the country’s largest.  In effect, the transfers are protection money, paid to keep al-Qaeda from targeting Saudi Arabia.      [ust.Oct.29.1999]

==mid-May > [X] US intelligence tracks bin Laden's exact location in Kandahar for five days. For reasons that are not clear, CIA Director Tenet hesitates and no missiles are launched.      [911cm / naftali]

==May.17 > [] Labour Candidate Ehud Barak defeats the belligerent Netanyahu and becomes Prime Minister of Israel.  On Jul.05, Barak forms a government.      [lmd / gdn]

==May.21 > [] Angrily reacting to a website that has parodied him, Texas Governor George W. Bush says during a press conference: “There ought to be limits to freedom.”      [dmn.May.22.1999]

==May-Jun > [X] A spate of ominous reports convinces US intelligence that al-Qaeda is about to launch an attack, perhaps against a government facility in Washington. In June and July, the head of the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center informs congressional intelligence committees that bin Laden is preparing for terrorist actions in the US.      [911cm / senic.Sep.18.2002]

==Jun.07 > [X] Osama bin Laden makes the FBI’s ‘Ten Most Wanted’ list.      [fbi]

==Jul.04 > [X] The United States effectively declares the Taliban regime a state sponsor of terrorism and imposes tough economic sanctions. In the next few months, $250 million in Taliban funds are blocked. See Nov.14.     [911cm / nyt.Dec.30.2001]

==Jul.04 > [X] Clinton and Pakistani Prime Minister Sharif announce plans for a ceasefire in Kashmir, where the situation has been deteriorating since May.  Secretly, Clinton ends economic sanctions against Pakistan in return for Sharif’s promises to end support for Islamist terrorists in Kashmir and to assist the US against al-Qaeda.  The CIA begins training a 60-man team of Pakistani intelligence agents to hunt down bin Laden, but the operation is shut down after Sharif is ousted.  See Oct.12      [hiro1]

==Aug.09 > [X] US intelligence teams secretly fly into Pakistan, and soon after slip into Afghanistan in search of bin Laden.      [hiro1]

==Aug.24 > [X] A massive bomb explodes in Kandahar, in an unsuccessful assassination attempt on Mullah Omar.  It is believed that either the US or Iran is responsible.      [hiro1]

==Aug.--- > [X] In Germany, Mohamed Atta successfully defends his thesis on preserving the traditional urban character of the Syrian city of Aleppo, and receives his degree in October. There is a faint hint that Atta may be wavering in his commitment to al-Qaeda: in the fall he makes a last visit to his family and tells his ailing mother that he's tired and wants to stay in Cairo to take care of her - but she dissuades him. See late Nov       [mcder / lat.Jan.27&Sep.01.2002]

==Aug.--- > [] Chechen guerillas attack Russian troops in Dagestan, setting off the Second Chechen War.      [berg]

==Aug.--- > [X] US intelligence learns that al-Qaeda is planning to assassinate the American Secretaries of State and Defense, as well as the Director of the CIA.  By Feb.2000, the FBI Director has been added to the hit list.      [senic.Sep.18.2002]

==Sep.04 > [] The Sharm el-Sheik Memorandum is signed by Barak and Arafat.  This last major Israeli-Palestinian agreement before the outbreak of the second intifada sets a schedule for the peace process and calls for a comprehensive accord by Sep.13.2000 - a goal which will not be attained.      [lmd]

==Sep.15 > [X] The Hart-Rudman commission issues the first phase of its report on national security.  They grimly predict that there is an increasing probability of large-scale terrorism directed against the US, and that “Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers.”      [uscns]

==Sep.16 > [X] CIA Director Tenet unveils 'The Plan,' a new general strategy against bin Laden that calls for intensified pressure on al-Qaeda, strengthened counterterrorism capabilities, and increased contacts with the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. In particular, the CIA is aggressively trying to recruit more spies, especially in Central Asia.      [911cm]

==Sep.25 > [X] The Taliban take Taloqan.  The opposition now controls only a small enclave in northeast Afghanistan.      [hiro1]

