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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Egyptian Copts targeted by Al Qaeda

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Al Qaeda feeds Christian-Muslim divisions which have simmered in tolerant Egypt for nearly a century.

IN THE NEWS:  21 COPTIC CHRISTIANS KILLED BY A CAR BOMB AS THEY EMERGED  FROM CHURCH ON COPTIC CHRISTMAS EVE (JAN. 1) IN ALEXANDRIA, EGYPT, SEEM TO BE VICTIMS OF AL QAEDA. AL QAEDA IN IRAQ HAD THREATENED COPTIC CHRISTIANS AS EARLY AS OCTOBER 31 WHEN THE ISLAMIST GROUP HAD MASSACRED IRAQI CHRISTIANS DURING A CHURCH SERVICE, WARNING THAT MUSLIM WOMEN HAD PROTESTED ABUSIVE MARRIAGES TO COPTIC CHRISTIANS, MARRIAGES WHICH THEY COULD NOT ESCAPE. THERE IS ALSO COMPETITION FOR LAND AND RESOURCES IN EGYPT WHICH HAS LED TO VIOLENCE BETWEEN BETWEEN POOR MUSLIMS AND POOR COPTS. IN THE DAYS FOLLOWING THE BOMBING, THREATS AGAINST EGYPTIAN COPTS APPPEARED ON THE INTERNET; AND AN AL QAEDA WEBSITE HAS LISTED THE CONTACT INFORMATION OF COPTIC CHRISTIANS AND CHRUCHES IN EUROPE AND CANADA.



WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:  In 1991, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, whose ideology and some of whose followers were to contribute to Al Qaeda, supported Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, condemning the presence of US bases in Saudi Arabia. Throughout the decade the followed, tensions increased between Egyptian Muslims and Copts with the rise of  militant Islam in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak attempted, despite his dictatorship and Egypt's sluggish bureaucracy and government, to maintain pluralism and nominated Copts, (who had long occupied posts in the civil service) to the Egyptian parliament between 1995 and 2000. After 9/11, Al Qaeda was operating throughout the Middle East and Egypt endured terrorist bombings at the resort of Sharm Al Shaik in 2004. Meanwhile,  the Egyptian Ayman Al Zawahiri, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood had joined Al Qaeda to become Osama Bin Laden's Second in Command before opening "Al Qaeda in the Maghreb" among Egypt's North African neighbours in 2007. Tensions continued to rise over scarce resources between Egyptian Copts and Mulims among the poor, and around January 1, 2009, several Copts were murdered in a drive-by shooting in the ancient Christian community of Nag Hammadi.



IN HISTORY:  The Christians of Egypt became a separate sect after Rome condemned them for the monphysite heresy in 451 after which they were led by the Coptic patriarch based in Cairo. Upon the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 641, the name Copt was given to all Christians who had refused to embrace Islam.  After 1919, the Copts established their credentials as part of an aspiring, secular and nationalist Egypt when they formed a large part of the membrship of the WAFD group,  a party dedicated to to throwing off British rule.  Meanwhile, a form of mlitant Islam, opposed to Western culture and Christianity grew with the foundation of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928. It played a singificant role in Arab resistance to the foundation of the state of Israel and was further radicalized when it was banned by Egypt in  1948 and its leader Hassan al Banna assassinated in 1949. Mohammed Qutb, who wrote and preached that the West was hopelessly and decadent and its presence in the Middle East was to be expelled by force, brought the Brotherhood wide renown. Though the Brotherhood supported Egypt's revolution and liberation from the  British in the 1950s, it soon turned against the new Arab Socialist premier Abdul Nasser, who had reserved special political constituencies for Coptic Christians. After Qtub and other leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood were tried and executed, it was clear that Coptic Christians were part and parcel of the secular establishment in Egypt. President Anwar Sadat's continued repression of the Brotherhood only caused it further to radicalize in the 1977. Ar the same time, Sadat encouraged religious freedom for Coptic Christians. When Sadat made peace with Israel in 1979, infuriated Muslims turned once and for all against the Copts. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, radicalized Muslims across the Middle East, Ayman al Zawahiri, an associate of the Muslim Brotherhood, joined the radical group, Islamic Jihad.  Copts and Muslims were being killed in sectarian violence when Sadat was assassinated in a conspiracy that incuded Zawahiri. The Muslim Brotherhood, banned under Sadat's successor, Hosni Mubarak, founded and joined new parties in order to secure representation in government. In the mid 1980s, Zawahiri, freed from prison, traveled to Afghanistan where he helped Osama Bin Laden with the international Muslim contingent helping the Mujehadeen against the Socviets. By the early 1990s, Zawahiri and Bin Laden had formed Al Qaeda and after 9/11, they issued a fatwa against Christians, Americans, Jews and the West in general.


RELEVANT DATES:




451- Christian Church brands Ehptian Christians heretics because of the latter's adoption of Monophysite Christianity which held that Christ had only one nature, note two (human and divine)


-The Coptic Church's head becomes the Patriarch of Alexandria and all Egypt and is based in Cairo.

641- Muslim conquest of Egypt.

-Egyptian Christians who do not embrace Islam are named 'Copts.'

1906-66- Sayyid Mohammed Qutb. Muslim ideologue. Born in Asyut, Egypt. Trained as a teacher in Cairo.

1919- WAFD political party formed of Egyptians objecting to British rule. Copts grow to form much of the membership.

1928- Muslim Brotherhood founded by Hassan al Banna in Egypt for moral and social reform.



1939- Muslim Brotherhood becomes a political movement in response to the Arab uprising against the British in Palestine (1936) and Egyptian protest against the the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty (1936). The Brotherhood declares that the Quran and the Hadith are sufficient as a social political code for any time and place.


1940- the Muslim Brotherhood has 500 branches each with a mosque and social services.

1948- Qutb is sent to university in Colorado, USA by his ministry. He is appalled at what he sees as America's decadence and depravity.

1948-49- members of the Muslim Brotherhood fight in the Palestine War, recruiting Egyptian officers and gaining military experience. The Brotherhood turns against Egypt which is blames for the 1948-49 war.

1948- Egypt declares martial law and bans the Brotherhood.

-Egyptian premier, Fahmi Nokrashi Pasha, is assassinated by the Brotherhood.

1949- Hassan a Banna, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood is assassinated.

1950- with the lifting of martial law, the Brotherhood enters mainstream Egyptian politics.

1951- Qutb returns to Egypt but his anti-American views get him expelled from the education ministry. He joins the Muslim Brootherhood. In his writings he says that America should be placed under a sentence of death.

1952- the Brotherhood supports Egypt in rejecting the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty and participates in the Cairo riots.


1952- the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) overthrows the regime in Egypt.


Egypt bans the Muslim Brotherhood.

1954- Egypt's RCC bans the Muslim Brotherhood. Qutb and other members are held in a concentration camp. He writes his defining work, Maalim Fi Al Tariq- "Signposts on the Road"- which divides all social systems into "The Order of Islam" and "The Order of Ignorance." The book remains a text book for radical Islam.

23rd Oct.- after Brotherhood members attempt to assassinate President Nasser, the plotters are hanged, many are imprisoned or driven into exile in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

1957- birth of Osama Bin laden, son of a bricklayer from South Yemen. Bin Laden's father settles in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and becomes a wealthy construction magnate.



- President Nasser reserves constituencies for Copts.


Qutb Becomes Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

1964- Qutb and cohorts are released from detainment in Egypt. "Signposts on the Road" is smuggled out of Egypt. Though he is non-violent, the Muslim Brotherhood promotes him into the leadership to avenge their persecution in Egypt.

-Nasser tries to include the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab Socialist Union to combat Communism.

-repeated attempts by the Brotherhood to assassinate Nasser.

1966-Sayyid Muhammed Qutb is put on trial in Egypt. He states that the nations of the Middle East are a western fabrication and that actually Islam has no nations, only a Community of Believers.

-Sayyid Muhammed Qutb and other Brotherhood leaders are executed.

Muslim Brotherhood gains from 1967 War with Israel.

1967- Egypt decisively defeated in war with Israel.

1968- popular feeling that Egypt had received divine retribution for Arab Socialism causes Nasser to grant a general amnesty to the Muslim Brotherhood.

-new Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, attempts to integrate the Brotherhood into the mainstrem.

1975 (circa) Saalafis active in Kuwait where they want a republican, democratic regime.

Egypt's Sadat Bans the Muslim Brotherhood causing it to Radicalize.

1976- fearing the expanding power of the Brotherhood, President Sadat bans it from Egyptian elections. 15 Brotherhood members are elected as members of other parties causing a radical wing to split off in protest.

-the Muslim Brotherhood radicalizes and turns against Sadat's modernization and pro-Israel and pro-West policies.

1977- President Sadat encourages relgious freedom for Copts.

1979- after the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, Muslims angry with Nasser also turned against the Copts he  protected.


Beginning of Careers of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri.

1978- Ayman Zawahiri graduates as as a surgeon from Cairo's University's medical school.

1979- after the Israel-Egypt peace treaty, Muslims angry with Nasser also turned against the Copts he  protected.


-Zawahiri joins Ismail Tantawi's Islamic Jihad and succeeds him as leader when Tantawi departs for West Germany.


1980- Copts killed in violence in southern Egypt.


Zawahiri arrested in Assassination of Sadat.

1981- Oct 6- a radical wing of the Muslim Brotherhood assassinates President Sadat. Ayman al Zawahiri is among those jailed in the plot.


