The History of Modern Terrorism

     The following historical accounts are for the record to the slime balls pushing propaganda to divide the United States trying to instill a new form of government and choose to go against Israel and True Christians.  This is also good reason why no mosque should be built on or near "ground zero" in NYC or anywhere else in America.  Wake up people and declare war on those who choose to destroy the USA, Israel, any peace plan between the people of Israel / Palestine and True Christians.  It's time to take a stand and remain firm.  Eliminate the enemy and follow not their ways or buy their merchandise.

     7/24/1970 - U.S. President Nixon in office.  Egypt's president, Gamar Abdel Nassar accepts a U.S. peace formula for the Middle East.  Jordan announces acceptance 2 days later.  Syria makes a show of rejecting the formula, Israel announces acceptance on July 31 as Palestinians meet 25,000 strong at Amman and cheer a guerrilla leader's call for rejection of the formula and "liberation" of all Palestine.

      9/6/1970 -  First, two men hijack a Pan Am Boeing 747 en route from Amsterdam to New York and reroute it back to Beirut, take dynamite aboard, fly on to Cairo, evacuate all the passengers and then blow up the plane 2 minutes later.  Second, an armed man and woman commandeer an Israeli El Al flight en route from Tel Aviv to London, but security guards on the plane mortally wound the man and the passengers subdued the woman.  The woman named Leila Khaled took part in a hijacking the prior year and was jailed in London.  Third, Palestinian militants hijack a TWA 707 and a Swissair DC-8 and force them to land outside Amman, Jordan.  Militants hijack a BOAC VC-10 few days later and force it to land on the same strip; they blow up all three planes after removing the passengers and hold the passengers hostage for several weeks until British, West German, Swiss and Israeli authorities release Leila Khaled and other Arabs.

     1971 -  East Pakistan has widespread riots and strikes following the announcement March 1 of a delay in convening the new national assembly elected last year. The Awani League has won 167 of the 313 seats to be filled, its strength is concentrated in Bengal, and its leader protests the delay. A strike cripples the key port of Chittagong, Bengali extremists murder many non-Bengalis, and Pakistan's president Agha Mohammed Yahya Khan flies to East Pakistan to negotiate with the Awami League's leader Mujibur Rahman. He denounces Rahman as a traitor and orders an invasion of Bengal March 25, his forces employ brutal measures in carrying out his orders, and millions of East Pakistani's pour into India. The East Bengal Regiment defects to Rahman's cause; Bengal separatists blow up major bridges, railroads, and communications lines; the separatists are subdued, but guerrillas resist the Pakistani army of occupation. India concludes a 20-year friendship pact with the Soviet Union in August to deter any Pakistani attack, Indian troops invade Bengal December 4, a third war over Kashmir begins in December between India and Pakistan but lasts only 2 weeks, and Pakistani forces in Bengal surrender December 16. Yahya Khan resigns his presidency December 20 and is succeeded by his foreign minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, 43, who received his bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1950, studied law at Oxford, founded the Pakistan People's Party in December 1967, and was imprisoned after denouncing the old Ayub Khan regime. He places Yahya Khan under house arrest, nationalizes some key industries, and tries to impose taxes on the landed families.

     1972 -  Gunmen hired by Palestinian guerrillas shoot up Lod Airport near Tel Aviv May 30, killing 24 and wounding 76. Two of the gunmen are Japanese, two are killed by security guards, an Israeli court convicts Kozo Okamoto and sentences him July 17 to life imprisonment.
     Egypt's president Anwar el-Sadat abruptly expels 20,000 Soviet advisers in July and opens a secret line of communications with Washington, hoping that the United States might influence Israel to return occupied regions in return for Egyptian help in ridding the Middle East of Soviet involvement.

     1973 -  Israeli F-4 fighter jets shoot down 13 Soviet-built Syrian MiG-21 fighter jets in January and shoot down a civilian Libyan Arab Airlines Boeing 727 over Sinai February 21, killing 108 of the 113 aboard (authorities say the Libyan pilot strayed off course and ignored orders to land).
     The Yom Kippur War that begins in the Middle East October 6 on the Jewish Holy Day of Atonement is the fourth and fiercest Arab-Israeli war since 1948. Both sides accuse the enemy of having begun the new fighting that erupts along the 103-mile-long Suez Canal and on the Golan Heights; UN observers report that Egyptian forces crossed the canal at five points and that Syrian forces attacked at two points on the Golan Heights. Israeli troops push the Syrians back to the 1967 cease-fire line by October 10 despite the arrival of Iraqi troops to support the Syrians, the Israelis push to within 18 miles of Damascus October 12, and Jordan's best troops arrive October 13 to help defend Damascus. Egyptian troops meanwhile force the Israelis to give up the Bar Lev defense line on the East Bank of the Suez Canal, Egyptian SAM-6 missiles stymie Israel's air attacks, and Soviet planes airlift equipment to help Arab forces on both fronts. Israeli tanks rout an invading Egyptian army October 14, destroying about 250 enemy tanks while losing only 25. Moscow announces October 15 that it will "assist in every way" the Arab effort to regain the territory taken by Israel in 1967. (by rights Jerusalem belonged to Israel [Hebrew people] long before there was any Palestine).
     Washington announces that it has begun supplying military equipment to Israel to counter the Soviet airlift of arms to the Arabs; Gen. Ariel Sharon has resigned from the Israeli Army in July and been instrumental in forming the right-wing Likkud Party in September, but he is recalled and spearheads a counterattack across the Suez Canal to attack Egyptian tanks, missile sites, and artillery on the West Bank. Heavy tank battles begin in the Sinai October 17, Moscow tries to persuade Egypt and Syria to resolve the Middle East conflict through diplomacy, and four Arab foreign ministers meet with President Nixon at Washington to urge U.S. mediation of the Arab-Israeli dispute. Libya's Muammar al-Qadaffi opposes any settlement, but Soviet Premier Aleksei Kosygin meets at Cairo with President Sadat, and the new U.S. secretary of state Henry A. Kissinger (who has replaced William P. Rogers) confers at Moscow October 20 with Soviet Party Leader Leonid A. Brezhnev, saying, "The Arabs can get guns from the Russians, but they can get their territory back only from us." A resolution sponsored jointly by the United States and the USSR calling for a cease-fire in place receives a 14-0 vote of approval in the UN Security Council early in the morning of October 22, heavy fighting resumes 12 hours after the cease-fire takes effect, Israel and Egypt agree to a new cease-fire October 24, the National Security Council puts U.S. forces on "precautionary alert" October 25 while President Nixon agonizes alone in the Oval Office about the Watergate affair. U.S. intelligence has learned that Moscow has placed nuclear missiles in the Egyptian desert and surveillance has picked up radiation from plutonium carried on Soviet ships from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean, Secretary Kissinger asserts that "ambiguous" signs from Moscow have suggested possible Soviet intervention in the Middle East, Nixon gets on the phone to Moscow and agrees with party leader Brezhnev to a mutual pullback, the crisis passes, the cease-fire holds, but Israel has lost 4,100 men killed or wounded in 18 days of fighting, Egypt has lost 7,500, Syria, 7,300. Former premier David Ben-Gurion dies at Tel Aviv December 1 at age 87.

     1974 - President Nixon resigns and Gerald Ford is sworn in as President.
     Israel and Egypt sign a disengagement agreement January 18 after negotiations by U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger.  Israel withdraws from the west bank of the Suez Canal, Egypt reoccupies the east bank, and a UN buffer zone is created between the two. Golda Meir wins reelection as prime minister March 10 but resigns a month later, citing schisms within her own Labor Party with regard to military planning errors. Israel agrees in June to withdraw from Syria and from part of the Golan Heights.
     Greek Cypriot troops overthrow the Makarios government July 15, Athens denies any link to the uprising, Archbishop Makarios arrives at New York and charges the Greek military regime with complicity in the coup. Former anti-communist Cypriot guerrilla fighter Col. Georgio Grivas has died at Limassol January 28 at age 75. Turkish forces invade Cyprus July 20, vowing to restore Makarios and defend the island's ethnic minority. Greece mobilizes troops, Moscow puts 40,000 men on alert, the UN Security Council calls for a halt in hostilities, but heavy fighting continues. Greece's military junta resigns July 23 after 7 years in power, former premier Constantine Caramanlis returns from exile to head the first civilian government at Athens since 1967, he announces in mid-August that Greece will not go to war to stop the Turkish invasion but will not negotiate under pressure. U.S. Ambassador Rodger P. Davies is shot dead August 19 during a Greek Cypriot demonstration outside the U.S. embassy at Nicosia; President Ford vetoes a bill that would have cut off military aid to Turkey. Former dictator George Papadopolous is arrested with 19 others and charged with treason. Archbishop Makarios returns to Nicosia December 7, Turkish forces occupy 45 percent of the island, and tensions continue.

     1975 -  Lebanon dissolves into civil war after 5 years of often bloody confrontations between Lebanese and Palestinian refugees. The Palestine Liberation Organization has used refugee camps as bases for guerrilla attacks on Israel, and there have been reprisals. Christians take up arms against leftist "Islamo-Progressivists" and violence escalates as both sides begin using artillery; Yasir Arafat has headed the PLO since 1968 and pledges that his people will not involve themselves in Lebanon's affairs, but President Frangieh accuses the PLO in mid-December of violating its agreements and bringing on the civil war which is wrecking Beirut. Palestinian guerrillas more radical than the PLO invade an OPEC conference at Vienna December 21, kill three, and seize 81 hostages, including 11 OPEC ministers.