==Sep.--- > [X] There are reports that al-Qaeda is preparing attacks on financial targets in New York, or against flights out of Los Angeles or New York. Around this time, there are reports of a plot to bomb FBI headquarters. Also, the advisory National Intelligence Council speculates that terrorists could crash aircraft into the Pentagon, the White House, or the CIA.  Sometime during 1999,  MI6 (British intelligence) warns the US that al-Qaeda is planning attacks that would use airplanes in “unconventional ways, possibly as flying bombs.”      [jne / 911cm / ap.May.18.2002 / tml.Jun.09.2002]

==Sep.--- > [X] A series of bombings occurs in Russia, which the government links to Islamist extremists operating out of Chechnya.      [bbc / berg]

==Oct.12 > [X] General Musharraf seizes power in Pakistan after Prime Minister Sharif tries to replace him as army chief of staff.  The military is angered that Sharif gave in to US pressure and broke with the Kashmiri guerillas and the Taliban.  The coup initially has broad popular support.      [hiro1 / berg]

==late.Oct > [X] CIA officials contact Afghan opposition leader Massoud, and encourage the Northern Alliance to share intelligence on bin Laden.      [911cm]

==Nov.14 > [X] UN sanctions that were passed on Oct.15 are imposed on the Taliban regime for failing to hand over bin Laden.  Afghan assets abroad are frozen and the national airline is denied landing rights for international flights.      [911cm / bbc.Feb.06.2000]

==end.Nov. > [X] Three of the 9/11 pilots (Atta, Jarrah, and Al-Shehhi) secretly travel to Afghanistan, where they reportedly meet personally with bin Laden and probably commit to the mission.      [lat.Sep.01.2002 / nyt.Sep.10.2002 / abc]

==Nov.30 > [XX] Jordanian police arrest 16 suspects, thwarting a carefully prepared al Qaeda plot to conduct massive bombings in Amman during the millennium celebrations.  Worldwide, several major al-Qaeda terrorist operations are broken up about this time.  [nyt.Jan.15.2001]

==Nov.--- > [X] Almihdhar and Alhazmi appear in San Diego, the first of the 9/11 hijackers to relocate to the US while members of al-Qaeda.  The two have been assigned to the plot since 1996, and have undergone meticulous preparation in Afghanistan earlier in 1999.  They begin sporadic flight training in the spring, and meanwhile amuse themselves at Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, and nude bars.      [wap.Sep.30.2002 / annot / lat.Sep.01.2002 / ap.Sep.22.2003]

==Dec.14 > [XX] Ahmed Ressam, a member of the al-Qaeda affiliated Algerian GIA, is arrested by US customs agents as he enters Washington State from Canada, after 130 pounds of explosive are found in the trunk of his rental car.  He was planning to bomb LA International Airport prior to New Years.  It is finally becoming clear to authorities that al-Qaeda is infiltrating the US.      [berg / pbsf.Oct.03.2002]

==Dec.24-31 > [X] Kashmiri Islamists hijack an Indian Airlines flight to Kandahar and force the release of three Muslim extremists held in India.  India and the US suspect Pakistan of complicity.  See Jan.27.2000       [berg / hiro1]

==Dec.28 > [] The Nasdaq debuts ‘MarketSite’ in Times Square, a $37 million, seven-story high, ultra-glitzy electronic display of stock market transactions.  1999 is the height of the dot.com boom.  The cover story for the Jul.05 issue of Newsweek is “Everyone's Getting Rich But Me.”  Some people quit their jobs to indulge in day-trading, enthralled by bullish commentary from CNBC and other sources.  The average Nasdaq stock has tripled in value since the beginning of the year, and the Nasdaq itself has enjoyed a revenue of $1.2 billion.      [wap.Nov.11.2002 / nyse]

== ------- > [] The US Army begins conducting war game exercises for possible combat in Iraq.     [atl.Jan.2004]

== ------- > [X] In Afghanistan, there is a faint, temporary mellowing of the extreme Taliban social policies.  Primary schools are quietly educating girls, some women are able to obtain medical care, and unaccompanied women are appearing on the streets.  But by 2001, ultra-hardline rules are being reimposed.      [berg]

== ------- > [X] Department of Transportation investigators attempt to enter the secure areas of airports by slipping through gates behind employees.  They succeed 71 out of 75 times.  Boston’s Logan International Airport alone has been cited for 136 security violations in the last two years.      [wap.Sep.12.2001]