1984- EgyptianPresident Mubarak maintains elections ban on Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood members get elected as members of the Neo-Wafd party.

-the Muslim Brotherhood, uses highy educated members to dominate syndicates of lawyers, doctors, journalists and engineers.

-Zawahiri is released from prison in Egypt.

Zawahirir joins the Anti-Soviet Afghan Struggle.

-Zawahiri travels to Pakistan to join the medical corps of the Mujehadeen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. He is stationed in Peshawar where he sets up a branch of Islamic Jihad.

1987- The Muslim Brotherhood gains singificant power in the Egyptian parliament by allying itself with socialist parties. Brotherhood deputies demand an end to the Israeli-Egyptian treaty, to all ties with the United States and the application of Sharia law.


1991- Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood supports Saddam Hussein in Gulf War. 

1990s- rise of radical Islam causes tension between Egyptian Muslims and Copts. Tensions eased with the abstement of Islamic radicalism in the late 1990s.

1995- President Hosni Mubarak nominates 6 Copt members of parliament, in 2000 only 4.


Sharm-al-Sheikh Bombings

2004- July 23- 61 killed in AlQaeda-linked bombings in the Egyptian Red Sea rfesort of Sharm al-Sheikh. One suspect is killed by police in a shootout with Islamists.


Zawahiri announces creation of Al Qaeda in the Maghreb from merger.

2007- Sept 14- Ayman Al Zawahiri announces the merger of the Algerian militant group, the GSPC with Al Qaeda to form Al Qaeda in the Maghreb.


2009- Jan 1- Copts killed in a drive-by shooting in Nag Hammadi, Egypt.

2010- Jan. 1- Al Qaeda car bomb kills 21 Copts outside Coptic New Years' service in Allexandria, Egypt.


CONTENTS: SCROLL DOWN FOR:
 

DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS.
PREVIOUS ENTRIES

REMOTE BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS
 
CROSS-CENTURY SUMMARY

TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF

DISTANT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS

In 1951, Mohammed Qutb returns from the US and his anti-Americanism gets him expelled from the education ministry. In response, he joins the Muslim Brotherhood and writes that the United States should be given a death sentence. When Egypt rejects the Anglo-Egyptian treaty in 1952, however, the Brotherhood supports the government and joins the riots that break out in protest. But the same year, the government is overthrown by Abdul Nasser and the Arab Socialist Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) and in 1954 the Council bans the Brotherhood and many of tis members are held in a concentration camp.

Te Brotherhood attempts the assassination of Nasser, on 23 October, 1954 and many are hanged, imprisoned, or driven into exile in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

In 1957, Osama Bin Laden is born to bricklayer in South Yemen. The Bin laden patriarch moves the family north to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where he becomes a wealthy construction magnate.

King Faisal of Saudi Arabia risks Wahhabi wrath by permitting the use of television for the reinforecement of Islamic values.

Qutb is released from prison in 1964 and his book,on western decadence, 'Signposts on the Road' is smuggled out of Egypt. He is made leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, and, despite his stance of non-violence, he ies expected to the avenge the Brotherhhod's government's perseuction by the government. 
President Nasser attempts to enrol the Brotherhood in the Arab Socialist Union to fight Communism only to endure more attempts by the Brotherhood to assassinate him. After another plot against Nasser in 1966, Qutb is re-arrested, tried for treason and hanged along with other leaders of the Brotherhood.

Egypt's loss of the 1967 war with Israel, and the notion that the catastrophe is divine retibution for Arab Socialism strengthens the Muslim Brotherhood with a groundswell of popular support. Nasser, feeling he has no choice, grants the Brotherhood a general amnesty in 1968. Nasser's successor, Anwar Sadat, attempts to bring the Brotherhood back into Egyptian politics.

In 1975, in the Kingdom of Kuwait, the Salafis begin to agitate for a republican regime, believing democracy might empower them.

In Egypt, in 1976, meanwhile Sadat, fearing the growing popularity of the Muslim Brotherhood, bans it from elections causing fifteen of its members to run successfully in other parties and the secession of a radical wing of the organization. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood itself turns against Sadat's entente with the West and Israel. In 1978, future Al Qaeda leader, Ayman al Zawahiri gradiates as a surgeon from Cairo medical school.

In the same year, 1978, Osama Bin Laden graduates with a medical degree from King Abdul Aziz medical school in Saudi Arabia. In 1979, he observes an uprising of radical Muslims at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, assisted by Kuwait Safalis. These, Bin laden believes, are the true Muslims. Back in Egypt, future Al Qaeda deputy Ayman al Zawahiri joins Islamic Jihad, led by Ismail Tantawi and succeeds to the leadership when Tantawi departs for West Germany.

After the 1979 Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan, Abdullah Azzam founds Maktab al Kidmat, in Peshawar, Pakistan in 1980. MAK is the predecessor to Al Qaeda, a supply depot and base for receiving foreign fighters in the drive to expel the Soviets from Afghanistan. CIA bases along the Pakistan-Afghan border join the MAK in recruiting and training Mujehadeen fighters, using the CIA's own field manual, translated into Urdu, Arabic, and Persian- with the emphasis on nationalism and Islam.

Ayman al Zawahiri is jailed in the October 6, 1981 assassination of Egyptian president Sadat, after being arrested in the plot which was pulled off by an extreme wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. In 1984, Sadat's successor, President Hosni Mubarak, outlaws the Muslim Brotherhood, which still manages to gert members elected to parliament by the Neo-Wafd Party. The Brotherhood is now using highly educated members to dominate proffessional associations of doctors, lawyers, jounralists and engineers. In  1984, Zawahiri is released from prison.

In the early 80s, Bin Laden vistis Azzam's MAK in Peshawar and lobbies his family and friends at home to join the struggle. In 1984, Saudi Arabia, he raises finds from his family and rerturns to Pehawar with members of the family business, the Saudi Bin Laden Group. In Peshawar, Bin Laden becomes leader of the non-Afghan Mujehadeen, fighting alongside Hekmatyar's Mujehadeen and in alliance with the ISI and the CIA.

It is now that Bin Laden begins to work closely with Abdulla Azzam and Azzam's MAK (Bureau of Service) vetting non-Afghan recruits, building roads and storage chambers in caves in the mountains of Tora Bora and occasionally joining combat missions. In 1986, meanwhile, Azzam's Bureau of Service sets up its American office in the Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn. Zawahiri, meanwhile, travels to Peshawar, Pakistan, where he sets up a branch of Islamic Jihad and joins the medical corps of  the Afghan Mujehadeen.

In Egypt, in 1987, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood gains power by joining the Socialist parties, demanding the imposition of Sharia Law and an end to the Israeli-Egyptian alliance and the severing of all  relations with the United States.

Bin Laden and Azzam together are running the service Bureau but in 1988, Azzam prefers to concentrate on military operations while Bin laden wants to launch a world-wide campaign of non-military missions. The following, year, 1989, the Mujehadeen declare victory as Soviet troops wiithdraw from Afghanistan. For Bin Laden it's an Islamic victory. The assassination of Azzam that year brings a change of strategy. Bin laden, with cohorts Muhammad Atef and Abu Ubaidah al Banshiri, changes Maktab al Kidmat "the Service Bureau" to "Al Qaeda," or "the base" with a new military mission directed against American targets in the United States and around the wrold. An Arab-Ammerican commando named Al Mohammed leaves his post in Fort Bragg and joins Bin Laden in Afghainstan. Discouraged by sectarian fighting among the former Afghan Mujehadeen, Bin laden returns to Saudi Arabia.

When Iraq invades Kuwait in 1990, Bin Laden offers to set upm a citizen militia to defend the Saudi kingdom but his initiative is declined. When the the US prepares to invade Iraq, sparking the Gulf War, it sets up bases to protect the Saudi oil fields at Hama. Bin laden is outraged, seeing the move as a violation of Saudi Arabia and of Islam by an infidel. Saudi Arabia's Wahabbis are furious and the the new cause against the United States will help to spread Wahhabism internationally. The Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, supports Iraq and Saddam Hussein in the looming war.

In 1991, Bin Laden moves Al Qaeda to Sudan- where he's invited to work against African Christian separatists. As a way of importing weapons and explosives he sets up the organization like a corporation with media, business,  military and public affairs departments run  by a Shura or council of twelve. From there he begins to launch international operations in Bosnia, Chechnya, Kenya, Pakistan and elsewhere.

Bin Laden issues a 1992 Fatwa calling for war against all western nations with a presence in Muslim countries. 

From 1992 to 1993, Al Queda intevenes on the side of Islamist warlords in Somalia while his lieutenant, Mohammed Atef, trains Somalis to launch a resistance against UN intervention. Duly, he is accused by Washington of contributing to the notorious US defeat in Mogadishu.

By 1993, al Qaeda has about 1,000 fighters, mostly veterans of the Afghan war and lends support to around 5,000 Arab fighters defending Bosnian Muslims in the Balkans from the Serbs in the Bosnian war.

Meanwhile, the Deobandi  movment, born among Indian Sunni Muslims in opposition to British and Western colonialism, has spread from Bangladesh westward into Pakistan and southern Afghanistan where it is absorbed by the now emerging Taliban movement.

In 1993 Al Qaeda claims responsibility for the first attempted (failed) bombing of the World Trade Centre in new York. By now the organization has agents in Albania, Britain, Pakistan, Holland, Malasia, Lebanon, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Enirates, forming  loose associations with similar outfits in Ageria, Chechnya, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa, Lebanon, Libya, the Phulippines, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Yemen, Syria and Tunisia.