     1976 - A UN Security Council resolution calls for an independent Palestinian state and for total Israeli withdrawal from Arab territories occupied since 1967. The United States vetoes the resolution January 27; another U.S. veto February 25 blocks a resolution deploring Israeli policies in Jerusalem and in occupied Arab lands.
     Civil war continues in Lebanon and threatens to involve Libya, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the world powers. Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi supplies the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) with arms and money. Syria's president Hafez al-Assad intervenes April 9 under an Arab League mandate to oppose the PLO's Yasir Arafat, and Syrian troops will occupy much of Lebanon for more than 25 years. Israeli military commander Lieut. Gen. David Eleazar dies of a heart attack at Tel Aviv April 15 at age 50. U.S. Ambassador Francis E. Meloy Jr., 59, is assassinated at Beirut June 17 and Washington advises all Americans to leave Lebanon. Lebanon's 19-month civil war ends in mid-November with the Syrian army in control; 35,000 have been killed, the once-beautiful city of Beirut is in ruins, and unrest continues.
     Pro-Palestinian terrorists hijack a Paris-bound Air France A-300 Airbus over Greece June 27 and force its pilot to land at Bengazi, Libya; Uganda's dictator Idi Amin invites the hijackers of Flight 139 to land at Entebbe Airport outside Kampala, where they demand the release of 53 prisoners being held in Israel, Kenya, and Europe. They release 47 women, children, and sick people June 29, release another 100 July 1, but hold 98 passengers and 12 crew members hostage. Airborne Israeli commandos fly 2,500 miles to Kampala, storm the plane at Entebbe early on the morning of July 4, rescue almost all the hostages, kill the 10 hijackers along with perhaps 20 Ugandan soldiers, and escape with only two casualties, including Soviet emigrée Ida Borowlcz, 56, who was shot dead by an Arab gunman while lying on the floor in the airport.
     Israel signs an accord with Egypt October 10, agreeing to withdraw from 1,900 square miles of Sinai territory within 5 months; agitation continues over Israeli occupation of other Egyptian, Jordanian, and Syrian lands.

     1977 - U.S. President Carter in Office.
     CIA director George H. W. Bush resigns January 20 and President Carter appoints Chicago-born four-star admiral Stansfield Turner, 52, to succeed him. A classmate of the president at Annapolis, Turner will head the agency until 1981, improving its management systems, making it more accountable to congressional committees, and helping to diminish the sinister stigma that it acquired following revelations that came to light beginning in late 1974.

     1978 - Iranian opposition leaders organized strikes, demonstrations, and riots in protest of the Shah's policies.  Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a proclamation for Iranians to "unite, arise, and sacrifice your blood", urging them to defy the Shah's order prohibiting public demonstrations.  His words inspired his followers to fill the streets chanting religious slogans and calling for revolution.  The Shah stepped from power and fled to Morocco in 1979 and Khomeini assumed power announcing the creation of a new fundamentalist Islamic state and labeled the United States "The Great Satan".

     11/04/1979 - A group of Iranian militants stormed the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran and captured dozens of embassy and military personnel.  Fifty-two Americans remained captive in Iran for 444 days. 

     Fall of 1980 - In an exchange for their release, the United States agreed to turn over $8 billion of Iran's frozen assets and to refrain from interfering politically or militarily in Iran's internal affairs. (now you know why we aren't interfering with Iran presently in 2010)

     1981 - U.S President Reagan in office.  Osama Bin Laden propagates a murderous interpretation of Islam doctrine that many jobless young Muslims will embrace.  Islamic terrorists at Paris assassinate an Israeli diplomat on April 3.

     1982 -  Islamic fundamentalists threaten to bring down the government of Syria's president Hafez al-Assad in February. Not himself a Muslim (he belongs to the Alawi sect and professes to rule in the name of Baathism), Assad locates the source of the rebellion at Hama, and to squelch it he has his artillery batter fundamentalist neighborhoods there, leveling the country's fourth largest city and killing somewhere between 10,000 and 25,000 people in a merciless crackdown. Survivors take refuge in Afghanistan, Lebanon's wild Bekaa Valley, or in Europe or America. Syria will not have another problem with religious extremists in this century, but Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, 25, raises money to support Afghanistan's mujahideen guerrillas in their efforts to resist Soviet occupation forces and will propagate a murderous interpretation of Islam doctrine that many jobless young Muslims will embrace. Youngest of some 20 sons of the late construction magnate Mohammed bin Laden, Osama was raised in air-conditioned luxury and received a degree in civil engineering from King Abdul Aziz University at Jidda in 1979.
     Islamic terrorists at Paris assassinate an Israeli diplomat April 3, Israel's prime minister Menachem Begin warns of PLO guerrilla activities and arms buildups, and Israel hits PLO strongholds in Lebanon April 21—the first Israeli strike since last year's cease-fire. The PLO has allegedly staged 130 guerrilla attacks inside Israel during the cease-fire, and Defense Minister Gen. Ariel Sharon mobilizes forces for an invasion designed to rid southern Lebanon of Palestinian guerrillas.  Israeli forces complete their withdrawal from the Sinai April 25 under terms of the 1978 Camp David accord. Israeli planes raid PLO bases south of Beirut May 9; PLO forces respond with artillery fire across the border. Israel's ambassador to Britain is critically wounded at London June 3 by terrorists more extreme than the PLO. Israel invades Lebanon June 6, captures medieval Beaufort Castle June 7, downs dozens of Soviet-built Syrian MIGs (weaponry made in Russia proves itself no match for Israel's U.S.- and French-made arms and aircraft), destroy Syrian surface-to-air missiles in the Bekaa Valley, and reach the outskirts of Beirut June 10.
     Iranian forces recover the port city of Khurramshahr May 24, taking 30,000 Iraqi prisoners in the ongoing war.  Syria has reportedly supplied Iran with Soviet-built weapons.

     1983 - Terrorists in Lebanon blow up the U.S. embassy at Beirut April 18, killing 63 people  (now they did it, first record of American blood being spilled by terrorists).  Two U.S. Marines are killed and 13 wounded on August 29 when mortar shells and rockets land in an airport compound during clashes between Lebanese Army and Shiite Muslim and Druse rockets.  A terrorist drives a truck packed with explosives into a building full of sleeping marines and sailors October 23 while another bomb-laden truck slams into a French paratroop barracks; U.S. death toll is 241 and French toll 58.  A suicide truck bomber blows up an Israeli military installation November 4, killing 60 including 28 Israelis.

     1984 - Beirut terrorist gunmen kill American University president Malcolm H. Kerr January 18 and vow to rid Lebanon of Westerners.  Iran - Iraq hostilities spread to the Persian Gulf.

     1985 -  Terrorist attacks by Arab, French guerrilla, Islamic, and Palestinian groups kill 107, wound more than 428 in Europe and the Mediterranean. Bombs explode in Madrid, Paris, Athens, Frankfurt, a U.S. air base near Frankfurt, and Rome; grenades are thrown in Rome; a TWA jetliner, hijacked June 14 between Athens and Rome, is diverted to Beirut, where passengers are held hostage for 17 days; hijackers seize the cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean October 7, killing partially paralyzed New York tourist Leon Klinghoffer, 69; an Egypt air jetliner, hijacked November 23 between Athens and Cairo, is forced to land in Malta, two passengers are killed, 58 people are killed when Egyptian commandos storm the plane; gunmen attack Rome and Vienna airports December 27 and 20 people are killed, including four terrorists. Libya aided the attackers, says President Reagan.
     Iraqi jets armed with French Exocet missiles bomb Iran's strategic Kharg Island oil terminal August 17 in the ongoing Persian Gulf war.

     1986 -  U.S. warplanes from Britain bomb Libya's Muammar al-Qaddafi's headquarters at Tripoli April 15 in an 11-minute strike that hits a few other sites and leaves 15 civilians dead, including some of Qadaffi's children. President Reagan has ordered the attack in retaliation for the terrorist bombing of a West Berlin discothèque that killed a U.S. soldier and a Turkish woman and wounded 230 April 5. An American F-111 with two airmen is lost in the attack on Libya, and three hostages are killed in Lebanon in reprisal for the U.S. action.
     Iran and Iraq continue their bloody war, with Iran receiving covert aid in the form of U.S. arms and aircraft replacement parts. Israel is the chief source of such aid, but a Beirut magazine reveals in November that the United States has sent spare parts and ammunition to Iran in hopes that "moderates" there would help obtain the release of U.S. hostages. Further investigation will show that other arms sales were made to Iran with the profits going to fund Contra forces in Nicaragua (see 1985). San Antonio, Tex.-born Marine Lieut. Col. Oliver L. North, 43, and Indiana-born National Security Council adviser Vice-Admiral John M. (Marlin) Poindexter, 58, resign their positions and refuse to answer congressional investigators' questions about their activities in the affair.
     Terrorists continue to take their toll. A bomb aboard a TWA plane over Athens kills four Americans April 2; guards at London's Heathrow Airport avert a tragedy April 17 when they arrest a British woman with explosives in her luggage, planted there by her Jordanian fiancé in an effort to blow up a Tel Aviv-bound El Al flight; four Arab terrorists posing as airport security guards seize a Pan Am jet at Karachi September 4, a 16-hour standoff ensues, the gunmen storm aboard early September 5 and kill 15 of the nearly 400 passengers, wounding 127 (of whom 6 are dead by September 11); two Arabs fire submachine guns into worshipers at an Istanbul synagogue September 6, killing 21; a bomb at a Parisian department store September 17 kills five after four earlier explosions in September have killed three, injured 170.
     Kurds ambush a Turkish Army truck near the Iraqi border August 12, killing 12 soldiers; 10 Turkish F-4s cross into Iraq August 15 and bomb suspected hideouts of Kurdish guerrillas in retaliation, Premier Turgut Ozol reportedly says the bombing killed "around 150 to 200 people," Iran has supported Kurdish guerrillas fighting for autonomy in Iraq, Iraq has supported those fighting for autonomy in Iran, Iranian officials warn Turkey August 27 to remain neutral in the Iran-Iraq war, Turkey's foreign minister reportedly warns Iran that if her armies succeed in ousting Iraq's Saddam Hussein regime Turkey will have to seize Iraq's oil-rich northern region but Ankara denies the report.