== ------- > [X] The chief engineer for the Port Authority of New York orders that the fireproofing for the structural steel in the World Trade Center be made three times as thick. Parts of the steel have been exposed as chunks of the aging fireproofing have fallen off; other parts were evidently never fireproofed at all. By September 2001, the fireproofing has been refurbished on only 30 of the towers' 220 floors.  There is no record showing that the method of fireproofing used in the WTC was ever safety-tested prior to 9/11.      [dwyer]

==1999-2000.--- > [X] The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan launches armed incursions into Uzbekistan from Afghanistan.  The IMU is closely associated with bin Laden.      [wap.Oct.14.01]



2000:
==Jan.01 > [XX] Thanks to frantic last-minute investigations and arrests, planned al-Qaeda attacks on the worldwide millennium celebrations fail to materialize.     [pbsf.Oct.03.2002 / lat.Sep.01.2002 / clarke]

==Jan.03 > [X] An al-Qaeda attempt to blow up the destroyer USS The Sullivans in Aden harbor fails after the terrorists overload and sink their small boat.  The destroyer never detected the aborted attack.      [berg]

==Jan.05-08 > [XX] A crucial al-Qaeda conference is held in Kuala Lumpur, hosted by Hambali and attended by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, at which plans are laid to attack the USS Cole and discussions are held on the 9/11 plot.  The meeting is monitored by Malaysian intelligence.  Future 9/11 hijackers Almihdhar and Alhazmi fly in from southern California to attend.  The CIA issues warnings about the two operatives, but they are never detained, even though they make no attempt to conceal themselves - Almihdhar was even listed in the San Diego phone book.   [cnn.Aug.29.2002 / senic.Oct.17.2002 / nwwk.Jun.10.2002 / wap.Jun.04.2002 / lat.Sep.01.2002 / ap.Sep.22.2003]

==Jan.13 > [X] The Los Angeles Times quotes a French counterterrorism expert: “More and more in the future, the United States is going to be a target that will replace the traditional targets, like France.”      [lat.Jan.13.2000]

==Jan.14 > [] The Dow-Jones Industrial Average peaks out at 11,722. 

==Jan.18 > [X] Al-Shehhi becomes the first member of Atta’s Hamburg cell to apply for a US visa.      [lat.Sep.01.2002]

==Jan.27 > [X] America warns Pakistan against assisting terrorists.  Opposition to Pakistan's support of the Taliban and of Kashmiri rebels is drawing the US and India closer.      [hiro1]

==Jan.--- > [X] States in northern Nigeria begin adopting Islamic law.  Bloody religious violence soon breaks out in the country.      [bbc]

==early > [] The baffling Israeli art student incidents begin about this time.  For almost two years, hundreds of young Israelis posing as students selling artwork try to penetrate dozens of DEA offices or show up at agents’ homes throughout America.  Many of the ‘students’ were found to have ties to Israeli military intelligence, and scores of them were deported, but the US government makes little effort to investigate this massive and clumsily conducted operation.  Its purpose has never been determined.      [salon.May.07.2002]

==Mar.17 > [X] There are reports that Bin Laden is in poor health.  According to an eyewitness, he appears weak and gaunt as he presides over a meeting of al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan.  He is said to be suffering from liver and kidney disease.      [ap.Mar.25.2000]

==Mar.25 > [X] President Clinton visits Pakistan. The possibility that Muslim extremists in the Pakistani intelligence service (ISI) might launch an assassination attempt so concerns the Secret Service that it strongly urges that the trip be canceled.  Clinton is slipped into Pakistan on a small unmarked plane rather that on Air Force One.      [uspk / nyt.Oct.29.2001]

==Mar.--- > [X] A White House review of anti-terrorist defenses finds many shortcomings and recommends a crackdown on al-Qaeda sleeper cells in the US and a tightening of immigration controls.  Little is done.  Also about this time, the FBI begins a series of counterterrorism seminars in its field offices and tries to upgrade its counterterrorist activities.      [nyt.Dec.30.2001]

==Mar.--- > [] The Nasdaq peaks, and soon begins its long slide down.  The Internet boom begins to decline.      [wap.Nov.11.2002]

==Apr.04 > [X] The US government forcefully warns Pakistan against supporting bin Laden through the Taliban.  A high-ranking State Department official meets with the Pakistani ambassador and with ISI chief Ahmed, and bluntly tells them that al-Qaeda “are our enemies, and people who support those people will also be treated as our enemies.”  About the same time, the Taliban are told that they will be held directly responsible for any action by al-Qaeda.  But there is no follow-through on the threats.      [wap.Dec.19.2001]

