CHRONOLOGY-Major developments since the September 11 attacks
- Information compiled from Associated Press, Reuters & Guardian (UK)
TUESDAY SEPT 11
-- World Trade Center in New York is destroyed when two hijacked planes crash into its twin towers. Another plane hits the Pentagon near Washington and a fourth crashes in Pennsylvania.
-- President Bush pledges to hunt down those responsible.
-- Stocks and U.S. dollar plunge, safe-haven bonds soar as most U.S. markets and Wall Street institutions close.
-- U.S. airspace closed.
-- Officials say people with possible links to Saudi-born dissident Osama bin Laden are the likely perpetrators.
WEDNESDAY SEPT 12
-- Bush says he will make no distinction between the perpetrators of the atrocities and those who harbor them.
THURSDAY SEPT 13
-- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell confirms that bin Laden, believed to be in Afghanistan, is a suspect.
-- NATO and Russia issue rare joint statement calling for international efforts to combat global terrorism.
-- Palestinian President Yasser Arafat calls on Arab states to declare readiness to join coalition against terrorism.
FRIDAY SEPT 14
-- U.S. and Europe observe day of remembrance.
-- Leader of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban movement defends bin Laden against U.S. accusations.
-- U.S. Senate approves $40 billion for counterterrorism, rescue and recovery, authorizes force against perpetrators.
SATURDAY SEPT 15
-- Bush says United States at war, bin Laden prime suspect.
MONDAY SEPT 17
-- New York Stock Exchange reopens after longest shutdown since Great Depression.
TUESDAY SEPT 18
-- Taliban closes Afghan airspace, air defenses on alert.
WEDNESDAY SEPT 19
-- Last major restrictions on U.S. airspace lifted.
THURSDAY SEPT 20
-- Afghan clerics recommend bin Laden leave the country, but Washington demands he be turned over to responsible authorities.
-- Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa says Arabs will not aid retaliation for the attacks if Israel takes part.
FRIDAY SEPT 21
-- Mohammad Zahir Shah, exiled former Afghan king, appeals for emergency assembly to elect head of state, form government.
MONDAY SEPT 24
-- Bush says bin Laden and al Qaeda network's assets frozen, other governments later announce similar actions.
-- Taliban Defense Minister Mullah Obaidullah says he is mobilizing 300,000 more men.
-- Bin Laden quoted on television urging Pakistanis to fight any assault on Afghanistan by "crusader Americans."
-- President Vladimir Putin says Russia to step up arms supplies to Afghan opposition.
TUESDAY SEPT 25
-- Saudi Arabia severs diplomatic relations with Taliban, leaving Pakistan the only state to recognize them.
-- United States changes name of "Operation Infinite Justice" military buildup to "Operation Enduring Freedom" after objections from some Islamic scholars.
THURSDAY SEPT 27
-- Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar warns Afghans of perils of collaborating with the United States to win power.
-- FBI releases names, pictures of 19 suspected hijackers, for first time linking some to bin Laden's network.
SUNDAY SEPT 30
-- Taliban ambassador to Pakistan Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef says his movement is hiding bin Laden for his own safety.
TUESDAY OCT 2
-- NATO invokes mutual defense clause after U.S. produces "conclusive" evidence bin Laden is behind the attacks.
-- Bush administration reiterates refusal to negotiate on surrendering bin Laden, after call for talks by Taliban.
THURSDAY OCT 4
-- British Prime Minister Tony Blair tells parliament firm evidence links bin Laden to at least three of the hijackers.
-- Bush says United States to provide $320 million in aid to alleviate refugee problems in Afghanistan.
FRIDAY OCT 5
-- Zaeef says Taliban to try bin Laden in Afghan court if United States provides solid evidence against him.
-- U.S. defense official says 1,000 U.S. light infantry troops en route to Uzbekistan.
SATURDAY OCT 6
-- G7 finance ministers and central bank chiefs vow new measures to track down groups that fund terrorism.
-- White House rejects Taliban offer to free eight aid workers if United States halts threats against Afghanistan.
SUNDAY OCT 7
-- Taliban say moving extra 8,000 fighters to border and shoring up defenses near Kabul.
-- Pakistan detains leader of a pro-Taliban Islamic party.
-- United States, Britain launch at least three raids on Afghan capital. Raids also carried out on Kandahar, stronghold of the Taliban, and on eastern city of Jalalabad.
MONDAY OCT 8
-- A senior Taliban Health Ministry official says six to eight people killed by U.S.-led military strikes.
-- Anti-U.S. demonstrations in Pakistan, Gaza strip, Oman to protest against air strikes.