In 1994, Zawahiri joins Bin Laden in Sudan as his mentor. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia revokes Bin laen's citizenship and freezes his assets which amount to about $23 million. After an attempt on Bion Laden's life in Sudan, he founds the Committee for Advice and Reform (CAR) to promote peaceful change in Saudi Arabia. 

The Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, is allowed to campaign openly in 1995 elections under its own name. All fifteen candidates fail to get elected.  Egypt holds Zawahiri for a truck bomb that killed 18 in Islamabad.

In 1995 the CIA opens its Washington "Bin Laden Station" responsible for tracking Bin Laden while Bin Laden provides asylum in Sudan to three Egyptians involved in an attempted assassination of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. 

Under Pressure from Egypt, the US and  Saudi Arabia, Sudan expels Bin Laden in 1996- after the UN condemns Sudan for harboring the Egyptian assassins and refusing to extradite them; and also for the al Qaeda leader's outspoken attacks on the King of Saudi Arabia. In all events, Sudan wants to be removed from ther US list of state sponsors of terror. In the same year, Zawahiri's own unit, 'Egyptian Islamic Jihad,'  the Al Qaeda franchise in Egypt, is expelled from Sudan after botched operations on Egyptian soil

From Sudan, Bin Laden moves Al Qaeda to Jalalabad, Afghanistan in 1996, although the city is not yet under Taliban control. In September, the Taliban takes Jalalabad and Kabul. The Taliban's Mullah Omar offers protection to Bin laden and Al Qaeda provided Bin Laden swears an oath of fealty to him. Bin Laden swears the oath, agreeing also to accept jihadists from other countries marooned by the civil war as well as veterans of the jihads in Bosnia, Kashmir and Cechnya. But he continues to mget funding from associates in Saudi Arabia.  The 55th Brigade, an Al Qaeda unit of 3,000, fights alongside the Taliban at the end of the civil war.

In Afghanistan, in 1996 Shekh Khaled meets Bin Laden and  proposes an operation that involves flying passenger planes into the Wolrd Trade Centre in new York. In that year it is estimated that Al Qaeda has 45,000 adherents in 60 countries. Part of al Qaeda's mission is to expel foreigners from Islamic lands. The following year, Ayman al Zawahiri joins Bin laden in Afghanistan. The Taliban begins it rule with a doctrine similar to, if not influenced by, Wahhabism. In 1998, with support from groups in Bangladesh and Pakistan, Bin Laden froms the World Islamic Front tarketing American civilians anywhere in the world.

Al Qaeda makes clear its demand that American bases be removed from Saudi Arabia,  that UN sanction on Iraq be lifted, that Jews be expelled from Palestine that the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the Grand Masque in Mecca be liberated. Bin Laden demands the overthrow of all Islamic regimes supporting western interests. Bin Laden delivers a fatwa, calling for attacks on Americans anywhere in the world. Zawahiri joins his Islamic Johad with Al Qaeda.

The US embassies in Kenya and Ethiopia are bombed by Al Qaeda  on August 7, 1998, killing 227. Washington puts Bin Laden on its ten most wanted list with a $5 million reward on his head. The US demands that the Taliban hand him over but Mullah Omar refuses.On November 24, 1998, a US grand jury delivers a 228 count indictment for murder along with other charges against Bin laden and Al Zawahiri. In addition, Wash


Late in 1998, Bin Laden gives Sheikh Khaled the go-ahead to prepare the attacks on the World Trade Centre. In 1999, the Al Qaeda military committee finalizes the plans for the 9/11 attacks. A group of well-educated Egyptian and Saudi Arabian Muslims well aquainted with life in the west and lving and studying in Hamburg, Germany, travel to Afghanistan to meet Bin Laden preparation for the attacks. Washington, meanwhile retaliates for the African embassy attacks with Cruise missile strikes on an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan and (mistakenly) on a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant.

In  1999, 20 members of the Muslim Brotherhood are arrested for plotting to overthrow the Egyptian government and inflitrating professional associations.

The following year, 2000, a Yemen branch of Al Qaeda bombs the USS Cole, a warship docked in Yemen, Aden.  The muslim  Brotherhood, meanwhile, wins 17 seats in the Egyptian parliament.

The UN Security Council,  at US prompting, demands that the Taliban government in Afghanistan had over Bin Laden on pain of an arms embargo. Taliban leader Mullah Omar refuses. In  February 2001, the public trial of four conspirators in the Ethiopia and Kenya embassy bombings serves to recruit Muslims to al Qaeda world wide.

In early 2001, the 9/11 hijackers begin arriving in the US. Meanwhile, their leader, Mohammed Atta, meets Al Qaeda 9/11 coordinator Binalshibh in Spain to work out the final detils of the attack.

On September 11, 2001, the Al Qaeda operatives fly two passenger jets into the twin towers of the World Trade Centre in Manhattan, another jet liner into the Pentagon, while a fourth crashes in a field in Pennsylvania. The World Trade Centre is destroyed. Over 3,000 are killed altogether. Washington names Bon laden and Zawahiri co-conspirators in the plot. In vain the US demands that the Taliban's Mullah Omar hand over Bin Laden.


RELEVANT DATES


2001- Sept 11- Al Qaeda operatives fly two passenger planes into the twin towers of the World Trade centre in Manhattan, killing about 3,000. A third plane is crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth crashes in a field in Pennsylvania, killing all aboard.
May 12- at least 34 killed in an Al Qaeda attack on foreign luxury compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


2001- November- President Saleh visits Washington and tells Bush that Yemen will join the fight against terror.


-US and Yemen agree that mountain homeland of the Bin Ladens is a prime region for terror training camps.

2002- Feb. Yemen expels over 100 Islamic scholars, many of them English and French nationals in a a move against Al Qaeda suspects,

Oct. -the supertanker Limburg is heavily damaged off the coast of Yemen in attack. Al Qaeda is suspected.


2003- April- 10 chief suspects in bombing of SS Cole escape from prison in Aden.

2004- two of the SS Cole suspects are re-captured.
March 11- Madrid train bombings by a group linked or sympathetic to Al Qaeda kill 191.
2004- May 30- 22 killed by Al Qaeda-linked group in foreigners' compound at Khobar, Saudi Arabia before the compound is stormed by Saudi commandos.
June 18- US hostage Paul Johnson beheaded by Al Qaeda group in Saudi Arabia. Abdul Aziz al Muqin, head of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, killed by security forces.
2004- Sept 29- A Yemeni court senteces two Al Qaeda operatives, Al-Bashiri and Al Badawi to death for the attack on the USS Cole. Four others get prison sentences.

2007 July 7- Al-Qaeda inspired group brings off London underground bombings, killing 56.

2008-  November-Al-Aqeda-linked Lakshar-e-Taiba terror attack leaves nearly 200 dead in Mumbai. 

2009- Jan-March- the Yemeni and Saudi affiliates of Al Qaeda merge into Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula.

2009- Feb. -government of Yemen announces release of five Al Qaeda suspects on condition of good behaviour.
 2009- Dec 25- Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab, the "Underwear Bomber", arrested for attempting to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253. He had been trained in Yemen by 'Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsuala."

2010- President Saleh  of Yemensays he will open talks with Al Qaeda militants provided they renounce violence.
2010- April- Yemen government holds Al Qaeda responsible for attack on the convoy of British envoy, Tim Torlot.



RECENT BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS- 


In the wake of 9/11, Al Qaeda terrorists return to Saudi Arabia in hopes of overthrowing the royal damily and seizing the oil fields.

On October 7, 2001, Bin Laden and Zawahiri release a statement from Afghanistan, claiming responsibility for the 9/11 attacks. And then in November, Mohammed Atef, Al Qaeda's military commander, is killed by an American Drone missile in Afghanistan. On December 12, Zacharias Mussawi, a Moroccan born French Citizen, resident in the United States, is the first suspect to be arrested in the 9/11 attacks.



On February 1, 2002, Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal Reporter
investigating Pakistani links to 9/11 is executed and beheaded after days in captivity by an Al-Qaeda-linked group led by Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh. On March 2, Bin laden's number 3 man after Zawahiri, recruitment and field commander, Abu Zubaydah, is arrested in Pakistan.


18 are killed outside a Tunisian Synagogue when Al Qaeda blows up nearby oil tanker on April 11. In early  summer, 2002, June 11, Jose Padilla, landing in the US on a flight from Pakistan, is arrested in a 'dirty bomb' plot. On September 11, Ramsi Bimalshibh, the Al Qaeda commander who co-odrinated 9/11 from  Spain, is arrested in Pakistan.


On Oct. 12, the Bali Nightclub bombing kills 202, mostly Australians, in Indonesia; the Indonesian, Al Qaeda-linked terror group, Jamaah Islamiya is later discovered tohave carried out the act. 

 November 2002 sees the US and allied invasion of Afghanistan. The Taliban are driven out of Kabul and US troops find video tapes of a converation between Bin laden and the radical Jeddah, Saudi Arabia cleric Khalid Harbi, in whch Bin Laden names nine of the 9/11 hijackers.  Driven from Kabul in early December, Al Qaeda is engaged by tribal militias and US and British Special Forces. Bin Laden and his associates escape into the Pakistan tribal area of Waziristan. The Americans bomb Al Qaeda's east Afghanistan mountain cave complex in Torah Bora and capture it in mid-December.  On November 28, meanwhile, Al Qaeda claims an attack on an Isralei Hotel in Mombassa which kills 16.