     1987 -  Syrian troops occupy West Beirut February 22, ending 3 years of anarchy during which terrorists, mainly pro-Iranian Shiites, have kidnapped dozens of foreigners, but Lebanon's prime minister Rashid Karami, 55, is assassinated June 1. Palestinians led by Sheik Ahmed Yassin, 50, organize the militant Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas (Harakat-al-Muqawima al-Islamiyya) in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with a mission to destroy Israel and create an Islamic state in Palestine. Hamas is also Arabic for zeal; members of the movement have worked since the late 1970s with the pan-Arab Muslim Brotherhood to create a network of charities, clinics, and schools in Gaza; and they have been active at universities. Religious factions of the Palestine Liberation Organization support Hamas (but the PLO will later break with it), and Hamas leaders begin to call for a jihad (holy war) against Israel. An Israeli army truck accidentally hits some Arab vans in the occupied Gaza Strip December 8, killing four people; rumors spread that the accident was a deliberate retaliation for the murder of an Israeli salesman. Militant young Palestinians begin throwing rocks at Israeli troops December 9, the troops shoot some protesters dead, and the violent intifada (Arabic for uprising) spreads throughout the occupied territories. Civil disobedience will cost more than 300 Arab lives in the next 12 months in a struggle to oust Israeli occupation forces and establish a separate Palestinian state.
     Kuwait asks for U.S. naval protection of her tankers against Iranian attacks in the Persian Gulf as the Iraq-Iran war continues. President Reagan complies, knowing that refusal would result in Kuwait asking Moscow, and a spasmodic "tanker war" begins in the Gulf. A Soviet vessel comes under attack for the first time May 8, Iraqi missiles hit the frigate U.S.S. Stark May 17 with a loss of 37 men, and Iraq's president Saddam Hussein apologizes.

     1988 - Vice President George H. W. Bush Sr. wins U.S. Presidential election.
     Pakistan's Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq deposes Prime Minister Mohammed Junejo in May and dissolves the National Assembly, saying that it has not moved swiftly enough to establish Islamic law or address ethnic conflicts. Zia is killed August 18 at age 64 when his plane explodes in flight (U.S. ambassador Arnold I. Raphel, 45, is also killed). Benazir Bhutto is elected prime minister in December and at age 35 becomes the first woman to head a Muslim state.

     1989 - Iran's Ayatollah Khomeini undergoes surgery for internal bleeding from stomach cancer at Teheran May 23 and dies of a heart attack just after midnight June 3 at age 86 (89 by some accounts) after a 10-year theocratic regime. The nation's senior Shiite clergymen promptly vote June 4 to make President Ali Khamenei, 50, the ayatollah's successor, eight people are crushed to death and hundreds injured as hysterical crowds turn out June 5 to view the ayatollah's body in its refrigerated glass coffin, Khomeini's last will and testament attacking the United States and calling moderate Arab leaders "terrorists" and "pirates" is read over Teheran radio, Majlis (parliament) speaker (Hojatolislam ali Akbar) Hashemi Rafsanjani, 54, has called on Palestinians May 5 to hijack airplanes, blow up Western factories, and kill five Westerners for every Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in occupied territories. Washington has warned that it would retaliate for any acts of terrorism, London and Paris have called Rafsanjani's statement "totally unacceptable," PLO leader Yasir Arafat has denounced the statement has withdrawn it May 10, saying that it had been distorted, and he wins a landslide victory in the presidential elections July 28.
     Radicalized Muslim army officers seize control of Sudan after 4 years of ineffective democracy. A junta headed by Lieut. Gen. Omar Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir, 45, takes power as the Revolutionary Command Council but quietly hands over sovereignty to the National Islamic Front, an outgrowth of the Muslim Brotherhood, headed by Hassan al-Turabi, 56.
     Lebanon's Muslim and Christian factions reach an accord in October at Taif, Saudi Arabia. They agree to a plan drawn up in August that will give the country's Muslim majority greater political power; Maronite Christian René Moawad, 64, is elected president November 5 at a special session of Parliament, but President Moawad is assassinated with 23 others in a Beirut bombing November 22. Moawad is succeeded by fellow Maronite Elias Hrawi, 64, but Christian army commander Gen. Michel Aoun considers himself the legitimate president and begins an 11-month rebellion.

     1990 -  Iraqi forces invade Kuwait August 2 after Kuwait refuses demands by President Saddam Hussein that she pay compensation for allegedly drilling oil on Iraqi territory, cede disputed land, reduce oil output, and raise prices. Kuwait has rebuffed Iraqi demands that she forgive $15 billion in loans extended during the Iraq-Iran war. The Bush administration has told Saddam Hussein that it has no treaty obligation to defend Kuwait and would not take sides (Saddam has interpreted remarks by U.S. ambassador to Iraq April Gillespie that Washington would not oppose him), but Washington, Moscow, Tokyo, London, Teheran, and Beijing unite in denouncing his move and the United Nations Security Council votes 13 to 0 August 6 to impose economic sanctions (Yemen and Cuba abstain). Iraq masses troops on the border of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh agrees to receive U.S. ground and air forces. President Bush says Iraq's aggression "will not stand" and dispatches forces to Saudi Arabia August 7, risking his presidency. Iraq annexes Kuwait August 8 and proceeds to loot the country; Egypt, Syria, Morocco, and nine other Arab states vote August 10 to oppose Iraq with military force; Saddam Hussein calls for a "holy war" against Westerners and Zionists, gaining wide popular support among Arabs; he holds more than 10,000 foreigners hostage beginning August 18 but permits women and children to leave August 29 and releases all the others by early December as the standoff continues. Kuwait's billionaire emir Sheik Jaber al-Ahmed al-Sabah, 64, has narrowly escaped capture and fled to Saudi Arabia; he addresses the United Nations General Assembly September 27, urging it to stand by the sanctions it has imposed. His relatives have acted swiftly to keep Kuwaiti funds abroad out of Saddam Hussein's hands. Bush ups the ante November 8 (2 days after the elections), committing far more U.S. forces to "Operation Desert Shield," but popular opposition grows to launching any offensive action.
     The United Nations Security Council votes November 29 to authorize members to use all necessary force to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait if they remain there after January 15, the first such resolution since the Korean conflict in 1950. President Bush reverses his position November 30 and agrees to talks with Saddam Hussein and his foreign minister.
     The Republic of Yemen created May 23 unites the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in the south with the Yemen Arab Republic in the north after more than 400 years of separation. The country has upwards of 1,400 tribes and clans, Eastern European states have bankrolled the communist south, the north has enjoyed freewheeling capitalism, but the past 20-plus years have seen endless assassinations, coups, and countercoups. President Ali Abdullah Saleh, 48, casts his lot with Iraq, denouncing Western sanctions and military threats, but then bars Iraqi ships from unloading at Aden.
     Lebanon's 15-year-old civil war ends in the fall with the surrender of Christian forces led by Gen. Michel Aoun; the allied embargo against Iraq has cut off his supply of arms and he is ousted from the presidential palace October 13. President Elias Hrawi orders the departure of sectarian militias October 25 after some weeks of murders to settle old scores, Hrawi is more sympathetic to Damascus, Syria begins to withdraw her militia, and Beirut's barricades come down.
     Pakistan's president Ghulam Ishaq Khan dismisses Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto August 6, dissolves the National Assembly, and declares a state of emergency, saying that the Bhutto government is corrupt and inefficient.

     1991 - U.S. and allied missiles and planes bomb targets in Iraq and Kuwait beginning January 17. Congress has voted January 12 to approve legislation permitting President Bush to make war on Iraq if she does not withdraw from Kuwait by January 15 in accordance with UN resolutions (see 1990). Pilots fly more than 1,000 missions per day in the first weeks of the Persian Gulf War, dropping thousands of pounds of TNT with computer-guided accuracy in history's heaviest bombing, and meeting little resistance. U.S. and allied casualties are minimal. Antiwar demonstrations ("No blood for oil") increase beginning the night of January 16 (they have been staged in U.S. cities for months) when news of the outbreak of hostilities reaches America. European cities also have peace demonstrations, but polls suggest most Americans united behind President Bush, who has the highest approval rating of any U.S. president since that enjoyed by Franklin D. Roosevelt in December 1941.
     Turkey's parliament votes January 17 to let U.S. and allied planes use Turkish air bases for attacks on Iraq, but the war is costing the country billions in lost revenue and most Turks side with Iraq.
     Iraqi missiles strike Tel Aviv and Haifa beginning January 18, causing little damage. Israel has refrained from taking any pre-emptive strike against Iraqi missile sites and does not retaliate lest it destroy the allied coalition. Washington sends in Patriot surface-to-air missile launchers manned by U.S. servicemen when the missiles prove effective in destroying airborne Iraqi Scud missiles over Saudi Arabia.
     Operation Desert Storm begins February 24 and ends in 100 hours with Iraqi forces defeated. New York-born Gen. Colin L. (Luther) Powell, 53, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has advised President Bush to give economic sanctions more time to work, but Bush has spurned the advice; Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, 56, has planned the combined air and ground attack, using night-flying Apache attack helicopters to destroy Iraqi tanks, armored personnel carriers, trucks, and other vehicles while sending 270,000 U.S., British, and French troops in a sweep around the Iraqis' western flank while air attacks sever the main highway route from Baghdad to Basra. Iraq's 4,000 Soviet-built tanks are no match for the highly mobile, 65-ton Abrams tanks of the U.S. Army; the Abrams's armor plating is 2½ times as strong as steel, their turbine engines drive them at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, their machine guns and cannon enable them to shoot targets as far as three kilometers away, and their thermo sights lock on to the exhaust pipes of enemy tanks, more than 3,900 of which are destroyed (only four U.S. tanks are lost). More than 100,000 Iraqi troops surrender, at least 3,500 Iraqi civilians are killed, but Saddam Hussein remains in power under terms of UN Resolution 687, adopted in April, and another 14,000 will die in the next few years of waterborne diseases. The economic sanctions imposed earlier by the UN remain essentially in place, preventing Saddam from selling oil to raise money for new military ventures, and Saddam agrees to accept the destruction of Iraq's long-range missiles and of its biological, chemical, and nuclear arsenals, with all facilities involved in the research and development of these weapons to be rendered harmless. The United Nations appoints a special inspection commission (UNSCOM), but although Iraq files a disclosure report within a few weeks of signing the UN resolution the report will turn out to be largely fictitious. When Shiite and Kurdish forces rebel against Saddam's regime in some cities, he sends in helicopter gun ships to suppress the uprisings, killing some 35,000 Iraqis.

