- Timeline of al-Qaeda attacks
Al-Qaeda attacks began on
December 29, 1992, when bombs at two hotels in Aden, Yemen, killed two Austrian tourists. The blasts were targeting United Statesservicemen going to Somalia. [ [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/knew/etc/cron.html frontline: the man who knew: timeline - al qaeda's global context | PBS ] ]
The following list is of acts known or suspected to have been executed by al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda does not take credit for most of them, resulting in ambiguity over how many attacks the group has actually conducted. After the United States declaration of the
War on Terrorismin 2001, the U.S. government has striven to highlight any connections between other militant groups and al-Qaeda. Some prefer to attribute to al-Qaedaismactions that might not be directly planned by al-Qaeda as a military headquarters but that are inspired by its tenets and strategies.
Ramzi Yousefand Khalid Sheik Mohammedplanned Operation Bojinka, a plot to destroy airplanes in mid-Pacific flight using explosives. An apartment fire in Manila, Philippinesexposed the plan before it could be carried out. Yousef was arrested, but Mohammed evaded capture until 2003. They tested their attacks on the Philippine Airlines Flight 434.
1998 U.S.-embassy bombings
Al-Qaeda is believed to have conducted the bombings in August 1998 of the U.S. embassies in
Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing more than 200 people and injuring more than 5,000 others.
1999 and 2000 attacks
In December 1999 and into 2000, al-Qaeda planned attacks against U.S. and
Israeli tourists visiting Jordanfor millennial celebrations; however, Jordanian authorities thwarted the planned attacks and put 28 suspects on trial. Part of this plot included the planned bombing of LAX, but this plot was foiled when bomber Ahmed Ressamwas caught at the US-Canadian border with explosives in the trunk of his car. Al-Qaeda also planned to attack the USS "The Sullivans" on January 3, 2000, but the effort failed due to too much weight being put on the small boat meant to bomb the ship.
Despite the setback with the USS "The Sullivans", al-Qaeda succeeded in bombing a U.S. warship in October 2000 with the
USS Cole bombing. German police foiled a plot to destroy a cathedral in Strasbourg, Francein December 2000.
Strasbourg cathedral bombing plot(1999)
Rizal Day Bombingsin the Philippines(2000)
September 11, 2001, attacks
The most destructive act ascribed to al-Qaeda was the series of attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. These attacks destroyed the
World Trade Centerand damaged the Pentagonin a series of suicide hijacking of airplanes. Bin Ladendid take credit for the attacks days before the 2004 Presidential Election.
Other attacks, 2001–2003
Among other attacks ascribed to al-Qaeda and its affiliates are these:
Paris embassy attack plot(2001)
Singapore embassies attack plot(2001)
Kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journalreporter Daniel Pearl(2002)
Ghriba synagogue bombingin Djerba, Tunisia(2002)
*Foiled bombings of Western warships in the
Strait of Gibraltar(2002)
*"Limburg" tanker bombing (2002)
Kenyan hotel bombingin Mombasaand the attempt to shoot down an Israeli airliner (2002)
Riyadh Compound Bombings(2003)
2003 Casablanca bombings
2003 Istanbul bombings
Al-Qaeda has strong alliances with a number of other Islamic militant organizations, including the Indonesian Islamic extremist group
Jemaah Islamiyah, responsible for the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings; Al-Qaeda in Iraq; and Abu Sayyaf.
Although there have been no identified al-Qaeda attacks within the territory of the United States since the
September 11 attacks, attacks in the Middle East, Far East, Africa, and Europe involving extensive casualties and turmoil have been attributed to organizations with affiliation to al-Qaeda, though not always directly to al-Qaeda itself.