Chief 9/11 planner Khaled Sheikh Mohammed is arrested  on March 1, 2003 in Islamabad in a joint CIA-Pakistan operation. That same spring, Mounir Moutassadek convicted of assisting the 9/11 hijackers in Hamburg, is sentenced to 12 years by a German court.


Spring, 2003 sees a wave of attacks by Al  Qaeda, with 34 killed on May 12 in an attack on a foreigners' luxury compound in Riyadh. In Morocco, a few days later, on May 16, 45 are killed in attacks in Casablanca by a  Moroccan, Al Qaeda group, Salafiya Jihadia. Ali Abdul Rahman al Gamdi is arrested in the Riyadh suicide attacks on June 27. Another Al Qaeda attack kills 11 in Saudi Arabia. 23 are killed in Al Qaeda-linked suicide attacks on two Istanbul synagogues on Decmber 15. Istanbul is hit again with a double suicide bombing killing 27 in strikes against the British Consulate and a British bank.

The scene moves to Iraq in early 2004 as the US uncovers plans by a Jordanian, Abu Musab al Zarqawi, to set up a branch of Al Qaeda in Iraq with the ultimate purpose of fomenting a civil war between Shia and Sunni Muslims. In the same month terrorists, probably from Al Qaeda bombed Shia Ashura processions killing around 300.


A passender train is bombed in  Madrid in March with 194 lives lost. A Moroccan branch of Al Qaeda claims responisbility. On April 15, in a broadcast video, Bin Laden offers a truce a truce to all countries that withdraw from America's alleged war on Muslims. And indeed, Spain will withdraw its contingent from Iraq.


Saudi Arabia, meanwhile increases its adherence to puritianical Wahhabism but it is  not enough to stem arracks by Wahhabi militants on the government and on foreigners.Western observers agree that to get rid of Al Qaeda would not be enough, for at the source of al Qaeda and other militant groups likes Saudi Arabian Wahhabism.

On May 17, the head of the US-appointed Iraqi Governing Council is killed in an attack by Al Qaeda while several other killings are traced to Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al Zarqawi including the behading of a US hostage.

On the 30th of May 22 are killed in Saudia Arabia, America's ally, when Al Qaeda operatives seize a foreigners' compound at Al Khobar before it is stormed by Saudi commandos. Two American defense contract workers are murdered. On June 18, British hostage Paul Johnson is  beheaded by Al Qaeda leader Salleh Mohammed al-Aoofi in Saudi Arabia while Abu Aziz al Muqin, head of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia is killed by Saudi security forces.

American officials In Iraq become aware of Saudi Wahhabi Arab Jihadis in Mosul and in Fallujah and suspect Al Qaeda infiltration.  

America's War on Terror scores belated victories in summer and fall with the capture of Khalfin Galani on July 30 an Al Qaeda operative linked to the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Kenya. And on Septemnber 26, Ahmad Farooqi, wanted in connection with the murder of Daniel Pearl, is killed in a shootout with police in Pakistan. And then on Septmeber  29, a Yemeni court sentences two Yemini Al Qaeda members, Al Bashiri and Al Badawi to death for the the bombing of the USS Cole on 2000 while four others get prison sentences.

In October, Zaqawi, head of the Iraqi Al Qaeda franchise, Monotheism and Jihad, formally swears fealty to Osama Bin laden. On the 29th of Otcober, days before the US 2004 elections, Bin Laden delivers a message warning of of more attacks.

December 2004 witnesses Al Qaeda attacks on the US consulate in Jeddah, and the Ministry of the Interior in  Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden releases a video praising the attack on the consulate. The attacks were meant to raise oil prices, drive Americans out of the country and weaken the government.

In April, 2005, in London, an Al Qaeda terrorist is sentenced for threatening to spread ricin in Britain. On the 17th, Al Qaeda suspects go on trial in Spain for the madrid train bombing. May 5 sees Faraj al Libbi, Al Qaeda's number 3 after Zawahiri, arrested in Pakistan.

Al Qaeda sheds blood on British soil as the July 7, 2005 underground bombings kill 57. An British, Al qaeda inspired group his spected. On July21, four more underground bombs fail to detonate. Within days,  four are arrested.

Al Qaeda terror moves to the Red Sea in late summer as 61 are killed with the bombing of the Egyptian seaside resort of Sarm Al Sheikh on July 23. On August 19, Al Qaeda rockets are fired at at the Jordianin Port of Aqaba and the Israeli port of Elat. In mid-August also, the Saudis raid Al Qaeda cells in Medina, killing six Al Qaeda members and Al Qaeda leader Salleh Mohammed al-Aoofi. Paul Johnson's head is foound in Aoofi's cell.

On September 26, a Madrid Court sentences 18 Al Qaeda members for their part in the 9/11 attacks. And  in November, Hamza Rabia, Al Qaeda operations commander is killed in a Drone attack in North Waziriztan.

In 2006, the New Year might be seeing Al Qaeda on the back foot at Bin laden releases a January video tape offering the US a truce or new attacks. The war never sleeps in Iraq, however: in February, Al Qaeda Commandos blow up Samarra's Al Aakiriya Mosque, sacred to the Shia, detonating a two-year Shia-Sunni sectarian blood bath.

Zacharias Mousaoui, the only suspect charged in 9/11 is convicted May 3 and sentenced to life inprisonment.

On June 7,  Abu Musab al Zarqawi, head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, is killed in a targeted air strike near Baghdad. And Al Qaeda in Iraq's number 2 man, Jama Al saedi, planner of the destruction of the Al Aaskiriya Mosque in Samnarra is captured by Iraqi forces.  

A new front opens with Al Qaeda in the Maghreb, announced by Zawahiri, the merger of the Algerian militant group, the GPSC with Al Qaeda.

2007 is a bad year for Al Qaeda. On March 15, 2007, Mohammed Sheikh Khaled, on trial at Guantanamo Bay, admits to planning 30 terror attacks, among them the 9/11 operation; and on the 27th, Australian convert to Al Qaeda, David Hicks, admits supporting terror operations. A month later, on April 27th, Al Hadi Al Iraqi is arrested on his way to Iraq to take over Al Qaeda operations there. On July 11, four men arrested in the July 7, 2005 London Underground bombings receive life sentences.

Al Qaeda in the Maghreb claim responsibility for consecutive bomings on September 7-8 in Algeria.

In Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto survives a bomb attack on October 18 in Karachi upon her return from exile. Al Qaeda is believed responsible.

Tough Justice continues in Madrid on October 31 as a Court sentences three men to life in the March, 2004 Madrid train bombings.

Al Qaeda in the Maghreb  continues with bomb attacks in Algeria on December 12, striking the Supereme Court and the UN office in Algiers, killing 40.

On December 27, 2007, Pakistani Presidential Candidate Benazir Bhutto is killed in a bomb attack in Islamabad. Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Al Qaeda in Waziristan is suspected of ordering the attack. Soon after, on January 28, 2008, Al Qaeda leader Abu Haith al Libbi dies in a US drone attack in North Waziristan.

More high level Al Qaeda Operatives are charged at Guantanamo in 2008: Ahmed Khalfan Gailani is charged in connection with the 1998 Kenya embassy bombing. On June 6, 9/11 architect Sheikh Mohammed says that he wants to die as a matter. On July 6, Salim Hamdan, Osama Bin Laden's Yemeni driver is convicted with war crimes.  On July 28, in Pakistan, weapons expert Abu Kebab al Masri is killed in a Drone strike.

In fall, 2008, Najibullah Zazi and others training in Afghanistan will soon strike in the New York Subway in Septemnber 2009

Yemeni and Saudi affiliates of Al Qaeda unite to form Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peneinusla in January-March 2009.

September 2009 sees the conviction of the would-be London airline bombers- who plotted to blow up airliners in mid-flight along with the conviction of Najibullah Zazi and cohorts for the attempted bombing of the New York Subway.

In the same month Ilyas Kashmiri, head of an Al Qaeda affiliated Kashmir group is killed in a drone strike. Meanwhile, across the border, the Taliban finally severs its ties with Alfghanistan, leaving only 100 fighters inside the country. In early December, 2009, Bin Laden is believed to be in Afghanistan's Ghazni province. On December 8th, Sahl al Somali coordinator of Al Qaeda between Pakistan and Afghanistan is killed in a Drone strike.

The Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula-trained Yemeni "Underwear Bomber"  Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab is arrested in the US after attempting to blow up a Northwest Airline Flight.

In January, 2010, UA Defense Secretary Robert Gates warns that Al Qaeda is attempting to destabilize Pakistan and start a nuclear war between Pakistan and India.

Iraq-  April 18- Abu Omar al Baghdadi leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq is killed near Tikrit.  

May 2010 witnesses the failed Times Square Bombing by Failzal Shazad, using a van packed with explosives.

Osama Bin Laden's former cook and driver, Ibrahim al Qosi, is sentenced to 14 years in prison on August 12 for providing material support to terrorism. A plea bargain is pending.

 
PREVIOUS ENTRIES

REMOTE BACKGROUND TO THE EVENTS.