     1992 -  Bill Clinton wins U.S. Presidential Election. 
     Israeli helicopter gunships fire on a motorcade in southern Lebanon February 16, killing 39-year-old Hisballah (Party of God) secretary-general Sheik Abbas al-Musawi along with his family and bodyguards (the Shiite organization has engaged in kidnapping and other terrorist activities against Westerners since the early 1980s); a car bomb explodes in front of the Israeli embassy at Buenos Aires March 17, killing 29 people and injuring another 220. A Lebanese Shiite group announces that an Argentine "martyr struggler" carried out the attack to avenge Musawi's slaying. Lebanon's 99-member parliament has held office since 1972, the country holds its first parliamentary elections since then to select a 125-member body in which Christians and Muslims will have equal representation, even though Christians account for only 30 percent of the population, but Christians fear a loss of economic domination and boycott the polls, charging that Syria is manipulating the elections. About 40,000 Syrian troops remain in the country under terms of an agreement made in May of last year; critics claim that the pact represents a de factor annexation of Lebanon by Syria. President Elias Hrawi names a billionaire Sunni Muslim businessman prime minister October 22: Rafik al-Hariri, 48, has made his fortune as a building contractor in Saudi Arabia and become a Saudi citizen, but he financed and organized the conference that ended Lebanon's civil war in 1989, and names a 30-minister cabinet that is evenly divided between Christian and Muslim. Hariri will serve until late in 1998, spending much of his own money to rebuild Beirut and educate thousands of Lebanese students at home and abroad.

     1993 -  Israel's Supreme Court rules January 28 that the deportation of 415 Palestinians to Lebanon in mid-December was legitimate, but Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin yields to UN and U.S. pressure and announces February 1 that 100 of the deportees may return to their homes immediately and the rest within the year.
     A 1,210-pound bomb packed in a van explodes at New York's World Trade Center February 26, killing six and starting a fire that sends black smoke through the 110-story twin towers, injuring more than 100, and forcing 100,000 to evacuate the premises. Mohammed A. Salameh, 25, is arrested at Jersey City March 4 and proves to be an illegal Jordanian immigrant follower of self-exiled Islamic fundamentalist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, 55, who is wanted by Egypt for inciting anti-government riots in 1989. FBI agents make further arrests, and in June seize Arab terrorists accused of plotting to blow up the United Nations headquarters and New York's Holland and Lincoln tunnels. U.S. authorities arrest Rahman and imprison him 72 miles northwest of New York on suspicion of complicity in the World Trade Center bombing. Egyptian authorities request extradition of the blind, diabetic cleric; his Islamic supporters threaten retaliation if he is extradited.
     Tomahawk cruise missiles from U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf and Red Sea hit Iraqi intelligence headquarters at Baghdad June 26 following revelations of an Iraqi-engineered plot to assassinate former president George Bush on a visit to Kuwait in mid-April.
     Rockets fired by pro-Iranian Hezbollah (Party of God) guerrillas in southern Lebanon kill eight Israeli soldiers in early July; Israeli planes and artillery retaliate beginning July 25 in the biggest effort since 1982, forcing hundreds of thousands of Lebanese to flee northward. But secret negotiations between Israeli and Palestine Liberation Organization officials have been going on since January under Norwegian auspices outside Oslo, and Israel's cabinet announces September 9 that it has agreed unanimously to recognize the PLO, grant limited self-rule to 770,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip plus 1 million more in the West Bank, beginning with the oasis of Jericho, and to withdraw its occupation forces from those areas in 6 months. The PLO renounces terrorism and recognizes Israel's right to live in peace and security under terms of an accord signed by Prime Minister Rabin and Yasir Arafat September 10. Both are more fearful of right-wing fundamentalists than of each other, and although they come to Washington, D.C., September 13 for a ceremonial signing of the peace agreement, extremists on both sides oppose the deal.

     1994 - Israeli-Palestinian peace talks halt after an armed Jewish extremist walks into a Hebron mosque February 25 and opens fire with an automatic rifle on hundreds of praying Muslims. Brooklyn, N.Y.-born physician Baruch Goldstein, 37, leaves his home in the West Bank settlement of Qiryat Arba, enters the mosque at the Cave of the Patriarchs, kills 29 (three more are killed in the stampede to escape), and wounds 98, some fatally, before being killed himself by blows from the Muslims (Israeli settlers on the West Bank are permitted to carry weapons, and police may not fire on them; Palestinians have no such rights). Violence ensues at Jerusalem, Palestinians refuse to discuss peace unless the discussion includes the issue of the West Bank settlements, President Clinton invites the parties to resume their negotiations at Washington, and the Israeli government outlaws two radical Jewish groups March 13, making it illegal to belong to any group whose goals include "the establishment of a theocracy in the biblical Land of Israel and the violent expulsion of Arabs from that land." Palestinians retaliate for the Hebron massacre with attacks on Israelis.
     The driver of a car crossing New York's Brooklyn Bridge March 1 fires through his own window at a van full of Hasidic students and wounds four of them, one fatally. Police arrest Lebanese livery driver Rashad Baz, 28, the next day and charge him with the assault.
     Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin signs an accord with Yasir Arafat at Cairo May 4 ending his nation's 27-year occupation of Jericho and the Gaza Strip, but remarks by Arafat at the inauguration of President Nelson Mandela raise questions about his peaceful intentions. A truck bombing at Buenos Aires July 18 wrecks the seven-story Jewish Mutual Aid Association community center, destroying irreplaceable archives and killing 85 people in the deadliest single anti-Semitic incident since the end of World War II.  A witness will testify in 2002 that the Iranian government organized and carried out the bombing and then paid President Carlos Saul Menem $10 million to cover it up (an Argentine judge will indict four Iranian officials in March 2003). PLO leader Khaled al-Hassan dies at his home in Rabat, Morocco, the night of October 7 at age 66. Jordan and Israel sign a peace treaty October 26 in the border area between Eilat and Aqaba, ending a nominal state of war that has existed since 1948, but tensions persist. President Clinton attends the ceremony and visits Syria's president Hafez al-Assad at Damascus in an effort to speed the peace process. Iraq's Saddam Hussein has moved troops to the Kuwaiti border earlier in October and President Clinton has sent U.S. forces to oppose him.  France, Russia, and Turkey have favored lifting economic sanctions against Iraq, but Saddam's action combined with evidence of his cruelty to his own people cools enthusiasm for such relief, despite evident starvation and lack of medicines in Iraq.

     1995 -  Qatar has a bloodless palace coup June 27 as Crown Prince Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, 45, ousts his father and makes himself head of the tiny Persian Gulf emirate whose natural-gas reserves are the world's third largest. Former emir Sheik Khalifa, 63, issues a statement from Geneva insisting that he is still the legitimate ruler, but he transferred some of his powers to his son 3 years ago. The new emir wins pledges of allegiance from other members of the ruling al-Thani family and in the next 7 years will lift laws that have prevented women from voting, driving, or holding jobs in which they would supervise men. He will also abolish censorship, lift the prohibition against alcohol consumption that prevails in Islamic countries (such as Saudi Arabia) in which the dominant religion is Wahabism, and permit construction of U.S. military bases.
     A bomb explodes in a Paris Latin Quarter subway station July 25, killing eight and wounding 86. Algerian militants claim responsibility for the Métro atrocity, and similar bombs wound six dozen other French civilians, some of them gravely, in the next 2 months as civil war continues in Algeria, where close to 40,000 have been killed since 1992. Defying threats from militant extremist groups who boycott the election, Algerians go to the polls November 16 and overwhelmingly reject Islamic fundamentalists; Gen. Liamine Zeroual, 54, wins reelection as president with 61 percent of the vote, but the nation's 25 percent unemployment rate, 30 percent inflation rate, falling industrial production, and food shortages foreshadow future trouble.
     A federal jury at New York finds Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and nine other militant Muslims guilty October 1 of conspiring to carry out a campaign of terrorist bombings and assassinations aimed at forcing Washington to abandon its support of Israel and Egypt. Now 57, the blind Egyptian clergyman and his followers have not been accused of blowing up the World Trade Center in 1993 but the cases overlap.
     Israel releases 900 Palestinian prisoners October 10 but President Ezer Weissman has acted October 6 to hold up the pardon of two women arrested for anti-Israeli violence, contravening a core provision of a pact signed in September. Widespread Palestinian protests ensue, and all but one of 23 imprisoned women refuse to sign a statement promising to abstain from further terrorism and respect the law. (The exception is an 18-year-old who has been held in solitary confinement and did not know about her sisters' defiance.) They vow to stage a boycott until all Palestinian female detainees are freed.
     The assassination of Israel's prime minister Yitzhak Rabin by a right-wing Jewish extremist after a Tel Aviv peace rally November 4 shocks the world. Israel and the PLO have initialed an agreement September 24 for withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank following U.S. mediation, Rabin and Yasser Arafat signed the accord at Washington 4 days later, the Israeli parliament approved the pact by a slim 61-to-59 margin, Israel's religious right has insisted that God gave "Judea" and "Samaria" to the Jewish people 2,000 years ago and Rabin was a traitor for giving it away. His assassin claims to have acted alone, but police suspect a right-wing Jewish conspiracy and make other arrests. Some Arabs continue to deny the legitimacy of Israel's very existence, but progress toward self-rule in most Arab-populated areas of the West Bank continues despite the loss of Rabin and despite opposition by hardliners on both sides.
     Turkey's prime minister Tansu Ciller resigns December 26 following a narrow electoral victory by the Islamic Party. She agrees to work toward a coalition government in an effort to keep the Islamic Party from taking power and turning the 72-year-old secular republic into a theocracy that would be at odds with the West.