-- U.N. World Food Program halts food aid shipments to millions of Afghans but aims to resume as soon as possible.
-- U.S. launches second night of air strikes as Taliban declares jihad, or holy war, and rallies supporters to fight.
-- U.S. missiles strike U.N.-funded Afghan mine clearance office in Kabul, killing four people and wounding at least one.
TUESDAY OCT 9
-- U.S. forces attack the southern Afghan city of Kandahar in the first daylight raid on the country.
-- Three anti-U.S. protesters shot dead by Pakistani police in the town of Kuchlak near the Afghan border.
-- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says air attacks against Afghanistan have damaged air defenses to the point that raids can be flown around the clock.
-- U.S. launches third night of raids.
WEDNESDAY OCT 10
-- Taliban say U.S. cruise missile hit residential area in overnight bombing on Kabul, killing several people. The Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) says 76 people have been killed since attacks began.
-- Communique at end of an emergency meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference condemns the Sept. 11 attacks but says retaliation should not harm civilians.
-- Taliban lift all restrictions on bin Laden, saying he is free to wage a holy war against the United States following the bomb strikes.
-- White House releases list of 22 "most wanted terrorists," including bin Laden.
-- U.N. World Food Program announces resumption of shipments of food to Afghanistan.
-- Afghanistan's anti-Taliban Northern Alliance reports that some 1,800 fighters from the Taliban militia have deserted and joined its forces in the past 24 hours.
-- U.S. warplanes pound Kabul for fourth night.
THURSDAY OCT 11
-- Bush vows to destroy terrorism with "every weapon" in U.S. arsenal as he marks the first month since Sept. 11 attacks at memorial service for victims.
-- Forces loyal to Afghan warlord Ismail Khan say they have captured Chaghcharanon, a major town on main road from the capital Kabul to the western city of Herat.
-- Britain's Blair arrives in Cairo for talks with President Hosni Mubarak as part of effort to reassure skeptical Arab allies.
-- U.S. officials report that 5,393 people are killed or still missing and presumed dead from Sept. 11 attacks.
-- Bush administration says it has frozen $24 million in assets around the world to tighten the financial noose around bin Laden, his al Qaeda network and the Taliban.
-- Bush offers the Taliban one last chance to surrender bin Laden and avoid destruction while the FBI warns of possible new attacks on the United States.
FRIDAY OCT 12
-- Anti-U.S. protesters torch cars in Pakistan, march in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines after first Friday Muslim prayers since attacks against Afghanistan began.
-- Ayatollah Sadeqi Parwani, a senior member of Afghanistan's Shi'ite Muslim minority, calls on the country's ex-king to return home and bring peace to his people.
-- Taliban's leader says in published remarks that bin Laden cannot be handed over to U.S. because it is against Afghanistan's principles and religion.
-- Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill says U.S. adding 39 names to list of entities whose financial assets are to be blocked. Britain issues list of further 38 organizations and individuals who may have links with international terrorist groups and whose British-held assets are to be frozen.
-- Uzbekistan agrees to let U.S. forces fighting terrorism use one of its air bases for humanitarian purposes "in the first instance."
Saturday October 13
· FBI investigators have officially concluded that 11 of the 19 terrorists who hijacked the aircraft on 11 September did not know they were on a suicide mission, Whitehall intelligence sources say.
· US immigration officials are racing against time to comb through years of data in a search for up to 10 trained al-Qaida hijackers who, investigators believe, are still on the loose in America.
Sunday October 14
· President George Bush rejects as "non-negotiable" an offer by the Taliban to discuss turning over Osama bin Laden if the United States ends the bombing in Afghanistan.
· Israel undermines US and British efforts to solidify a Middle East truce yesterday by carrying out the first assassination of a Palestinian militant since the attacks on America on September 11.
· The government is criticised for not doing enough to reassure the public that it is prepared for an outbreak of anthrax in Britain.
· Panic spreads across the globe as more cases of anthrax emerge and Muslims in Britain and the US are warned not to live in skyscrapers or travel by plane.
Monday October 15
· Tony Blair gives his public backing to the creation of a Palestinian state, following a meeting at 10 Downing Street with Yasser Arafat.
· Shops and businesses across Pakistan close in a wave of protest against the US-led air strikes on Afghanistan. The closures are timed to coincide with the arrival of the US secretary of state, Colin Powell.
· On the ninth day of its bombing campaign against Afghanistan, the US strikes the airport in Kabul. Protests continue across the Muslim world.
· A dozen people in Florida, New York and Nevada have now been found either to have anthrax or to have been exposed to it.