The tradition to which Al Qaeda appeals begins around 780 AD at the height of the Abassid Caliphate when Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, of Merv ( in Bactria) founds the Hanbali interpretation of Sharia law- which determines that all laws must  derive directly from the Koran which is seen, in efffect, as the original law code, and not to the legal traditions that had grown up around it. Though the Hanbali system takes root for a while, it declines everywhere save for a last outpost in Najd, in Arabia. Around 1300, Hanbali law is revived by Iban Taimiya of Harran in northern Mesopotamia, in reaction against what he sees as the idolatry and apostasy of  Shia Islam. He declares that all itijihad (interpretation) of the law, especially by the Shia, are in error and that laws can only refer directly to the Koran. He also declares that the Sunni Caliphate has proven itself  an effective form of secular leadership, outshining the Shia imamate. The Hanbali law code is then adopted by the Mameluke Caliphs of Cairo (1250-1217)

Centuries later, Wahhabism emerges in Najd, Arabia, a centre of Hanbali fundamentalism.  Najd is the birthplace of Abdul Wahhab, born in 1703. In 1725, Wahhab founds the Muwahidun, a fundamentalist group dedicated to restoring practice exactly as stated in the Koran; committed to the teachings of Ibn Taimiya (qv), opposed to the translation of Sharia Law into jurisprudence and repudiates the idolatry of saints together with medieval superstition, forbidding even the building of minarets. His critics call the Muwahidun 'Wahabbis', a name that will adhere. Making little progress in finding converts, he allies his movement with Mohammed Ibn Saud.

Moahmmed Ibn Saud, (1726-1765) ruler of the Diraiya Emirate in Najd, Arabia adopts Whabbism and founds the House of Saud in 1745, giving his subjects and local tribes a choice of conversion or death.  Wahabbis, allied with the House of Saud, embark on a war against adultery, corruption, idolatry and ban music, dancing, jewellery and all luxurious ornament. The House of Saud, turn uses the Wahhabi Ikhwan or armed force as its shock troops. Mohammed Ibn Saud's successor in 1766, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, carries on the Wahabbist movement, gaining control of the area around Riyadh in 1773 and sending a campaign against the Shia holy ciity of Karbala in Iraq, in 1802 for which he is finally slain by Shia resistance  Between 1803 and 1814, his son, Saud Ibn Saud brings his campaign to the frontiers of Syria as well as Iraq and he finally takes the eastern Hejaz in Arabia and Medina in 1805, achieving control of most of the Arabian Peninsula by 1810. He crosses the line in a 1814 when his son and heir Abdullah Ibn Saud leads his Wahabbis to desecrate the tomb of Mohammed as a place of idolatry. In response, in 1818, the Ottoman sultan sends the near-autonomous Viceroy of Egypt, Mohammed Ali Pasha, to invade Arabia. Ali Pasha wipes out Wahabbism and executes the Emir, Abdullah Ibn Saud. 

In the mid-to-late-19th century the Salafist movement is formed by a Persian, Jamal al Din Afghani (1838-1897). Modeled on the tradition of the (Salafi) ancestors of early Islam, the Salafis promote a purified Islam beyond ethnic, political and national divisions and rivalries.The movement is particularly aimed at resisting western influence in the Islamic world. His follower, Mohammed Abdu (1838-1905), holds that Sharia law should reflect the beliefs of the Salaf or ancestors. Mohammed Rashid Rida applies Salafism to contemporary conditions and holds that Salafism should be taught in preference to the Sunni legal schools.

The House of Saud, meanwhile is expelled in 1881 from Riyad but is revived by Mohammed Rahman Ibn al Saud who proceeds to spread Wahhabism. In 1891, Rahman is in turn expelled from the Diraiya Emirate by Rashid Ibn al Saud who has the backing of the Ottomans. Abdul Aziz ibn Abdul Rahman al Saud retakes Najd from the Ottomans in 1902, launching a political and military revival of Whabbism with the Ikhwan Wahhabi movement and retakes Najd  from Rashid in 1905, killing him in 1906. Wahhabis crack drowm on lax relgious practice and decadence, holding Sharia as the supreme criterion. In 1911, Abdul Aziz ibn Abdul Rahman al Saud raises the 'Ikhwan' or a Wahhabi army and in 1913 invades the Shia region of Al Hasa and attempts to impose Sharia.

Thenceforward Saudi Arabia will be ruled by an effective alliance of the Wahhabi Ikhwan and the House of Saud, with Wahabbi officials contriollign state ministries and approving corronations.

In northern India, the Deobandi and Hadith movements rise to purify Islam of western and British colonial influence and to counteract Shiism.

Mohammed Qutb (1906-1966), furture leader of the Muslim Brotherhood is born in Asyut Egypt and trained as a teacher.

By 1920, at the close of World War I, Arabia is a British mandate

In the 1920s, Salafis begin preaching that since Mohammed was chosen by the community, no hereditary caliphate can be legitimate. Persecution of the Shia intensifies as Abdul Aziz ibn Abdul Rahman leads Wahabbists in the destruction of  the cemetery of Jammat al Baghi at Medina in 1925- a Shia holy place where the daughter of the Prophet and the third to sixth Imams are buried. By 1926 the Ikhwan Wahhabi movement has resorted to the systematic killing of Shia.

The British recognize Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdul Rahman al Saud as ruler of Arabia, by the Treaty of Jeddah in 1927, in return for refraining from attacking British interests in the Persian Gulf. However, that same year, the Ikhwan, the Wahhabi army, rebels against Abdul Aziz Rahman for his use of telephones, automobiles etc. and foments a revolt against the Treaty of Jeddah. Abdul Aziz raises an army and, with the help of the British, cruches the LIkhwan/

In 1928, in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is founded by Hassan Banna to promote moral and social reform.Though unconnected, directly, with Wahabbism or Salafism, it will help to prepare the ground for Al Al Qaeda.

In the 1930s, the House of Saud, meanwhile, becomes wealthy on oil. They moderate their Wahabbism to accommodate their new lifestyle; outright persecution of the Shia is reduced to discrimination and marginalization. In 1932, the vast desert region surrounding Najd becomes the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In Mecca, the religious capital, the head of the Supreme Relgious Council is also the official chief of Wahhabism.


In 1939, three years after the Arab Uprising against the British in Palestine, the Muslim Brootherhood declares itself a political movement and protests the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty of 1936.The Brotherhead declares that the Koran and the Hadith supply a sufficient and universal basis for law in any country. By 1940, the Brotherhood has 500 centres, each with a mosque and social services.


Mohammed Qutb, perhaps the forefather and most influential figure of Islamist radicalism is a school inspector with the Ministry of Education when is sent, in 1948, to the USA to study at the University of Colorado. His critique of what he sees as American godlessness, materilaism, decadence and depravity will have ramifications.

In the 1948 Palestine War against Israel, the Muslim Brotherhood recruits for the Egyptian army and takes part in the conflict. The movement turns against the Egyptian government for losing the war that has given birth to the state of Israel, In response, Egypt bans the Brotherhood and declares martial law and Brotherhood arranges the assassination of the premier,  Fahmi Nokrashi Pasha. When marshal law is lifted in 1950, however, the Brotherhood is allowed to enter politics.




CROSS-CENTURY SUMMARY:


TIMELINE FOR THE HISTORY OF AL QAEDA


The Hanbali Reform Movement of early Arabia.

780-855- Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, sounder of the Hanbali code of Sharia law. He holds that a decision in Sharia must be referred directly to the Quran and the sunna- not to the legal framework that had grown up around them. In other words, he held that the law itself had already been written in the words of the Quran.

-in subsequent centuries, the Hanbali Code loses strength everywhere except at Najd in central Arabia.


Ibn Taimiya Revives the Hanbali Code in the Middle Ages.

1300- (crica) in a revival, Ahmad Ibn Taimiya upholds the Hanbali Code as a means of reform and of condemning the cults of tombs and saints, and urging the continual interpretation (itijihad) of law in light of the Quran. He sees the Shia, with all their excess ritual, as the enemy within. He upheld the Sunni Caliphs over the Shia Imams because be believed that seizing and weilding secular power was all that mattered in a leader- and the Caliphs had done that most effecrively.

1328- death of Ibn Taimiya.

1250-1517- The Mameluke Caliphs of Cairo adopt the Hanbali Code.


The Wahhabi Movement of the 18th Century.

1703- Abdul al-Wahhab is born at Najd, a main centre of Hanbali Islam in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula.

1725 (circa) -Al-Wahhab (1703-1787) founds Muwahidun (unitarian) movement- an attempt to purify Islam of medieval superstition, to stop the translation of Sharia into jurisprudence and to get rid of the cult of saints. The Muwahidun follow the Hanbali school as taught by Tarq al Din ibn Taimiya (qv). Wahhab's oponnents call his followers 'Wahhabis', the name that stuck.

-Wahhab makes attendance at public prayer obligatory, forbids the building of minarets,

Ibn Saud, Wahhabism and the Origins of the House of Saud

-having failed to spread his movement, Al Wahhab allies himself with a tribal chieftain, Mohammed Ib Saud.

1726-65- Mohammed Ibn Saud, ruler of the Diraiya Emirate embraces Wahhabism, has his subjects convert on pain of death.

1745- Muhammad Ibn Saud becomes ruler of Najd, the central plateau and oasis region of Arania, founds the House of Saud.

-in alliance with followers of Saud, Wahabbis mount a campaign against idolatry, corruption and adultery. On the authority of the Hadith, they ban dancing, music and poetry, silk, gold, ornaments and jewelery.

1766-1803- Mohammed's son, Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, continues to uphold Wahhabism.

1773- Abdul Aziz ibn Saud takes Riyadh.