     1996 -  Israel's secret service kills Palestinian Hamas terrorist Yahya Ayyash, 32, January 5 in the Gaza Strip. Known as the Engineer, Ayyash has allegedly masterminded numerous suicide bombings that have killed more than 50 and wounded hundreds. Yasir Arafat calls Ayyash a "martyr" and Hamas retaliates February 25, destroying a Jerusalem bus with a bomb that kills 26 and injures more than 100. More suicide bombings follow in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, killing dozens, and Prime Minister Peres declares "war" against Hamas.
     The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) votes April 24 to revoke clauses in its 32-year-old charter calling for an armed struggle to destroy the Jewish state, but Israeli voters oust Shimon Peres May 31 and replace him with U.S.-educated, right-wing Likkud Party leader Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, 46, who has preyed on voters' fears, promising to secure peace without giving up land, and emphasizing a market economy to "loose the genius of our nation." He wins 55 percent of the popular vote (the first prime minister elected directly rather than by the Knesset [parliament]), Arab neighbors fret that his victory means a setback for the peace process, but although he reviled PLO leader Yasir Arafat during his campaign Netanyahu shakes hands with Arafat September 4, reopens talks, and expresses a commitment to peace. Violence erupts a few weeks later, President Clinton enlists Jordan's King Hussein in an effort to get the peace process back on track, but intransigence increases on both sides.
     Sudan expels Islamic terrorist Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan May 18. Sudanese authorities have offered to turn him over to Saudi Arabia, but U.S. diplomats have been unable to persuade the Saudis to accept him and the FBI has opposed bringing him in on grounds that it did not have enough evidence to indict him.
     A truck bomb explodes June 25 outside the Khobar Towers U.S. military barracks Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 U.S. servicemen and injuring some 500. "The cowards who committed this murderous act must not go unpunished," says President Clinton. The Saudis pledge full cooperation, but they soon stop their support under threat from Islamic terrorists. While suspicion falls initially on a Saudi faction of the Iranian-backed, Lebanon-based Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, it will later shift to Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, who calls for the removal of U.S. forces from the "sacred soil" of Arabia.
     Turkey's Parliament gives narrow approval July 8 to a coalition government led by the Welfare Party, headed by Necmettin Erbakan, 70, that has campaigned to restore the nation's Muslim identity. Erbakan visits with Iran and Libya, seeming to turn his back on the West to curry favor with other Islamist regimes.
     Iraq's Saddam Hussein sends troops in late August to destroy an Iranian-supported Kurdish faction in the north, Washington calls it a violation of the "no-fly" zone, the U.S. Navy launches Cruise missiles on Iraqi military targets September 2 and 3, Saddam expresses defiance, but he pulls back.
     Karachi police kill Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto's brother Mir Murtaza Bhutto September 20. President Farooq Leghari dismisses the unpopular Benazir Bhutto November 4 on charges of corruption, appoints a caretaker government led by Malik Meraj Khalid, 80, and sets new elections for February 1997. Murtaza Bhutto's widow accuses Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Asif Ali Zardara (who has been imprisoned) of involvement in Murtaza Bhutto's death. The caretaker government concedes in December that its efforts to root out corruption have accomplished little.
     Fundamentalist militia in Afghanistan overrun Kabul September 26 almost without opposition and issue rigid Islamic decrees that shock even the Taliban's Pakistani backers. Welcomed in some rural areas because they have pledged to end banditry and reunite the country, the young militiamen hang the former communist president Najibullah along with his brother and former security chief Shahpur Ahmadzai. Middle- and professional-class residents flee the city following imposition of rules that forbid women to appear in the streets, close girls' schools, authorize stoning to death anyone convicted of adultery or drug offenses, and lashing anyone found drinking alcohol.

     1997 -  Thousands of Turkish women (and some men) march through the streets of Ankara February 15 to protest the policies of the nation's new Islamic-led government. They carry banners that read, "Women's Rights Are Human Rights," "Down with Shariah," and "Women Exist." Turkey's military ousts Prime Minister Erbakan June 18, calling his pro-Islamic Welfare Party divisive and undemocratic. Erbakan is replaced June 30 by secular leader Mesut Yilmaz, now 50, who has headed two previous but short-lived governments.
     Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees January 15 after much delay to hand over Hebron on the West Bank to Palestinian control in a deal brokered by U.S. mediator Dennis Ross, but bulldozers begin work in East Jerusalem March 18 on the hilltop Har Homa housing project that has been called "provocative." Palestinians and world opinion have opposed the project on grounds that it may jeopardize the peace process begun with the Oslo accord of 1993, but Netanyahu defies his critics and proceeds with it, despite terrorist acts that kill and wound many Israelis. Soldiers in riot gear protect the bulldozers from interference. A scandal over Netanyahu's January appointment of Likud Party crony Roni Bar-On as attorney general threatens to bring down the government, but a 12-week national police probe ends in late April without the indictment that Likud supporters had feared. Terrorist attacks and retaliations continue to undermine efforts to pursue the peace process, Israeli secret service (Mossad) agents botch an attempt to kill a Hamas leader at Amman, Jordan, September 25, but while the incident strains Israel's relations with King Hussein it actually boosts Netanyahu's popularity at home.
     Six Islamic militants in Egypt open fire with automatic weapons outside the 3,400-year-old Hatshepsut's Temple at Luxor November 17, killing 36 Swiss and 22 other foreign tourists. Two police officers and two Egyptian civilians are also killed before the police finally kill the perpetrators, whose motivation has been to damage Egypt's $3 billion-per-year tourist industry as part of an ongoing effort to topple the government and replace it with an Islamic state.

     1998 -  Iran tests a medium-range missile July 22; built with technology obtained from North Korea, the Shabab-3 missile blows up before it can land, but its 800-mile range creates concern throughout the Middle East. Teheran's mayor Gholamhossein Karabaschi is convicted of corruption July 23 in a setback for the government of President Mohammed Khatami. Karabaschi is ordered to pay a fine of about $530,000 and return about $6 million in what the court says are misappropriated funds; he is barred from holding public office until 2018. Former labor minister and veteran opposition leader Dariush Forouhar, 70, and his wife, Parvaneh, 58, are found stabbed to death at their Teheran home November 22 (several prominent opponents of the regime have been assassinated in exile in recent years).
     The almost simultaneous bombings of the U.S. embassies at Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, August 7 kill nearly 300 people and injure some 5,000. U.S. and Israeli rescue teams and investigators rush to help survivors and search for the perpetrators. No one claims responsibility for the terrorist acts, but U.S. intelligence find evidence linking them to exiled Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, now 41, who has been implicated in attempts on Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak and on the pope. A federal jury at New York issues a 238-count indictment against bin Laden, charging him with the bombings. U.S. ships in the Arabian and Red Seas launch about 75 cruise missiles August 20 in a pre-emptive attack on complexes 94 miles south of Kabul, Afghanistan, and the Ashifa chemical factory in northern Khartoum believed to be used for making a deadly nerve agent (Sudan protests that the plant produces only pharmaceuticals and agricultural chemicals; some outside experts agree). The missile attack is the largest U.S. military assault ever made against a private sponsor of terrorism, but Afghans claim that the missiles struck a mosque and a school, with the result that the hitherto obscure Osama bin Laden becomes a hero to millions of Muslims in Indonesia, Pakistan, and the Middle East.
     PLO leader Yasir Arafat and Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu sign a peace accord at Washington, D.C., October 23; worked out at the Wye River Plantation outside Washington, it calls for withdrawal of Israeli troops from another 13 percent of the West Bank, the release of 750 jailed Palestinians, permission for the construction of a Palestinian airport in Gaza, and other concessions in return for a Palestinian crackdown on terrorism and removal of language in the Palestinian Charter calling for Israel's destruction, but although a majority of Israelis support the Wye River agreement, which has been negotiated with U.S. help, extremists on both sides oppose it, and it unravels in early December.