· The chief medical officer rejects reports that the UK is unprepared for chemical or biological terrorism, claiming the government is well prepared for the possibility of an anthrax attack.
Tuesday October 16
· The rash of anthrax scares around the world spreads to northern England, as the alert is sounded by postal workers in Liverpool who saw white powder spilling from mail.
· A Kabul warehouse belonging to the International Red Cross is bombed in fierce daylight raids on Afghanistan.
· The United States and Pakistan say they have reached agreement on a political future for Afghanistan, with both sides supporting a multi-ethnic, democratically elected government rather than a simple takeover by an armed opposition group such as the Northern Alliance.
· Pakistan's military ruler, General Pervez Musharraf, says he expects moderate Taliban leaders to play a crucial role in any new administration in Afghanistan.
· It is revealed that the Pentagon has spent millions of dollars to prevent western media from seeing highly accurate civilian satellite pictures of the effects of bombing in Afghanistan.
· It is now estimated that the worldwide insurance bill for the September 11 terrorist attacks could be as high as $70bn (£50bn).
Wednesday October 17
· Nearly 30 people have now tested positive for exposure to anthrax at the Washington offices of the US Senate majority leader, Tom Daschle, officials say.
· A rightwing Israeli minister, Rehavam Ze'evi, is shot dead in a Jerusalem hotel today by a Palestinian gunman, prompting fresh fears for the shaky truce between Palestinians and Israelis that was agreed only three weeks ago. Responsibility is claimed by the Syria-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
· Low-flying US jets continue attacks on Afghan cities as it emerges that the Taliban have secretly indicated the regime may consider handing over Osama bin Laden.
· Muslim protests over US-led strikes on Afghanistan, which have been occurring over the past 10 days, appear to have abated, but new protests are held in countries that had not experienced them so far.
Thursday October 18
· Clare Short, the international development secretary, provokes a furious reaction from aid agencies when she dismisses their calls for a halt to the bombing of Taliban areas of Afghanistan as unreal and "emotional".
· The US steps up air strikes on Afghanistan, using a new array of weapons in preparation for deploying ground troops "within weeks".
· Taliban fighters continued to defy attempts by the Northern Alliance to seize the key northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, as sources in Pakistan warn that the west has so far badly underestimated the Taliban's military strength.
· Turkey warns Britain and the United States that support for air strikes on Afghanistan could start to unravel unless the Northern Alliance soon captures ground from the Taliban.
· Two main postal sorting offices are closed and thousands of items of mail delayed as false alerts over anthrax continued to tax the emergency services and scientists across Britain.
· A second American television news anchor appears to have been targeted in the ongoing wave of anthrax attacks. The FBI and the US Postal Service offer a $1m reward for information leading to the arrest of anyone responsible for sending anthrax through the mail.
· Israel exacts early revenge for the assassination of a cabinet minister, blowing up a wanted Palestinian militant and two other men in a car bombing barely two hours after the far-right leader was laid to rest.
Friday October 19
· A handful of US special forces are operating in southern Afghanistan, a senior US government official confirms today amid growing indications that the campaign's "ground phase" was close to beginning.
· Violence intensifies across the West Bank, as Israeli tanks and troops move into Palestinian territory in raids aimed at thwarting revenge attacks for the killing of a local militia leader.
· Aero-engine giant Rolls-Royce announces 5,000 job losses in the wake of the US terrorist attacks. Around 3,800 jobs will be axed in the UK, with the cutback achieved by next March.
· European Union governments close ranks behind the US-led war on terrorism and pledge to work with the UN for a "stable, legitimate and representative" regime to replace the Taliban.
· Thousands of Afghan refugees swarm across the Pakistani border amid chaotic scenes, which aid agencies warn are likely to get worse.
Saturday October 20
· American special forces are involved in pitched battles inside Afghanistan after being parachuted into an area where Osama bin Laden has been a frequent visitor.
· US President George Bush warns the American people that there may be more casualties in the campaign in Afghanistan, after two US servicemen are killed in a helicopter crash.
· Pakistani security workers say that they have foiled an attempted bombing in the crowded VIP lounge of Islamabad's international airport.
Sunday October 21
· President George Bush flies back to the US, insisting he has won "strong, steady and real support" from Asian and Pacific leaders for the war against terrorism.
· Labour's backbench critics of the bombing of Afghanistan warn of hardening opposition to the military action, after ministers compare outspoken anti-war MPs to appeasers of the Nazis.
· Eight members of an Afghan family are killed when their house in a residential district of Kabul was blown apart in a wave of US military strikes, witnesses say.