1802- in a campaign against the Shia, the Wahhabis attack the Shia holy city of Karbala.

1810- the Whhabi Ibn Sauds ruule most of Arabia.

1803-1814 Saud Ibn Abdul Aziz of the House of Saud tries to spread Wahhabism to the frontiers of Syria and Iraq.


The Ottoman Sultan sends the Egyptian Pasha to Crush Wahhabism.

-the Ottoman Sultan is outrages by what he sees as descecration of the holy pplaces of Arabi by the Sauds and their Wahhabism.

1814-18- Sent by hte sultan, Muhammad Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, crushes the Wahhabist movement and executes Abdullah Ibn Saud.

Salafism

1838-97- Jamal al-din Afghani. Helps develop Salafism- an Islamic ideology based on the example of the salaf- the ancestors of early Islam. He promotes the Pan-Islam movement in an attempt to revive a mythical 'pure' Islam free of ethnic and political rivalries.

1849-1905- Muhammad Abdu- a follower of Afghani (b. 1838) emphasized the influence of the Salaf on Sharia law.

1865-1935- Muhammad Rashid Rida, follower of Abdu (b. 1849) researched what Mohammed and 'the pious ancestors' had done and taught so that it could be applied to contemporary conditions. He preferred the Salaf to the four Sunni legal schools.

Fall and Revival of Wahhabism

1881- House of Saud expelled from the Riyadh region. But it revivies under Abdul Rahman Ibn Al Saud and spreads Wahhabism

1891- Abdul Rahman Ibn Al Saud of the House of Saud is overthrown at Diraiya by the House Of Rashid which has Ottoman backing.

-the Deobandi and Ahl-i-Hadith movements rise in northern India- in an attempt to rally and purify Islam against British and western colonial forces. Both are opposed to the Shia.

1902 -Abdul Aziz ibn Abdul Rahman al Saud re-conquers the Najd from the Ottomans, reviviing Wahhabism militarily and politically through the Ikhwan Wahhabist movement. Wahabbis mount new attacks on hypocrites, laxity, non-blievers. The criteria for belief is strict adherecne to the Sharia.

1905-6- Abdul Aziz Ibn Abdul Rahman takes east central Arabia.

1913- Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, commander of the Whhabist Ikhwan army invades the Shia region of Al-Hasa and attempts to impose Wahhabism.

Mohammed Qutb

1906-66- Sayyid Mohammed Qutb. Muslim ideologue. Born in Asyut, Egypt. Trained as a teacher in Cairo.

1920s- Salafis teach that since Mohammed was chosen by the community, leadership of Islam cannot be hereditary.

1925- Ibn Saud's Ikhwan Wahhabists destroy the Jannat al Baghi cemetery in Medina, a Shia holy place where the daughter of the Prophet and the 3nd, 4th, 5th and 6th Shia imams are buried.

1926- The Ikhwan resorts to the systematic killing of Shia.

1927- May 20- British lay down treaty of Jeddah giving the Hijaz and Jajd to Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud. The Ikhwan, sends a Wahhabi recolt against Ibn Saud for using telephone,s radios, cars etc.

The Muslim Brotherhood and the Saudi Domestication of Wahhabism.

1928- Muslim Brotherhood founded by Hassan al Banna in Egypt for moral and social reform.

1930s- House of Saud becomes rich on oil wealth, moderates its belief in Wahhabism; the pogroms against the Shia are stopped; instead the Shia suffer discrimination and marginalization.

1932- the vast desert region whose heart is the Najd bcomes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

-in Mecca, the Supreme Religious Council continues to be the official head of Wahabbism.

1939- Muslim brother hood becomes a political movement in response to the Arab uprising against the British in Palestine (1936) and Egyptian protest against the the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty (1936). The brotherhood declares that the Quran and the Hadith are sufficient as a social political code for any time and place.

1940- the Muslim brotherhood has 500 branches each with a mosque and social services.

1948- Qutb is sent to university in Colorado, USA by his ministry. He is appalled at what he sees as America's decadence and depravity.

1948-49- members of the Muslim Brotherhood fight in the Palestine War, recruiting Egyptian officers and gaining military experience. The Brotherhood turns against Egypt which is blames for the 1948-49 war.

1948- Egypt declares martial law and bans the Brotherhood.

-Egyptian premier, Fahmi Nokrashi Pasha, is assassinated by the Brotherhood.

1949- Hassan a Banna, leader of the Egyptian Brotherhood is assassinated.

1950- with the lifting of martial law, the Brotherhood enters mainstream Egyptian politics.

1951- Qutb returns to Egypt but his anti-American views get him expelled from the education ministry. He joins the Muslim Brootherhood. In his writings he says that America should be placed under a sentence of death.

1952- the Brotherhood supports Egypt in rejecting the Anglo-Egyptian Treaty and participates in the Cairo riots.

1952- the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) overthrows the regime in Egypt.

Egypt bans the Muslim Brotherhood.

1954- Egypt's RCC bans the Muslim Brotherhood. Qutb and other members are held in a concentration camp. He writes his defining work, Maalim Fi Al Tariq- "Signposts on the Road"- which divides all social systems into "The Order of Islam" and "The Order of Ignorance." The book remains a text book for radical Islam.

23rd Oct.- after Brotherhood members attempt to assassinate President Nasser, the plotters are hanged, many are imprisoned or driven into exile in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

1957- birth of Osama Bin laden, son of a bricklayer from South Yemen. Bin Laden's father settles in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and becomes a wealthy construction magnate.

Qutb Becomes Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

1964- Qutb and cohorts are released from detainment in Egypt. "Signposts on the Road" is smuggled out of Egypt. Though he is non-violent, the Muslim Brotherhood promotes him into the leadership to avenge their persecution in Egypt.

-Nasser tries to include the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab Socialist Union to combat Communism.

-repeated attempts by the Brotherhood to assassinate Nasser.

1966-Sayyid Muhammed Qutb is put on trial in Egypt. He states that the nations of the Middle East are a western fabrication and that actually Islam has no nations, only a Community of Believers.

-Sayyid Muhammed Qutb and other Brotherhood leaders are executed.

Muslim rotherhood gains from 1967 War with Israel.

1967- Egypt decisively defeated in war with Israel.

1968- popular feeling that Egypt had received divine retribution for Arab Socialism causes Nasser to grant a general amnesty to the Muslim Brotherhood.

-new Egyptian president, Anwar Sadat, attempts to integrate the Brotherhood into the mainstrem.

1975 (circa) Saalafis active in Kuwait where they want a republican, democratic regime.

Egypt's Sadat Bans the Muslim Brotherhood causing it to Radicalize.

1976- fearing the expanding power of the Brotherhood, President Sadat bans it from Egyptian elections. 15 Brotherhood members are elected as members of other parties causing a radical wing to split off in protest.

-the Muslim Brotherhood radicalizes and turns against Sadat's modernization and pro-Israel and pro-West policies.

Uprising against Saudis; beginning of Careers of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Zawahiri.

1978- Ayman Zawahiri graduates as as a surgeon from Cairo's University's medical school.

-Bin Laden graduates with a degree in civil engineering from King Abdul Aziz University in Saudi Arabia.

1979- armed uprising against rulers of Saudi Arabia at the Grand Mosque- assisted by Salafis from Kuwait. The young engineering graduate, Bin laden, regards them as true Muslims. Salafis have since become active in Kuwait politics.

-Zawahiri joins Ismail Tantawi's Islamic Jihad and succeeds him as leader when Tantawi departs for West Germany.

Abdullah Azzam's 'Bureau of Serice' in Pakistan for Afghan Jihad- antecedent to Al Qaeda.

1980- Abdullah Azzam founds Maktab al Khidmat (Bureau of Service) in Peshawar, Pakistan.

-Pakistani ISI and American CIA camps along the Afghan-Pakistan border join in training non-Afhgan Mujehadeen to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. They use US army training manuals translated into Urdu, Arabic and Persian, stressing nationalism and Islam.

-Bin Laden visits Peshawar and lobbies family and friends to support the anti-Soviet jihad in Afghanistan.

-Osama Bin Laden goes back to Saudi Arabia, raises large sums from family connections and returns to Pakistan with members of the family business, the Saudi Binlandin Group.

Bin laden leads non-Afghan Mujehadeen in Afghan war against the Soviets.

-Bin laden becomes leader of the non-Afghan Mujehadeen, working alongside the CIA and the ISI.

Zawahiri arrested in Assassination of Sadat.

1981- Oct 6- a radical wing of the Muslim Brotherhood assassinates President Sadat. Ayman al Zawahiri is among those jailed in the plot.

1984- EgyptianPresident Mubarak maintains elections ban on Muslim Brotherhood. Muslim Brotherhood members get elected as members of the Neo-Wafd party.

-the Muslim Brotherhood, uses highy educated members to dominate syndicates of lawyers, doctors, journalists and engineers.

-Zawahiri is released from prison in Egypt.

Bin Laden Works for Pak-Afghan Bureau of Service.

-in Pakistan, Bin Laden comes under the influence of Abdulla Azzam, head of the jihadi Bureau of Service. He vets non-Afghan volunteers, supervises road construction and refurbishing caves for storage. He also engages in guerilla sorties.

1986- Bureau of Service sets up a branch in the US at the farooq Mosque in Brooklyn.

-Bin laden oversees construction of a sophsiticated tunnel complex for storage, supplies and refuge at Khost on the Afghan-Pakistan border. The complex is near Tora Bora.