==Apr.--- > [X] The Philippine Islamist group Abu Sayyaf kidnaps 50 students and demands the release of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef.       [berg]

==Apr.or May > [XX] Bin Laden simplifies the 9/11 plot, eliminating plans for simultaneous hijackings in East Asia.  Also about this time, chief planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed contacts the allied extremist group Jemaah Islamiyah.and begins preparing a second wave of airliner hijackings to take place in Southeast Asia after 9/11.       [ap.Sep.22.2003]

==spring > [X] Future 9/11 hijacker Marwan al Shehhi boasts to a librarian in Hamburg that he will be involved in a major terrorist attack on the US: “There will be thousands of dead. You will think of me.”  Al Shehhi also mentions the World Trade Center.      [afp.Aug.29.2002 / nyt.Sep.10.2002]

==spring and summer > [] In California, the rapid expansion of the state’s economy combines with a heat wave to greatly increase demand for power, and regional electric prices skyrocket.      [maha / wap.Aug.21.2001]

==May.15 > [] Sharp fighting breaks out on the West Bank.  The conciliatory Barak government in Israel is in decline.      [gdn]

==May.22 > [] Israel abruptly pulls out of southern Lebanon, and Hezbollah soon takes up positions on the Israeli border.      [gdn]

==May.--- > [X] CIA Special Activities Division officers begin attempting to recruit Afghan warlords for operations against bin Laden.      [hiro1]

==May.--- > [X] Argenbright Holdings pleads guilty to federal fraud charges and is fined $1.2 million after it’s revealed that the company employed 1,300 untrained security guards, including dozens with criminal records, at the Philadelphia International Airport.  Argenbright will be providing security at two of the three airports that the 9/11 hijackers take off from (Newark and Washington Dulles).  Even when security companies do train their personnel, the training is often inadequate.  According to a letter-writer to the New York Times, around this time his housekeeper got a job in airport security.  “When I mentioned that she must have undergone extensive training, she responded: ‘No, not really. They just showed us a 15-minute videotape.’”  Not surprisingly, FAA tests continue to show that airport security systems are extremely easy to circumvent.     [wiki / wap.Sep.13.2001 / nyt.Sep.14.2001 / lat.Sep.13.2001]

==Jun.03 > [X] Mohammad Atta arrives in the US, flying into Newark from Prague.  Fellow hijacker al-Shehhi had already arrived in Newark on May.29, and Jarrah will fly into Atlanta on Jun.27.      [mih.Sep.22.2001 / nyt.Sep.10.2002]

==Jun.10 > [] Syrian President Hafez Assad dies, and is succeeded by his son Bashar.      [gdn / lmd]

==Jun.--- > [X] Israeli intelligence claims there are links between al Qaeda and Palestinian terrorists.  Especially after 9/11, Israeli intelligence vigorously promotes the idea that al-Qaeda is closely allied with anti-Israeli terrorists.      [nyt.Jan.14.2001]

==Jun.--- > [] Still publicly perceived as cutting-edge, the telecommunications industry is in trouble.  In a remarkable e-mail, Global Crossing CEO Leo Hindery advises Chairman Gary Winnick to sell the company before its weakness becomes general knowledge: “Like the resplendently colored salmon going to river to spawn, at the end of our journey our niche is going to die rather than live and prosper... The stock market can be fooled, but not forever, and it is fundamentally insightful and always unforgiving of being misled... Without looking like we are shaking our bootie all over the world, [we'll] sell ourselves quickly…”  An observer later comments “It is difficult to imagine a quote that makes an individual or company look worse than this one.”  See May.2001      [irontn.Dec.2002]

==Jul.06 > [X] Atta and al-Shehhi begin four months’ flight training in Venice, Florida.  Atta was not popular.  Flight school staffers described him: “He tried to be intimidating, but he didn’t have the stature.  He had hate oozing from him,” and “Atta was an asshole, first-class.”  Jarrah begins flight training in November.      [jdw / annot]

==Jul.11-25 > [] The Israeli-Palestinian Camp David talks fail, thanks largely to Arafat’s intransigence.      [gdn]

==Jul.31 > [X] Taliban ruler Mullah Omar announces that the severe drought which has been gripping Afghanistan since 1999 is God’s punishment for the public’s neglect of religious duties and its discontent with Taliban rule.      [bbc]