· President Bush has formally ordered the CIA to destroy Osama bin Laden and his network and conduct "the most sweeping and lethal covert action" since the agency was founded in 1947, it is reported.
Monday October 22
· The Pentagon makes it clear for the first time that US aircraft, on the 16th day of raids in Afghanistan, are aiming to open the way for Northern Alliance opposition forces in their fight against the Taliban.
· Pakistan's military ruler General Pervez Musharraf warns the US to stop its military campaign in Afghanistan before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in November.
· The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, stresses that the first 100 days after a Taliban collapse will be critical for the political and economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.
· Two US postal workers who handled mail at an office where a letter contaminated with anthrax was sorted have died in "highly suspicious" circumstances, it is revealed.
· Labour critics of Tony Blair's Afghan bombing strategy launch a new political offensive to widen public debate as they demand the setting up of a special international court, including Islamic judges, to try Osama bin Laden if he can be captured alive.
· British military chiefs have agreed to deploy up to 1,000 troops, including SAS soldiers, for ground operations in Afghanistan, defence sources say.
· It is revealed that old Soviet tanks, helicopters and Kalashnikovs are being supplied in amulti-million dollar arms deal between Russia and the Northern Alliance.
· An Afghan refugee dies in Pakistan as border guards open fire on thousands of civilians trying to break into the country from their war-torn homeland.
Tuesday October 23
· US bombers attack the Afghan capital, Kabul, and hit Taliban forces dug in to the north of the city for a third straight day as the onset of winter and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan drew near.
Wednesday October 24
· US bombers kill 22 Pakistani fighters from a hardline Muslim paramilitary group in Kabul in the deadliest strike yet against an outlawed organisation linked to Osama bin Laden, a spokesman for the group says.
· Israel continues to defy US calls to pull troops out of Palestinian-controlled towns, while Israeli soldiers allegedly killing at least seven Palestinians and arresting four more in an overnight raid on a West Bank village.
· A further six employees at the Brentwood sorting office in Washington are being treated for suspected anthrax infection, it emerges.
· More than 1,000 Afghan commanders and tribal elders in Peshawar, Pakistan pledge to form a new, broader government in Kabul. Under their appointed leader, the Sufi religious figure Pir Sayed Ahmad Gailani, they plead for an end to the US military strikes and promise to install the former Afghan king, Zahir Shah, as a new head of state.
· Israel observes the end of mourning rituals for a slain cabinet minister by thundering into a West Bank village with tanks and attack helicopters to hunt down his assassins, killing at least six people. The Palestinians condemn the bloody night raid as a massacre.
· Two teams of US researchers reportresults that will be a step forward to understanding how anthrax works and how it could be made harmless.
Thursday October 25
· The US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, says in an interview he believes that the American-led anti-terrorist coalition may not succeed in killing or capturing Osama bin Laden.
· The military campaign in Afghanistan is more likely to lead to Osama bin Laden's death than his appearance in an international court, Tony Blair says in an interview published today.
· The prime minister, Tony Blair, has appointed a special war envoy to northern Afghanistan, to liase with the rebel forces fighting the Taliban regime. Paul Bergne, the former UK ambassador to Tashkent, will be going into the region to "co-ordinate better" with the Northern Alliance, Downing Street announces.
· US bombers hit a bus in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar today, killing at least 10 civilians, the Taliban and residents of the southern Afghan town said.
· US health officials have struck a deal to buy 100m tablets of Cipro, the most powerful anti-anthrax antibiotic, from its creators the Bayer corporation, it emerges today.
· The official tally of those killed in the World Trade Centre attacks might have been overestimated by 2,000 people, according to the calculations of several organisations. New York city officials say 4,964 are dead or missing but none of the lists maintained by others comes near to that. One compiled by the New York Times puts the toll at about 2,950; another, by USA Today, the nation's biggest-selling newspaper, stops at 2,680; and that maintained by the Associated Press news agency goes no further than 2,625.
Friday October 26
· Two hundred Royal Marines are being made available for the conflict in Afghanistan, armed forces minister Adam Ingram tells MPs.
· Afghanistan's ruling Taliban claims they have "executed" the Northern Alliance opposition commander, Abdul Haq, in a firefight. Haq, a one-legged veteran guerrilla leader, had penetrated Taliban territory south of Kabul in a bid to drum up support for a coalition government to take control if the west succeeds in toppling the hardline Islamic regime.
· Traces of anthrax have been discovered in the US state department and CIA headquarters. Mail rooms at the two buildings are shut and a postal worker at the state department has tested positive for inhalation anthrax, the most dangerous form of the disease.