Zawahirir joins the Anti-Soviet Afghan Struggle.

-Zawahiri travels to Pakistan to join the medical corps of the Mujehadeen fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. He is stationed in peshawar where he sets up a branch of Islamic Jihad.

1987- The Muslim Brotherhood gains singificant power in the Egyptian parliament by allying itself with socialist parties. Brotherhood deputies demand an end to the Israeli-Egyptian treaty, to all ties with the United States and the application of Sharia law.

1988- Bin Laden and Azzam make 'MAK' or The Service Bureau offical. Bin Laden wants to advance non-military operations world-wide- while Azzam prefers a military strategy.

Al Qaeda is new name for the Service Bureau upon murder of Azzam and victory in Afghanistan.

1989- February- Bin Laden declares withdrawal of Soviets from Afghanistan a victory for the Jihad.

November- Azzam assassinated; Pakistan's ISI is a suspect. Bin Laden, assisted by Muhammad Atef and Abu Ubaidah al Banshiri, takes over, renaming Maktab al Khidmat 'Al Qaeda'- 'The Base', with a plan to expand the Soviet Jihad into an international Jihad from headquarters in Peshawar. The prime target is US interests world-wide with Al Qaeda launching its own attacks or sponsoring similar outfits to attack Al Qaeda targets.

Al Mohammed, trained as a US commando at Fort Bragg, leaves the US and joins Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan and pakistan.


Bin Laden abandins Afghan Civil war for Saudi Arabia.

-Bin Laden resturns to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, discouraged by the inter-ethnic Afghan civil war.

1990- When Iraq invades Kuwait, Bin Laden offers to set up a citizen militia to defend Saudi Arabia but the kingdom rejects his offer.

Bin Laden Repudiates US bases in Saudi Arabia for First Gulf War.

1991 -the US responds to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait by setting up military bases to protect Saudi Arabia's oil fields at Hama. Bin Laden swears to avenge what he sees as US violation and occupation of Saudi Arabia.

-Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood supports Saddam Hussein.

Bin Laden Sets up Al Qaeda in Sudan; active also in Mogadishu and the Balkans.

1991-1996- Bin Laden, based in Sudan, sets up a series of corporate entities, running Al Qaeda as if it were a corporation. It is ruled by a Shura or Council of Twelve, with four executive committees: military (commanded by Muhammed Atef) business, Islamic Studies , Media, and Public Relations.

-Al Qaeda begins launching international operations from Sudan.

1992-93- Bin Laden intervenes in civil war in Somalia. His lieuenant, Atef, trains Somai tribes opposed to UN intervention.

-Ban Laden accused by US of complicity in American defeat in Mogadishu.

-the Deobandi movement, originally a Sunni anti-colonial force born in British India, has spread from Bagladesh to Pakistan and southern Afghanistan. Deobandi teaching leads to the formation if the Taliban.

1993- Al Qaeda has about 1,000 members, mostly Afghan veteran Jihadis.
It supports 5,000 Arab fighters defending Muslims in the Balkans during the Bosnian Civil War (1992-1995)

First World Trade Centre Attack Fails. Al Qaeda spreads globally.

-Al Qaeda-linked bomb blast at World Trade Centre, New York.

-Al Qaeda has agents in Albania, Britain, Pakistan, Holland, Malasia, Lebanon, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Enirates.

-Al Qaeda forms loose associations with similar outfits in Ageria, Chechnya, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa, Lebanon, Libya, the Phulippines, Southeast Asia, South Asia, Yemen, Syria and Tunisia.

1994- Al Zawahiri joins Bin Laden in Khartoum Sudan, becomes his mentor.

-Saudi government revokes Bin Laden's citizenship and freezes his assets of $20-25 million

-attempt on Bin Laden's life. He founds the Committee for Advice and Reform. The CAR is intended to promote preaceful reform in Saudi Arabia.

1995- finally allowed to campaign openly in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood runs 150 candidates, all of whom lose.

-Islamabad- truck bombing kills 18- Egypt holds Zawahiri responsible.

-CIA sets up a "Bin Laden station".

Bin Laden Expelled from Sudan. Zawahiri heads Egyptian wing of Al Qaeda.

-1996- Sudan expels Bin Laden for his verbal attacks on the king of Saudi Arabia and puts him under surveillance in order that Sudan be removed from the U.S. list of terror states.

-botched Egyptian operations by the EIJ (Egyptian islamic Jihad, led by Ayman al Zawahiri), the Egyptian wing of Al Qaeda, get the EIJ expelled from Sudan.

Al Qaeda Returns to Afghanistan. Victorious Taliban Gives protection to Al Qaeda.

1996- Bin Laden moves Al Qaeda headquarters from Somalia to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, though Jalalabad is still outside Taliban control.

-Shalh Kaled first suggests an attack on New York's World Trade towers to Bin Laden.

Sept. -- Taliban takes Kabul and Jalalbad in civil war. Mullah Omar, leader of the Taliban, gives protection and freedom of action to Bin Laden and Al Qaeda after Bin Laden swears loyalty; but also to accommodate, former anti-Soviet Jihadists who had been expelled from their home countries and unemployed Jihadists from the recent Bosnian, Kashmir and Chechen wars. A veteran Al Qaeda unit fights alongside the Taliban.

-Al Qaeda's 3,000 fighters are kown as the Taliban's 55th Brigade. Al Qaeda has 45,000 adherents in 60 countries.

-Al Qaeda announces plans to expel foreigners from Islamic lands.

1997- Zawahiri joins Bin Laden in Afghanistan.

Al Qaeda Bombs US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam.

1998- August- Al Qaeda bombs US embassies inNairobi and Dar As Salaam, killing 227.

-Wshington places Bin Laden on its 10 most wanted list with a $5 million rewaerd on his head. and demands the Taliban hand him over. Mullah Omae refuses.

Bin Laden Releases Fatwa against Americans and Jews.

-Bin Laden releases a Fatwa calling for attacks on US citizens. Zawahiri joins his Islamic Jihad with Bin Laden's World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Crusaders and Jews. Zawahiri is in charge of ideology. Charter members are Abu Yasser Rafia Ahmad Taha, Mir Hamza and Faz ul Rahman. Among ists grievances are the UN sanctions against Iraq, US military bases in Saudi Arabia, the existence of Israel and its domination of the Palestinians. Its aims are the killing of any American or Israeli, the liberation of Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque and the Holy Mosque in Mecca andto overthrow all the regimes in Muslim countries that supported western interests.

-Nov. 4- a US grand jury returns a 238 count indictment for murder and other charges against Bin Laden and Zawahiri.

-Bin Laden gives the go-ahead to Sheikh Khled to organize abd lauch the attack on the WTC in New York.

1999- 20 members of the Muslim Brotherhood arrested for plotting to overthrow the government and ifiltrating professional syndicates.

-9/11 plans finalized by the Al Qaeda military committee.

Early Stages of 9/11 Attacks.

-a group of highly educated, disciplined Islamists living in Hamburg and with experience of the West travel to to Afhganistan to meet Bin Laden to plan the attack on the the WTC.

Al Qaeda Bombs USS Cole in Yemen.

2000- October- Al Qaeda bombs the USS Cole, docked in Aden, Yemen. US holds Bin Laden responsible.

-the Muslim Brotherhood wins 17 seats in the Egyptian parliament.

Dec. -the US has the UN Security Council demand that the Taliban hand over Bin Laden on pain of an arms embargo on Afghanistan. Mullah Omar refuses.

2001- Feb.- public trial in US of 4 conspirators in bombing of Kenyan and Ethiopian embassies enlarges Bin Laden's following in the Muslim World.

-Al Qaeda 9/11 hijackers begin arriving in the US

-the hijack leader, Mohammed Atta meets Binalshibh in Spain to work out final details of WTC attack.

Al Qaeda Executes 9/11 Attack on World Trade Towers.

2001- Sept 11- Al Qaeda operatives fly two passenger planes into the twin towers of the World Trade centre in Manhattan, killing about 3,000. A third plane is crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth crashes in a field in Pennsylvania, killing all aboard.

-the US names Osama Bin Laden and Zawahiri as conspirators in the 9/11 plots. In vain, the US demands that Mullah Omar hand over Bin Laden.

Oct 7- Bin Laden and Al Zawahiri release a 20 minute statement claiming responsibility for the 9/11 attacks.

Nov. Mohammed Atef, Al Qaeda military commander killed by drone strike in Afghanistan.


Dec.12 - Zacarias Musawi, a Moroccan born French citizen is the first suspect to be charged in the 9/11 attacks.

Execution of Daniel Pearl.

2002- Feb 1- Wall Street Journalist Reporter Daniel Pearl decapitated in Karachi by a Pakistani Al-Qaeda-linked organization led byAhmed Omar Saeed Sheikh.


March 2-- Abu Zubaydah, Al Qaeda's chief field and recruitment officer and Bin Laden's number 3 man, is arrested in Pakistan.

April 11- 18 are killed in attack outside a Tunisian synagogue when Al Qaeda explodes an oil tanker.

June 11- Jose Padilla is arrested landing in US from Pakistan and accused of hatching a 'dirty bomb' plot.

Sept 11- Ramzi Bimalshibh, a high-ranking Al Qaeda member and one of the 9/11 plotters is arrested in Karachi.

The Bali Night Club Bombing and US and Allied Invasion of Afghanistan.

Oct 12- Indonesia's Al-Qaeda-linked Jemaah Islamiya carries out massive attack on a Bali nightclub killing 202.