==Jul.--- > [X] Mullah Omar bans opium cultivation in Afghanistan, which supposedly results in an immense loss of revenue for the Taliban.  But the DEA believes that the ban is a sham, and that the Taliban has already stockpiled massive amounts of opium gum.      [hiro1 / mst.Sep.30.2001]

==summer > [X] Relief workers in Afghanistan begin to report seeing soldiers in Pakistani uniforms fighting for the Taliban.  Pakistan denies that it sent combat troops into Afghanistan.      [nyt.Jan.16.2001]

==Aug.--- > [X] The FBI is forced to end wiretaps of al-Qaeda suspects after a federal court discovers that the agency was misrepresenting wiretap requests.      [nwwk.May.27.02]

==Aug.--- > [] Enron stock hits an all-time high of $90.56.  See May 2001      [maha]

==Sep.07 > [X] Unmanned Predator spy planes begin flights over Afghanistan, successfully tracking bin Laden.  Attempts to arm the planes with missiles are thwarted by turf wars between the Pentagon and the CIA.      [naftali / nyt.Dec.30.2001 / clarke]

==Sep.20 > [] After six years and a cost of $64 million, the Whitewater investigations are brought to a close without any substantial evidence against the Clintons.      [pbs]

==Sep.28 > [] Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon makes a highly provocative visit to the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, triggering Palestinian demonstrations.  The next day, Israeli security forces fire on rioters and the second (or al-Aqsa) intifada is underway.  By Sep.30, Gaza and the West Bank are in a virtual state of war.  On Oct.01, unrest spreads to Israeli Arabs.  The situation spins out of control into Oct.      [lmd]

==Sep.--- > [] The hawkish ‘Project for the New American Century’ think tank issues a paper entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses, calling for an extremely ambitious expansion and revamping of the military to ensure permanent US preeminence.  The report urges that America’s already extensive international military presence be expanded still further with large, permanent bases in the Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, and with a major buildup in East Asia evidently directed against China. It recommends that military planning include the prospect of regime change in troublesome states like Iraq or North Korea.  It also advocates increased spending on a missile defense system, repudiation of the anti-ballistic missile treaty, resumption of nuclear testing, and development of tactical nuclear weapons. The paper notes that “the process of transformation… is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor,” but the 9/11 attacks neatly solve that problem.  Many of the document’s 27 authors, including Paul Wolfowitz, I. Lewis Libby, and John Bolton, will become leading figures in the Bush administration, and the report will evidently serve as a blueprint for Bush’s foreign and defense policies.      [ajc.Sep.29.2002 / pnac]
=On a weirder note, the report also calls for the creation of the Space Forces as a new branch of the armed services.      [pnac]

==Oct.01 > [] The conservative American Enterprise Institute publishes ‘Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein’s Unfinished War with America.’ Author Laurie Mylroie passionately argues that Saddam Hussein is behind all major terrorist attacks against America - and after September 11 she will promptly add the 9/11 attacks to the list as well.  Although Mylroie’s claims run counter to virtually all evidence and expert opinion, neoconservatives will enthusiastically cite her theories in their push for war with Iraq.      [amei / wam.Dec.2003]

==Oct.11 > [] Speaking on foreign policy in the second presidential debate, George W. Bush says that America’s leaders “…must be.. humble in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their own course.”       [npr]

==Oct.12 > [XX] The destroyer USS Cole is severely damaged by al-Qaeda suicide bombers at Aden - 17 American sailors are killed.  FBI counterterrorism expert John O’Neill leads a massive but largely unsuccessful investigation in Yemen.  Possible links to high-ranking Yemeni government officials are not followed up, and there is no effective US retaliation for the Cole attack.  See Jun.2001      [naftali / nykr.Jan.14.2002 / berg / clarke]
=On Oct.30, Chris Bray, writing under the name Ambrose Beers, comments “To suggest that an organized attack, brought off skillfully by members of what must be an extraordinarily cohesive organization, represents nothing more than some simpering spasm of pathetic hatred is to carefully miss the very large, very unpleasant point: People who destroy human life in this precise manner are not alone, and not disorganized, and very much not finished.”      [suck.Oct.30.2000]

==Oct.17 > [] An intense summit at Sharm el-Sheik ends with a partial agreement between Arafat and Barak, but violence continues.      [lmd]