· The UN special envoy to Afghanistan, Lakdhar Brahimi, arrives in Pakistan to begin the awkward task of finding a political solution for a post-Taliban Afghanistan. Meanwhile, in the shadows of a deep gorge by the Panjshir river, the most senior leaders of the Northern Alliance opposition start a rare meeting last night to seeka stable political compromise for peace.
Saturday October 27
· Taliban forces claim to have hanged five opposition commanders captured after a repelled Northern Alliance attack on one of the hardline regime's strongholds. If the unverified claim is true, it will be a further blow to opposition forces already reeling from the summary execution yesterday of Abdul Haq, a prominent Northern Alliance commander.
· In buses and trucks, pickups and vans, more than 5,000 people roll out of a north-eastern Pakistan village, bound for the Afghan frontier and vowing to fight a holy war against the United States.
Sunday October 28
· US jets roar low over Kabul, dropping bombs in northern and eastern neighbourhoods of the city. At least 13 people are killed, according to witnesses and neighbours.
· Suspected Islamist gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs underline the sense of creeping anarchy engulfing Pakistan by shooting dead 16 people, mainly women and children, inside a church during morning prayers, in apparent revenge against Christians for America's bombing of Afghanistan.
· A pair of Palestinian gunmen go on a killing spree in the coastal town of Hadera, killing four Israeli women in an attack that plays into the hands of Israeli hardliners urging an all-out war on Yasser Arafat's self-rule authority.
· Whitehall's impatience with media pressure over the pace and direction of the campaign against terrorism boils over, as Jack Straw accuses the press and TV of constantly demanding fresh news, while increasingly neglecting the causes of the conflict.
· For the first time in 47 days the digging stops, as the families of those who died in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre come to the first official memorial service in their honour.
· Politicians attempt to shore up public support for the US-led air strikes on Afghanistan amid mounting concern about civilian casualties and the slow progress of the military campaign. The foreign secretary, Jack Straw, urges people to accept that tackling terrorism would take time and said military action "may last indefinitely".
Monday October 29
· American war planes reportedly bomb Taliban positions on Afghanistan's northern border with Tajikistan for the first time since the conflict began.
· Israel, under heavy pressure from Washington, pulls its troops from two of the six Palestinian-controlled towns it entered after a cabinet minister was assassinated.
· A female New Jersey postal worker becomes the eighth confirmed case of inhalation anthrax in the US, as health officials continue their search for evidence of contamination and thousands of Americans take preventive antibiotics.
· America is put on the highest state of alert as the attorney general says he has specific, credible information of further "very serious" terrorist attacks in the coming days.
· Defence secretary Geoff Hoon admits that British troops are not ready to carry out operations in Afghanistan. The admission adds to evidence of increasing tension in Britain and the US between frustrated political leaders and cautious military commanders.
He also says that any Briton who fights with the Taliban against US and British forces could be prosecuted on their return.
· A terrorist-tracking taskforce is to be created to prevent foreigners planning to commit terrorist acts from entering America, President George Bush announces. The White House said the taskforce would pave the way for agencies "to work together to prevent aliens who commit or support terror from entering the United States".
Tuesday October 30
· Air strikes on Afghanistan resume with US jets attacking the southern city of Kandahar. Warplanes, including a B-52 bomber, are seen flying over the Shomali Plain, flying west to east in the area of Bagram, an opposition stronghold, about 25 miles north of Kabul.
· British public support for the war against the Taliban has dropped by 12 points in the past fortnight and a majority now believe there should be a pause in the bombing to allow aid convoys into Afghanistan. The sharp drop in support is revealed by today's Guardian/ICM poll.
· Tony Blair goes on an emotional offensive to re-ignite public enthusiasm for the war in Afghanistan. In an address to the Welsh assembly in Cardiff, the prime minister pledges that military action would not stop until Osama bin Laden was brought to justice.
· Preliminary tests indicate a female 61-year-old hospital worker has contracted inhalation anthrax in New York. The city's mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, says the woman is in a "very, very serious" condition and on a respirator.
Wednesday October 31
· A 61-year-old New York hospital worker becomes the fourth person in the US to die of inhalation anthrax, and the first death not connected with the postal service, government or media.
· US jets strike before dawn near the southern city of Kandahar, and officials there claim that 15 people were killed when a bomb exploded at a hospital.
· Tony Blair makes a muted debut as the first British leader to visit Syria, admitting he and president Bashar Assad are merely "trying to reach an understanding of each other's perspective".
· The American Red Cross says it has stopped accepting donations to its September 11 fund, after raising more than half a billion dollars - more money than the charity feels it can spend on victims of the initial terrorist attacks.