Nov.- US and NATO invasion of Afghanistan. Taliban driven from Kabul. US discovers video tape in which Bin Laden names 9 of the 9/11 hijackers during a meeeting with radical Jeddah cleric Khalid Harbi.

-Bin Ladin escapes to Tora Bora and tribal area of Waziristan.

Nov. 28 -Al Qaeda claims responsibility for an attack on an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombassa, Kenya, killing 16

9/11 Planner Sheikh Khaled Arrested

2003- March 1- Khaled Sheikh Mohammed- Bin Laden's architect of 9/11 is arrested in a CIA-Pakistani operation in Islamabad.

-Mounir Moutassadek is found guilty by a German court in Hamburg of helping to to mount the 9/11 attacks. He gets 12 years.

Al Qaeda-linked Attacks in Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Istanbul

May 12- at least 34 killed in an Al Qaeda attack on foreign luxury compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

May 16- Salafiya Jihadia, an al-Qaeda-linked Moroccan cell, kills 45 in suicide bombings on international targets in Casablanca, Morocco.

June 27 -Ali Abdul Rahman al Gamdi arrested in Riyadh suicide attacks.

Dec. 15- 23 killed in suicide attacks on two Istanbul synagogues.

Dec 20- 27 killed in double suicide bombing on the British Consulate and a British bank in Istanbul.

Abu Musab al Zarqawi prepares to lead Al Qaeda in Iraq.

2004- Feb 9- US discovers plot for Al Qaeda entry into Iraq by Abu Musab al Zarqawi and plans to turn Sunni and Shia against one another.

The Madrid Train Bombings.

March 11- Madrid train bombings by a group linked or sympathetic to Al Qaeda kill 191.

April 15- A Bin laden tape offers a truce to all European countries that withdraw from the US's alleged war against Muslims.

May 17- head of the Iraqi Governing Council killed in Al Qaeda attack. US traces Zarqawi to a number of attacks incuding beheading of a US hostage.

Al Qaeda Attacks and Hostage Beheading in Saudi Arabia.

May 30- 22 killed by Al Qaeda-linked group in foreigners' compound at Khobar, Saudi Arabia before the compound is stormed by Saudi commandos.

June 18- US hostage Paul Johnson beheaded by Al Qaeda group in Saudi Arabia. Abdul Aziz al Muqin, head of Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia, killed by security forces.

July 30-2004 -capture of Ahmed Khalfin Ghalani, Al Qaeda operative linked to 1998 Kenya US embassy bombing.

Sept 26- Amjad Farooqi, wanted in connection to AlQaeda murder of Daniel Pearl, killed in shoot-out with Pakistani Police. Farooqi is closely linked to Aby Faraj Al Libbi, Al Qaeda chief for Pakistan.

Sept 29- 2004- A Yemeni court senteces two Al Qaeda operatives, Al-Bashiri and Al Badawi to death for the attack on the USS Cole. Four others get prison sentences.

Zarqawi's Allegiance to Bin laden.

-Oct- Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, leader of "Monotheism and Jihad" swears allegiance to Osama Bin Laden.

Oct 29- days prior to US elections, Bin aden realeases video tape warning of more attacks on th US.

2005- 14 April -Kamil Bourgass, Al Qaeda suspect found guilty of murdering a police officer and threatening to spead ricin in Birtain, gets 17 year sentence.

April 22- Al Qaeda suspects go on trial in Madrid court for helping to plan 9/11 bombings.

May 4- Faraj Al Libbi, Al Qaeda's number three after Zawahiri and head of operations in Pakistan is arrested by pakistani police.

July 7, 2005 London Underground Bombings.

July 7- Al-Qaeda inspired group brings off London underground bombings, killing 56.

July 21- four more London underground bombings fail to detinate. Within days, four suspects are identified and arrested.

Sharm-al-Sheikh Bombings

July 23- 61 killed in AlQaeda-linked bombings in the Egyptian Red Sea rfesort of Sharm al-Sheikh. One suspect is killed by police in a shootout with Islamists.

August 19- rockets are fired at the Jordanian port city of Aqaba and at the nearby Israeli port city of Eliat.

Sept. 26- Madrid Court sentences 18 men to prison terms for planning the 9/11 attacks.

Nov. 2005- Hamza Rabia, Al Qaeda International Operations commander killed by drone attack in North Waziristan.

2006- January 19- Bin Laden releases tape offering US the choice of a truce or new attacks.


Sacred Shia Al Askiriya Mosque blown up by Al Qaeda to iginite Sectarian war in  Iraq

February- Al Qaeda in Iraq operatives blow up the Al Askiriya Mosque in Samarra, sacred to Iraqi Shia, deliberately setting off an ethnic bloodbath between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

May 3- Zakarais Moussaoui is sentenced to life in US court. He is the sold person charged in the 9/11 attacks.

Zarqawi killed in targeted US air attack near Baghdad.

June 7- Al Qaeda in iraq leader Al Zarqawi is killed in a targeted US air strike northeast of Baghdad.

Sept 3- Al Qaeda in Iraq's number 2 man, Jama Al Saedi is captured by Iraqi authorities. Al Saedi planned the bombing of the Al Askiriya shrine.

Zawahiri announces creation of Al Qaeda in the Maghreb from merger.

Sept 14- Ayman Al Zawahiri announces the merger of the Algerian militant group, the GSPC with Al Qaeda.

2007- March 15- Mohammed Sheikh Khaled admits to planning the 9/11 attacks and 30 others at a hearing at Guantanamo Bay.

March 27- at a hearing at Gunatanamo Bay, Austrial convert to Islam David Hicks, confesses to support for terrorist operations.

April 27- high Al Qaeda operative, Al Hadi Al Iraqi, is captured bu the US on his way to take over Al Qaeda operations in Iraq.

Life Sentences for the London undergorund bombers.

July 11- four men arrested in the July 21 2005 London underground bombings receive life sentecnes.

Sept. 7-8- 50 die in two conseutive bombings in Algeria. Al Qaeda in the Maghreb claims responsibility.

Oct 18- Pakistan PPP parry leader Benazir Bhotto survivies bombing attack as she arrives in Karachi, returning from exile.

Three get life in Madrid train bombings.

Oct 31- Madrid Court sentences three men to life in the Madrid train bombings.

Dec. 12- suicide bombings on Algeria's supreme court and on an Algiers UN agency kill 40.

Dec. 27- Benazir Bhutto is killed in a bombing attack on her motorcade while campainging in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pakistani authorities say Waziristan Al Qaeda leader Baitullah Mehsud is responsible.

2008- Jan. 29- Abu Haith Al Libi, Al Qaeda military commander killed in drone strike in North Waziristan.


March 31- at Guantanamo Bay, Al Qaeda operative Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani is charged with crimes in the 1998 Kenya Embassy bombing.

Khaled, architect of 9/11 in trial in US.

June 6- Mohammed Sheikh Khaled, self-confessed planner of the 9/11 attacks, tells a US tribunal at Gunatanmo Bay that he wants to die as a martyr.

July 6- Salim Hamdan, a Yemeni and Osama Bin Laden's former driver, is convicted of war crimes at a tribunal in Gunatanamo Bay.

-July 28- Abu Khebab al Masri, Al Qaeda expert on weapons of mass destruction killed in drone strike.


-Fall- Najibullah Zazi and three others receive al Qaeda training in Afghanistan; will soon plot to attack subway stations in New York City.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula arises from merger.

2009- Jan-March- the Yemeni and Saudi affiliates of Al Qaeda merge into Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula.

-Sept. -Najiibullah Zazi arrested for attempting to bomb subway  ststaions in new York City.

Conviction of would-be London Airline bombers

-Sept- conviction by a London court of the three Al Qaeda-linked bombers who conspired to blow transatlantic passenger jets out of the air using smuggled liquid explosives.


- Sept- Drone missile strike in Pakistan kills Ilyas Kashmiri, Al Qaeda military commander and head of the Al Qaeda-affiliated Kashmir insurgent group. Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami.

Taliban Severs Ties with Al Qaeda.

-Taliban has severed its last ties with al Qaeda. 100 Al Qaeda fighter remain in Afghanistan.

 Dec. 4- Osama Bin Laden believed to be in Ghazni province, Afghanistan.

Dec 8- Salh al Somali, coordinatior of Al Qaeda in Afhganistan and Pakistan witg Al Qaeda abroad is killed in a drone strike.

Arrest of Yemen-trained Northwest Airlines 'Underwear Bomber'

Dec 25- Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab, the "Underwear Bomber", arrested for attempting to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253. He had been trained in Yemen by 'Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsuala."

2010- January- according to US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Al Qaeda is planning to destabilize Pakistan and ingite a nuclear war between Pakistan and India.

Al Baghdadi, head of Al Qaeda in Iraq killed near Tikrit.

April 18- leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Omar al Baghdadi, killed outside Tikrit.

Failed Times Square bombing.

May- Faisal Sahazad is arrested in a failed attempt to bomb Times Square using a van packed with explosives.

Aug 12- Osama Bin Laden's former cook and driver, Ibrahim al Qosi, is sentenced to 14 years in prison for providing material support to terrorism. A plea bargain is pending.

 Oct 28-  explosive packages planeted by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsua intercepted en route from Yemen to Jewish Synagogues in Chicago.

October 31, 2010- 52 are masscred in an Al Qaeda hostage taking and attack on a Syrian Christian chruch in Baghdad.
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