     1999 -  Turkish commando forces arrest fugitive Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan, 49, at Nairobi, Kenya, February 15 and return him to Turkey, where he is indicted for treason as Ankara tries to end a 14-year conflict between Ocalan's Kurdistant Workers' Party (PKK) and security forces in southeastern Turkey. Ocalan has used terrorist tactics in an effort to gain autonomy or even a separate state for Turkey's 15 million Kurds; more than 30,000 Turks have been killed and hundreds of thousands left homeless in the struggle, which has involved atrocities by both sides and has had a dire impact on the Turkish economy. An estimated 3,000 Turkish troops cross into Iraq to attack Kurdish guerrilla sanctuaries, demonstrations erupt worldwide, Kurds seize Greek missions throughout Europe, taking diplomats and their families hostage, and Israeli guards at Berlin open fire when more than 50 Kurds try to enter their consulate February 17, killing three protesters and wounding 16. Ocalan is sentenced to death June 29 but will be confined instead to an island in the Sea of Marmara and pro-Kurdish protests continue to delay his hanging.
     Iranian students riot at Teheran and other cities in July to protest a new law curbing freedom of the press and the closing of a popular leftist newspaper (see 1998). Others join the demonstrations against strict control by the nation's fundamentalist Islamic government, police use tear gas to dispel the armed mobs, and although President Mohammad Khatami has for the past 2 years been urging tolerance and the rule of law, he meets with religious leaders July 13 and shifts his remarks to condemn the demonstrations. Half the Iranian population is too young to remember the revolution of 1979 (nearly two-thirds are under age 30) and there is growing impatience with the lack of progress by President Khatami to relieve what many people consider oppressive Shiite restrictions, which some Iranians vow not ever to abandon, calling their opponents "traitors," assembling teams of baton-wielding vigilantes to beat the students gathered in Teheran's Engelhab Square, and mounting a huge counter-demonstration.
     U.S. Customs officers at Port Angeles, Wash., find the trunk of a car loaded with 130 pounds of bomb-making material December 14 and arrest a 32-year-old Algerian-born terrorist arriving from British Columbia at a remote ferry terminal on the Olympic Peninsula. Ahmed Rassam will turn out to be an operative trained last year in an Afghanistan camp operated by the Saudi-born religious fanatic Osama bin Laden, whose al Qaeda network has developed underground cells in many countries; he will help the FBI find other members of the network.

     2000 - George W. Bush Jr. son of George H. W. Bush Sr. becomes President.
     Iran's pro-reform president Mohammad Khatami wins overwhelming support for his programs in mid-February elections as hard liners lose seats in the nation's parliament, but the supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has kept many moderate and reform-minded candidates from running on grounds that they were not Islamic enough. Many young Iranians rebel against the theocratic society by engaging in crime, drug abuse, Internet surfing, prostitution, rock music listening, and defiance of dress codes.
     Israeli troops unilaterally withdraw from southern Lebanon May 23 to the internationally recognized border after 22 years in which they have occupied a demilitarized zone. "The 18-year tragedy is over," says Prime Minister Ehud Barak in a reference to the 1982 Israeli invasion that took over the "buffer zone" to protect northern Israel from attacks by Hezbollah (Party of God) guerrillas, who now ride through the zone in triumph; dismissing claims that his troops have been chased out (a Lebanese anchorwoman has spoken gleefully of the "slinking, servile withdrawal of Israel"), Barak claims that Israel has regained the initiative in peace talks, most Israelis support proposals to give Christians, Jews, and Muslims joint sovereignty over Jerusalem, but although PLO chairman Yasir Arafat meets with Barak and President Clinton at Camp David, and Barak proposes turning 92 percent of the West Bank into a Palestinian state plus allowing Palestinian sovereignty over the Christian and Muslim quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem, the two leaders do not come to terms.
     The U.S. destroyer Cole docks at Aden for refueling October 12 and is heavily damaged by explosives that kill 17 of those aboard and injure 38 others in the first such attack on a U.S. warship. Suspicions fall on rogue Arab terrorists, who may or may not have acted to protest U.S. support of Israel; it will eventually be determined that the terrorist responsible was al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who has urged his followers to kill infidel Westerners.


     Saudi Arabian terrorists hijack U.S. commercial airliners September 11 and use them as missiles to destroy New York's World Trade Center and damage the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C., killing nearly 2,900 in the twin towers (initial estimates are much higher) plus 189 at the Pentagon in the worst such tragedy ever, with the highest death toll on a single day in America since the Battle of Antietam in September 1862. A Los Angeles-bound Boeing 767 (American Airlines Flight 11 out of Boston) carrying 81 passengers and 11 crew hits the North Tower of the Trade Center at 8:48 in the morning; a Los Angeles-bound 767 (American Airlines Flight 175 out of Boston) carrying 54 passengers and 11 crew hits the South Tower at 9:03; both planes are loaded with jet fuel, they explode in flames that reach close to 2000° F., and both towers soon collapse as the intense heat destroys their steel girders; a Los Angeles-bound Boeing 757 (American Airlines Flight 77 out of Dulles Airport) carrying 58 passengers and six in crew crashes into the Pentagon, killing about 125 plus the people on the plane; a San Francisco-bound Boeing 757 (United Airlines Flight 93 out of Newark) carrying 38 passengers and seven in crew crashes in a field about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh at about 10 o'clock after some passengers overpower the suicidal hijackers (who are armed only with box cutters and plastic knives), diverting their plane from its intended target, possibly the White House or Capitol. "Nous sommes tous Américains" ("We are all Americans"), the Paris newspaper Le Monde says September 12 (editor-in-chief Jean-Marie Colombani has written the headline), but the FBI and CIA have failed to exchange information on potential terrorists, and President George W. Bush has paid scant attention to an August 6 intelligence briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike U.S." The FBI has only 21 Arabic-speaking operatives, and both services have dismissed Islamic experts because of sexual orientation. All except one of the 19 terrorists on the three planes turn out to have been Saudi Arabians raised in the Wahabi belief that materialism is evil, that the West represents a threat to their austere form of Islam, and that death is preferable to peaceful coexistence. Former president Bill Clinton's Republican secretary of defense William S. Cohen resisted drastic cuts in U.S. military strength; President Bush's secretary of defense Donald H. Rumsfeld has been more intent on downsizing the military than beefing up intelligence capabilities.
     Afghan rebel chief Ahmed Shah Massoud dies September 15 at age 48 of wounds received in an assassination attempt a week earlier by two Arab men posing as journalists. Evidence soon emerges that Islamic extremist Osama bin Laden played a role in the terrorist attacks on America, President Bush delivers a well-written address to a joint session of Congress September 20, vowing to bring the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks to justice, threatening to treat any regime that harbors terrorists with the same punishment as the perpetrators, and demanding that Afghanistan's ruling Taliban Party turn over bin Laden. Having promised in his campaign to be a "uniter, not a divider," he finds the country united by the shock of events, but the Taliban refuses to surrender bin Laden absent any proof that he was responsible for the September 11 attacks, and since so many regimes harbor terrorists there are fears that Bush has in effect declared war on dozens of nations. Bush makes no move to counter the anti-American sentiment that pervades the Muslim world, and although cooler heads delay implementing his bellicose threats to take bin Laden "dead or alive," U.S. air and naval forces attack Afghan targets with British support beginning the night of October 7. The list of military targets is quickly exhausted, and while U.S. planes drop some food for starving Afghans, images of damage wrought by the air raids appear predictably on TV screens throughout the Muslim world, fueling anger against the rich, "Godless" Americans.
     U.S. B-52s begin bombing attacks in Afghanistan November 1, the Northern Alliance of anti-Taliban forces takes Mazar-i-Sharif November 11 as alliance troops advance in the wake of extensive U.S. bombing, Kabul falls 2 days later, and by the end of November Taliban resistance has virtually ended except in the mountains, but the alliance is made up largely of Tajiks and Uzbeks, it does not reflect the Pashtun ethnic group to which most Afghans belong, Pakistan and the United States opposed formation of an Afghan government comprised of non-Afghans, and an interim government headed by Hamid Karzai, 44, takes office at year's end with bin Laden and other al Qaeda leaders still at large. Karzai fled the country in 1979 and initially supported the Taliban during his years of exile but turned against it in 1999 after his father was murdered while walking home from a mosque in Quetta and he became chief of the large Popolzai tribe, part of the dominant Pashtun group.
     President Bush asks his secretary of defense Donald H. Rumsfeld November 21 to begin developing a secret plan for making war on Iraq (or so it will later be reported). Bush has received a letter September 20 from the right-wing Project for the New American Century, saying that "even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the [September 11] attack, any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power." Rumsfeld asks Gen. Tommy Franks to work on the plan, but Franks is preoccupied with prosecuting the war in Afghanistan.
     The United States indicts French Muslim radical Zacarias Moussaoui December 11 on charges of having "conspired with Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda to murder thousands of innocent people in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania." Now 33, Moussaoui was arrested at his Minneapolis hotel room August 16 on charges of immigration violations after officials at an Egan, Minn., flight school reported to the FBI that he had demanded lessons in how to fly a jumbo jet, but the public will not learn for another 8 months that an FBI agent at Phoenix urged the bureau to investigate men from the Middle East enrolled in U.S. flight schools, citing bin Laden by name and suggesting that his followers could use the schools to train for terrorist attacks.
     Israel's prime minister Ehud Barak loses office February 6 as former defense minister Ariel Sharon wins overwhelmingly at the polls, but Palestinians have boycotted the election, they escalate the violence that erupted last year, Sharon has trouble forming a unity government, and the already shaky "peace process" shows every sign of breaking down completely; the Labor Party agrees February 26 to join in a coalition government, hoping to counter Sharon's hard-line position. Sharon cracks down on Palestinian militants, who continue their violence and in some cases cheer the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States. President Bush addresses the United Nations November 11 and makes the first reference by any U.S. president to a future state of Palestine existing side by side with Israel.
     Tensions between India and Pakistan over Kashmir escalate following an attack by Pakistani terrorists that kills 38 people at Srinigar October 1. Britain's prime minister Tony Blair and U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell condemn the attack and try to mollify New Delhi in the face of demands in India for attacks on Pakistan-based terrorist training camps, but a five-man suicide squad of Islamic terrorists attack the Parliament building at New Delhi December 13, raising new fears of a war between two nations possessed of nuclear weapons. Both sides mobilize troops on their 1,800-mile border in the largest such mobilization since 1947.