==Oct.24-26 > [X] The Pentagon’s emergency response teams conduct their annual drills.  Ironically, one of the disaster scenarios involves an airliner crashing into the Pentagon.      [mdwn.Nov.03.2000]

==Nov.07 > [] After a lackluster presidential campaign, US presidential elections result in a near dead heat between George W. Bush and Al Gore.  Gore has about 500,000 more popular votes, but it’s unclear who has the majority in the electoral college.  A very ugly crisis develops over vote counts in Florida, where Bush’s brother Jeb is governor.  See Dec.12      [ppg.Dec.17.2001]

==Nov.07 > [X] National Security Adviser Sandy Berger asks Defense Secretary Cohen to organize US special forces operations against bin Laden in Afghanistan.  Cohen and the military block the proposal.      [time.Aug,04.2002]

==Nov.25 > [] In the introduction to Present Dangers, a compilation of neoconservative essays, William Kristol and Robert Kagan advocate a far more muscular American foreign policy and call for regime change "in Baghdad and Belgrade, in Pyongyang and Beijing." Kristol and Kagan write "To many the idea of America using its power to promote changes of regime in nations ruled by dictators rings of utopianism. But in fact, it is eminently realistic," and they argue that it is "perverse" to believe otherwise.      [kagan / amz]

==Dec.12 > [] In an extremely controversial decision, the US Supreme Court rules 5-4 in Bush’s favor in the Florida election dispute. Gore concedes the next day, and Bush becomes the president-elect.      [ppg.Dec.17.2001]

==Dec.18 > [] CNN quotes Bush as saying “If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.”

==Dec.19 > [X] A Security Council resolution brands Afghanistan as “the world center of terrorism,” demands the extradition of bin Laden, and threatens the Taliban with an arms embargo and other restrictions if it fails to comply.  The Taliban reacts angrily.      [hiro1]


Richard Clarke

==Dec.20 > [X] US counterterrorism director Richard Clarke presents a strategy paper urging vigorous worldwide initiatives against al-Qaeda.  Clinton officials decide to hand the proposals over to the Bush administration, which will be taking office in less than a month.  See early Jan.2001      [time.Aug.04.2002 / nyt.Dec.30.2001]

==Dec.21 > [X] Mohamed Atta and al-Shehhi receive their pilots’ licenses.      [abc / jdw / annot]

==Dec.24 > [X] A German SWAT team storms two apartments in Frankfurt and arrests an Algerian bomb-assembly group that was about to attack a Christmas fair in Strasbourg.  After ignoring the problem for years, German police begin to crack down on Islamist extremist groups.     [inside]

==Dec.25 > [X] 20 Christian churches are bombed in Indonesia by Jemmah Islamiyah, an Islamist group affliated with al-Qaeda.     [clarke]

==Dec.29-30 > [X] Near Miami, Atta and al-Shehhi practice on a flight simulator that has New York City’s topography stored in it.  “It’s an absolute possibility that (they).. practiced running into the World Trade Center.”      [abc / jdw / annot]

==end.2000 > [] Enron declares $101 billion in revenue, up from $13 billion in 1996, making it the 7th largest US corporation. It’s stocks have tripled in value since 1998.  But the company’s figures are grossly distorted.  It claims $979 million in profit for the year, whereas in fact it has made almost no profit at all.      [wap.Jul.28.2002]




Text Symbols
[] = The Levant: Israel, Palestine,
         Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Turkey
 
[X]  = Non-Islamist Terrorism
[] = Egypt and North Africa
[X] = Islamist Extremists
[] = The Persian Gulf Region and Arabia
[X] = Islamist Terrorism (not al-Qaeda)
[] = Central and Southern Asia
[X] = al-Qaeda and bin Laden
[] = Africa
[X] = The 9/11 Operation
[] = Europe and the Soviet Union
[X] = Counterterrorism
[] = The United States



This chronology is intended as an outline of developments related to 9/11 and its aftermath, and tends to focus on unrest, war, and terrorism. It is not meant to be a comprehensive timeline of Middle East history.


9/11 Intro          Source Abbreviations

1948-1978      1979-1986      1987-1992      1993-1995      1996-1998

2001, Jan-Jun      2001, Jul-Sep.10

September 11, 2001, Part I      September 11, 2001, Part II