Attacks in Iraq, 2003–present
March 11, 2004Madrid attacks
On the day of the 2004 Madrid train bombings, the
London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi reported receiving an email from a group affiliated with al-Qaeda claiming responsibility. The authenticity of that claim has been questioned, [ [http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MjRjZGI0NGQ0YTM5ZmM4N2E2NmE4ZDMwMjM5Y2U2ZDY=] Madrid Bluff?. Letter doesn't look like al Qaeda. National Review] and the group making the claim was qualified by U.S. officials as "notoriously unreliable". [ [http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/03/12/world/main605547.shtml] "Madrid Massacre Probe Widens": ...The London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi said Thursday evening it had received a claim of responsibility in the name of al Qaeda...  ...The group making the claim, Abu Hafs al MasriBrigades, is affiliated with al-Qaeda and has carried out bombings before. But U.S. officials caution the group is "notoriously unreliable" and does not necessarily speak for Osama bin Laden's organization. For example, Abu Hafs took credit for last summer's Northeast blackout.] The coincidence in timing of the attacks with elections in Spain inspired several politically-focused speculations on the real identity of the perpetrators, with many initially suspecting ETA. [A senior official in Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar's office said the government was studying the reported claim but still thought ETA was more likely behind the attacks...  ..."When ETA attacks, the Basque heart breaks into a thousand pieces", Basque regional president Juan Jose Ibarretxesaid...  ...The Interior Ministry said tests showed the explosives used in the attacks were a kind of dynamite normally used by ETA...  ...The bombers used titadine, a kind of compressed dynamite also found in a bomb-laden van intercepted last month as it headed for Madrid, a source at Aznar's office said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Officials blamed ETA then, too.] Direct al-Qaeda involvement in the Madrid 2004 bombings has been discounted by some sources, [ [http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/article1961431.ece The Independent article:] "While the bombers may have been inspired by Bin Laden, a two-year investigation into the attacks has found no evidence that al-Qa'ida helped plan, finance or carry out the bombings, or even knew about them in advance"] and mildly asserted by the MIPT. [ [http://www.tkb.org/Group.jsp?groupID=3904] "the length of time between the Madrid bombings and Abu Nayaf al-Afghani’s claim has cast doubt on its authenticity"..  ..."Other sources attribute the March 11attacks to the group Abu Dujana Al-Afghani Ansar Al-Qaeda Europe, which appears be an alias for Abu Nayaf al-Afghani. A separate al-Qaeda linked organization, the Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigade, also declared responsibility for the Madrid attacks, and although it faces similar questions about the validity of its claims, it is generally regarded by authorities as having carried out the attacks"] Interpoland the Spanish Government now concur that a fanatical Islamic group of individuals were the perpetrators and that there was no operational relationship with al Qaeda at all. [ [http://www.tkb.org/MorePatterns.jsp?countryCd=SP&year=2004 MIPT Terrorism Knowledge Database] (see MIPT)] [ The Times[http://avantgo.thetimes.co.uk/services/avantgo/article/0,,1150429,00.html Bomb squad link in Spanish blast] ] [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/oct/31/spain The worst Islamist attack in European history | World news | guardian.co.uk ] ] July 7, 2005London bombings
Al-Qaeda is believed to be involved in the
7 July 2005 London bombings("7/7" bombings), a series of attacks against mass transit in London which killed 57 people, including the 4 suicide bombers (see Mohammad Sidique Khan). A statement from a previously unknown group, "The Secret Organization of al-Qaeda in Europe" claimed responsibility; however, the authenticity of the statement and the group's connection to al-Qaeda have not been independently verified. The suspected perpetrators have not been definitively linked to al-Qaeda, although the contents of a video tape made by one of the bombers Mohammad Sidique Khanprior to his death and subsequently sent to Al Jazeeragives strong credence to an al-Qaeda connection. An apparently unconnected group attempted to duplicate the attack later that month, but their bombs failed to detonate.
An official inquiry by the British government reported that the bombers had no direct support from al Qaeda [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2006/apr/09/july7.uksecurity Leak reveals official story of London bombings | UK news | The Observer ] ] .
2005 Jordan attacks
Al-Qaeda in Iraqis suspected in the November 9, 2005 Amman, Jordanattacks in which three simultaneous bombings occurred at American franchise-owned hotels in Amman. The blasts killed 57 and injured 120 people. Most of the injured and killed were attending a wedding at the RadissonHotel. The targeting of celebrating Muslim civilians cost al-Zarqawi (the man believed to have planned the attacks) greatly in Jordanian public opinion, and to a lesser extent in Arab public opinion as a whole.
2007 Algiers bombings
Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghrebclaimed to have been responsible for the April 11, 2007 Algiers bombings. Two bombs exploded within a short time of each other, one at the prime ministers office and the other at a police station. The blasts killed 33 people. It was the first time a bombing had occurred in the capital in more than a decade.
2008 Danish-embassy bombing
Al-Qaedaclaimed responsibility for the bombing of the Danish embassy in Pakistan on 2 June 2008. A car bomb killed six persons and injuring several. Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, a high-ranking member of Al-Qaeda, issued a statement on 5 June, claiming that the attack was a response to the 2005 publication of the Muhammed Cartoons. [http://www.nefafoundation.org/miscellaneous/FeaturedDocs/nefadenmarkpakistan0608.pdf]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.