     2002 -  President Bush responds June 6 to revelations that the CIA and FBI had information prior to last year's terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that might have led to the apprehension of the perpetrators. Bush calls for the creation of a cabinet-level Department of Homeland Security that would coordinate some activities of various intelligence agencies, the Coast Guard, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Secret Service with an annual budget of $37.5 billion. The president appointed former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge last fall to coordinate domestic security from the White House but resisted giving him cabinet status. Democrats in the Senate block a House bill authorizing creation of the new department, protesting that its employees would be denied collective-bargaining rights.
     President Bush and Vice President Cheney escalate their insistence that Iraq's Saddam Hussein has biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction, is close to having nuclear-weapon capability, and must be ousted in a "regime change" even if the United States must do it unilaterally. Cheney gives a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) at Nashville August 26 saying, "We will not live at the mercy of terrorists" and urging quick action. Hard-liners in the White House push aside Secretary of State Colin Powell and others who urge caution, they dismiss Iraqi promises to allow resumption of inspections by United Nations observers, Britain's prime minister Tony Blair is the only foreign head of state to support a preemptive strike against Iraq (most Britons strongly oppose any unilateral U.S. action, as do most other Europeans, and no Middle Eastern nation offers aid in the absence of United Nations approval). Bush addresses the UN General Assembly September 12 to press his argument that Iraq has repeatedly avoided compliance with UN resolutions since 1991 and threatens to make the UN a paper tiger; Pentagon officials warn that Saddam will use desperate measures if attacked; "After all," President Bush says at Houston September 26, "this is the guy who tried to kill my dad." Leading Democrats voice alarm at letting any president take such extreme action at his own discretion, they say it would actually weaken the "war" against terrorism (no clear link has been established between Baghdad and al Qaeda), and they warn that taking preemptive military action would set a precedent that nuclear powers such as China, India, Korea, or Pakistan might follow.
     The White House releases a 33-page document September 26 entitled "National Security Strategy of the United States" and quoting statements made by the president at West Point June 1. Thought to have been influenced in large part by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz and other members of the Project for the New American Century founded in 1997, the "Bush doctrine" says America is the world's strongest nation, enjoying "unparalleled military strength." It echoes a Pentagon memorandum released to the press in March 1992 and some subsequent statements, saying, "Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military buildup in hopes of surpassing, or equating, the power of the United States," and the country will never again allow its military supremacy to be challenged as it was during the cold war, but many question the wisdom of such chest thumping at a time when America is trying to enlist allied support for action against terrorism.
      The president enjoys high popularity in the polls and many in Congress fear political defeat if they appear soft on the issue of national security; Bush softens his own position, saying in a speech at Cincinnati October 6 that war is neither "imminent nor inevitable," but he insists that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction and Congress approves a resolution October 10 and 11 authorizing him to take whatever action he deems "necessary and appropriate in order to defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq" (the House vote is 296 to 133, the Senate 77 to 23). Opinion polls show that the public is at best ambivalent on the issue of invasion and many in both chambers, and on both sides of the aisle, insist that they do not support any new doctrine of preemptive action, especially without UN sanction and allied support. President Bush signs the resolution October 16, gains little support at the UN, and makes belligerent statements about invading Iraq; only then is it revealed that North Korea has admitted to having a clandestine nuclear-weapons development program in violation of her 1994 agreement not to pursue such efforts, the White House says it will seek a diplomatic solution to that nation's nuclear threat, but it rejects a North Korean offer for talks November 3.
     The Homeland Security Act signed into law by President Bush November 25 combines 170,000 federal workers from 22 existing agencies (including the Coast Guard, Customs, Immigration and Naturalization Service, and Transportation Security) into a new department that does not include the CIA or FBI but would have its own, independent intelligence arm. Originally drafted by Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D. Conn.), the measure met with horror on the part of Republicans, who found the idea of a huge new federal bureaucracy distasteful, but the Bush administration embraced it in June, the House approved it July 31, some senators tried to block the measure on grounds that employees in the new department would have no collective-bargaining rights, but the Senate approved it November 19. In the end only nine Democrats in the Senate voted nay, the rest fearing they would be called "soft" on national defense, but opponents questioned whether the new department would make the country any safer against terrorism (some critics say it will actually make it less safe as agencies and individuals jockey for power). Even the most optimistic supporters concede that it will take at least 5 years to have the new department up and running, and President Bush has twisted arms at the last moment to avoid having opponents eliminate provisions that favor special interests such as pharmaceutical companies and corporations that have moved offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

     2003 -  President Bush says in his State of the Union Message January 28 that British intelligence has learned of Iraqi efforts to obtain uranium from Africa (see 2002). CBS News has reported that Pentagon plans call for a "shock and awe" bombardment of Baghdad in the event of invasion. Opposition to an Iraqi war motivates a 28-year-old woman translator at Britain's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) January 31 to leak the contents of an e-mail memo describing efforts by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) to bug the telephones of certain UN delegates at New York. Some 10 million demonstrators in 600 cities worldwide take to the streets February 15 in a massive protest against a proposed U.S. invasion of Iraq, and while it is probably the largest such demonstration in history, President Bush shrugs it off, saying that he never listens to "focus groups," and although his administration tries to buy support for the invasion Britain's prime minister Tony Blair is almost the only foreign political leader willing to defy public opinion; Blair stands by the report of Iraqi efforts to buy uranium from Niger, a report discredited by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
     Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz testifies before the House Budget Committee February 28 in support of Secretary Rumsfeld's position that the army can conquer Iraq with only 100,000 troops plus some tens of thousands supplied by allied nations. Many in the Pentagon have questioned that position, but Wolfowitz calls Army Chief of Staff Gen. Erik K. Shinseki "wildly off the mark" in his estimate that the number of troops needed is more like 400,000. Turkey's parliament votes against letting an invasion force use its territory to enter Iraq, even though the refusal means turning down some $26 billion in U.S. aid.
     Pakistani authorities arrest Kuwaiti-born al Qaeda leader Khalid Shakh Mohammed, 37, at Rawalpindi near Islamabad March 1 and turn him over to U.S. authorities. Regarded as Osama bin Laden's third in command and probably the mastermind behind such terrorist attacks as those on New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the U.S.S. Cole, Khalid has been on the FBI's most-wanted list; his apprehension comes at a time when the Bush administration has come under growing criticism for neglecting the "war" on terrorism announced in the fall of 2001 and diverting resources to a planned invasion of Iraq in the face of almost universal worldwide opposition.
     U.S. forces occupy central Baghdad April 9, apparently vindicating Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld's position that modern technology permits a relatively small army to do what heretofore has required a major troop commitment. Hundreds of Iraqis cheer the Americans, an armored vehicle pulls down a statue of Saddam Hussein, but Saddam himself is nowhere to be found, no weapons of mass destruction turn up, nor does any hard evidence of a link between Saddam and al Qaeda terrorists. U.S. and British occupation forces are unable to avert chaos at Baghdad, Basra, and other cities. Looting continues for weeks, armed gangs roam city streets and citizens arm themselves to protect their homes in the absence of any effective police presence. Fighting breaks out between Kurds, Sunnis, and Shiites, and shortages of electricity and water continue for months in Baghdad and elsewhere as the Army Corps of Engineers struggles to rebuild the shattered infrastructure amidst increasing resentment among Iraqis. Gen. Shinseki retires from his office as U.S. Army chief of staff in mid-June; still only 60, the first Japanese-American to head a U.S. military service has pushed for a transformation of that service to a lighter, more deployable force but battled Secretary Rumsfeld's proposed cuts in spending for the military.
     British scientist and biological weapons expert David Kelly is found dead five miles from his Oxfordshire home July 17 at age 59, an apparent suicide; he has served as a United Nations weapons inspector and the claims that Iraq sought to acquire yellowcake from Niger had been attributed to him.
     U.S. troops kill Saddam Hussein's hated sons Ousay, 37, and Uday, 39, in a shootout near Mosul July 22 but occupation forces continue to suffer casualties as Iraqi guerrillas attack U.S. and British soldiers while critics from both major U.S. political parties raise questions about the legitimacy of arguments advanced by the Bush administration to justify the Iraqi war, which has stretched U.S. military forces dangerously thin in other parts of the world; occupying Iraq costs $4 billion per month even without reconstruction expenses. Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker is called out of retirement to succeed Gen. Shinseki as chief of staff and moves to reshape the army.
     Japan's Diet approves legislation July 27 permitting deployment of up to 1,000 troops in Iraq despite arguments that such action would violate Japanese law (Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's cabinet gives approval December 9 to sending 600 troops). Other countries balk at putting their forces in harm's way absent a United Nations resolution sanctioning the occupation, and Washington balks at letting the UN have any military role in Iraq.
     Synchronized truck-bomb attacks on a residential compound at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 12 kill at least 20 people, including seven Americans. Observers say the terrorism has "all the earmarks" of an al Qaeda operation, but some suggest the attackers may belong to a newer group. Explosions at Casablanca, Morocco, May 15 kill 41 and injure more than 100, increasing fears that al Qaeda may attack more targets in the United States and confirming predictions that an invasion of Iraq would spur recruitment of anti-Western Muslim extremists.
     President Bush warns terrorists and Baathist diehards July 2, "There are some that feel like—if they attack us—that we may decide to leave prematurely . . . My answer is, bring 'em on."
     A terrorist bomb on UN headquarters at Baghdad August 18 kills 23 people, including Brazilian Sergio Veira de Mello, 55, and his Egyptian chief of staff Nadia Younes, 57. More than 100 are injured. The incident confirms allegations that at least some extremists have come into Iraq from Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, but further terrorist acts at Bombay, Istanbul, Moscow, in Indonesia, and elsewhere in the world take hundreds of lives in the months that follow, leaving more hundreds maimed and increasing doubts that President Bush's "war" on terrorism can ever end so long as any teenaged suicide bomber is willing to blow him or herself up; little or no effort is made to address the underlying causes of terrorist acts by religious zealots who have little education, little chance of employment, and little earthly hope of any kind.
     U.S. forces finally capture Saddam Hussein December 13, taking him alive without resistance in a rat-infested hole outside his native Tikrit, but terrorist acts against American forces in Iraq continue.
     Israel launches a predawn airstrike October 5 on what it calls a Palestinian terrorist training camp outside Damascus, retaliating for a suicide bombing at Haifa October 4 that left 19 Jews and Arabs dead. It is the first Israeli attack on targets in Syria since 1973, and it raises fears of an escalation in Middle Eastern hostilities, but President Bush says Israel has a right to defend herself.
     U.S. and foreign intelligence agents intercept Libya-bound centrifuges in October and begin to uncover a nuclear-proliferation network headed by Pakistani weapons expert Abdul Qadeer Khan, who has been acquiring homes and properties that include a tourist hotel in Africa. A factory has been set up in Malaysia to fill an order placed by one of Khan's middlemen in Dubai for the advanced centrifuges, which concentrate the U-235 isotope, spy satellites have tracked a shipment to Dubai, where crates were relabeled "used machinery" and transferred to the German ship BBC China, and when the ship went through the Suez Canal it was seized before it could reach Libya.

     2004 -  The founder of Pakistan's nuclear weapons program signs a detailed confession February 1 that beginning in 1989 he provided Iran, Libya, and North Korea with the designs and technology needed to produce the fuel for nuclear weapons. Now 68, Abdul Qadeer Khan has been revered as a national hero and receives a pardon from Pakistan's president Pervez Musharraf.
     President Bush angers some formerly supportive Muslim leaders April 14 by endorsing Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's plan to retain some West Bank settlements, flout a UN mandate that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders, and undercut any "road map" to peace. Israeli helicopter gunships have assassinated two Hamas political and spiritual leaders earlier in the year, Bush's action breaks with the neutral policies of previous U.S. presidents, and critics suggest that he has changed course to please his Christian evangelical supporters. Israel's Supreme Court rules unanimously June 30 that a small portion of the steel fence being built along the West Bank must be rerouted to reduce the harm imposed on Palestinians but the three-judge panel says there is a legitimate security reason for the barrier and some land can be expropriated for it. The International Court of Justice at the Hague rules July 9 that the major part of the barrier violates international law and in a nonbinding decision calls on Israeli officials to dismantle (14 of the 15 justices endorse the decision, with only the U.S. justice Thomas Buergenthal dissenting). Israeli hard-liners say the court has failed to recognize the seriousness of the terrorist attacks that have taken 1,000 lives in the past 4 years (according to the United Nations, 3,437 Palestinians have been killed and 33,776 wounded by June 23 since the uprising began in late 2000, 6,399 Israelis have been wounded), the country is full of maimed and blinded survivors, and the terrorist attacks continue. Palestine Liberation Organization chairman Yasir Arafat dies of an undisclosed illness outside Paris November 11 at age 75, raising hopes that new leadership will permit a peaceful resolution of tensions in the region.
     Terrorists bomb Madrid commuter trains March 11, killing 200 and injuring close to 1,500 in the worst such incident since the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s. Muslim extremists claim responsibility and say they did it to punish Spain for supporting the U.S. occupation of Iraq; street demonstrators fault the government for blaming the bombings on the Basque separatist group ETA, and voters March 14 oust the conservative government that has supported George W. Bush's occupation of Iraq and sent 1,300 troops to that country. The Socialist Party candidate for prime minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, 43, has been critical of that policy, wins an upset victory, and promises to withdraw Spanish troops unless the United Nations takes over the occupation June 30; his election is widely viewed as a stinging rebuke to President Bush, whose invasion of Iraq has been opposed by the vast majority of Europeans. The election result sends shock waves through other countries whose governments have supported U.S. policy in the Middle East, and some say it will encourage further terrorist attacks.

     2005 - February – An ETA car bomb injures at least 40 people at a conference centre in Madrid. 59 people are killed and 200 injured after a fire breaks out in a mosque in Tehran, Iran. Suicide bombers kill more than 30 people in Iraq as Shia Muslims mark Ashura, their holiest day.
     March - A time bomb explodes in a Muslim shrine in Quetta, southwestern Pakistan, killing at least 29 people and wounding 40. 
     April - Five people die in ethnic clashes in Iran's south-west Khuzestan province.  Facing international pressure, Syria withdraws the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country.
     May - In one of the largest insurgent attacks in Iraq, at least 60 people are killed and dozens wounded in a suicide bombing at a Kurdish police recruitment center in Irbil, northern Iraq.  Uzbek troops kill up to 700 during protests in eastern Uzbekistan over the trials of 23 accused Islamic extremists. President Islom Karimov defends the act.
     July - Four terror attacks (3 on the London Underground and 1 on a bus) rock the transport network in London, killing 52 (not including the 4 bombers) and injuring over 700. Terrorists kill 5 people and wound 90 in a crowded mall in Netanya, Israel. Islamic Jihad claims responsibility for attack.
     December - An Iranian C-130 Hercules airplane crashes into a ten-story building in a civilian area of Tehran, the capital of Iran, killing all 94 people aboard and 34 residents of the building.

     2006 - January - A hotel in Mecca, Saudi Arabia collapses, killing 76 pilgrims visiting to perform hajj.  A stampede during the Stoning of the devil ritual on the last day at the Hajj in Mina, Saudi Arabia, kills 362 pilgrims.
     April - President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad confirms that Iran has successfully produced a few grams of low-grade enriched uranium.  Iran announces a deal with Russia, involving a joint uranium enrichment firm on Russian soil; 9 days later Iran announces that it will not move all activity to Russia, thus leading to a de-facto termination of the deal.
     June - Operation Summer Rains: Israel launches an offensive against militants in Gaza.
     July - Lebanon War: Israeli troops invade Lebanon in response to Hezbollah kidnapping two Israeli soldiers and killing 3. Hezbollah declares open war against Israel 2 days later.
     November - Former President of Iraq Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death by hanging by the Iraqi Special Tribunal.

     2007 - August - Multiple suicide bombings kill 572 people in Qahtaniya, northern Iraq.
     November - A suicide bomber kills at least 50 people in Mazari Sharif, Afghanistan, including 6 members of the National Assembly.
     December - Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto is assassinated, and at least 20 others are killed by a bomb blast at an election rally in Rawalpindi.

     2008 - January - A suicide bombing occurs in Zayouna, Baghdad, killing over 25 people during a funeral over the deaths from the preceding attack.  A car bomb detonates, killing at least 4 and injuring 68, in Diyarbakır, Turkey. Police blame Kurdish rebels.
     February - Iran opens its first space center and launches a rocket into space.
     March - Eight Israeli civilians are killed and 9 wounded when a Palestinian attacker opens fire at a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem.
     April - The Taliban attempts to assassinate Afghan President Hamid Karzai in a military parade in Kabul.
     May - Start of armed clashes and fighting in Lebanon.
     June - A car bomb explodes outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least five.
     July - A suicide-bomber drives an explosives-laden automobile into the front gates of the Indian embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 58 and injuring over 150.  A series of seven bomb blasts rock Bangalore, India, killing two and injuring 20; the next day, a series of bomb blasts in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India, kills 45 and injures over 160 people.  At least 17 are killed and over 154 wounded in 2 blasts in Istanbul.  At least 48 are dead and over 287 injured after bombs explode in Baghdad and Kirkuk, Iraq.
     August - Two members of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, which had threatened to attack the Beijing Olympics, kill 16 and injure another 16 officers at a police station in Kashgar, Xinjiang, China.  Taliban insurgents kill 10 and injure 21 French soldiers in an ambush in Afghanistan.  A suicide bomber rams a car into an Algerian military academy, killing 43 and injuring 45.  At least 60 die following twin suicide bombings outside the Pakistan Ordnance Factories in Wah, Pakistan.
     September - A suicide truck bomb explosion destroys the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 60 and injuring 266.
     November - United States presidential election, 2008: Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States and Joe Biden is elected the 47th Vice President.  A series of terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India by Pakistan-based Islamic militants kills 195, and injures at least 250.
     December - Israel initiates "Operation Cast Lead" in the Gaza Strip after launching an extensive wave of airstrikes against military targets, police stations and government buildings within the Gaza Strip with the stated aim of stopping rocket fire from and arms import into the territory. As a result, Hamas intensified its rocket and mortar attacks against Southern Israel, reaching the major cities of Beersheba and Ashdod for the first time.

     2009 - January - President Barak Obama in office. 
     Israel launches a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip as the Gaza War enters its second week.  Israel announces a unilateral ceasefire in the Gaza War. It comes into effect the following day on which Hamas declares a ceasefire of its own.  Israel completes its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.  Intermittent air strikes by both sides of the preceding war continue in the weeks to follow.

     2010 - January - A suicide bombing occurs at a volleyball game in northwestern Pakistan, killing at least 95, and injuring over 100.

     February 2010 to present day  - The disease has not stopped and has infected the world at large.  Hopefully a cure arrives soon and everyone starts coming to their senses.