AlQaeda founded in Afghanistan by Osama Bin Laden LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0As Soviet troops withdraw from Afghanistan Osama Bin Laden and other Arab fighters from the USbacked Mujihideen movement form alQaeda which in Arabic means "the base". The network begins looking for new jihads holy wars.
Bin Laden moves to Sudan where he sets up training camps Sudan becomes alQaeda's base for business operations and preparations for jihad. From here a number of attacks on Western targets are alleged to have been organised or supported. Bin Laden stays in the African country for five years. During this time it is believed he begins a search for nuclear material.
26 February, 1993
Bomb explodes at the World Trade Center in New York Six people are killed and more than 1000 injured by a 500kg bomb. AlQaeda's involvement is unclear but some analysts believe that after the attack the group sought out the plotter Ramzi Yousef and offered him money. Yousef is serving a life sentence for the attack. His uncle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed currently in custody is thought to have helped plan the 11 September attacks.
4 October, 1993
Eighteen US servicemen killed in Somalia Members of a Somali militia shoot down two Black Hawk helicopters. The US believes that alQaeda fighters helped train those responsible for the incident in which 18 American servicemen were killed.
Bin Laden leaves Sudan and returns to Afghanistan In the mid1990s Sudan comes under growing international pressure to expel Osama Bin Laden. It is not clear whether he is actually forced to leave the African country but in May 1996 he returns to Afghanistan.
25 June, 1996
US military base in Saudi bombed 19 servicemen killed A bomb rips through a US military housing complex near Dhahran Saudi Arabia killing 19 Americans. The US believes alQaeda may have been involved in this attack which has been blamed on the militant Hezbollah group.
22 February, 1998
Bin Laden issues fatwa calling for attacks on US citizens A statement signed by Bin Laden and four of his associates calls for the killing of Americans saying it is the "individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it".
7 August, 1998
US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania bombed More than 220 people are killed when lorries laden with bombs drove into the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. On 20 August the US retaliates with air strikes against alleged training camps in Sudan and Afghanistan. Bin Laden is later indicted by a US court for the bombings in East Africa.
12 October, 2000
Attack on US warship in Yemen kills 17 sailors Two suicide attackers ram a boat carrying explosives into the USS Cole in Aden port killing 17 American sailors. In 2004 six suspected alQaeda militants are charged in connection with the attack by a Yemeni court.
11 September, 2001
The worst attack on US soil kills about 3000 people Nineteen alQaeda suspects hijack four planes and fly them into the World Trade Center in New York the Pentagon in Washington and a field in Pennsylvania. Six weeks later the US launches attacks on Afghanistan from where Bin Laden has been operating. After the war hundreds of suspected alQaeda fighters are sent to America's base in Guantanamo Bay Cuba where they are held in US custody.
12 December, 2001
First alQaeda suspect charged over 911 in the US A French citizen of Moroccan origin is charged with conspiring with Osama Bin Laden and other suspects to kill thousands of Americans in the 11 September attacks. Zacarias Moussaoui was detained in the US on immigration charges in August after he aroused suspicion at a Minnesota flight school where he sought training. He admits being a member of alQaeda but denies involvement in the plot to hijack planes and crash them.
14 December, 2001
US releases Bin Laden 911 video The US government releases a video which it says proves that Osama Bin Laden masterminded the 11 September attacks. In the West the tape is widely seen as strengthening the case against Bin Laden. In the Islamic world there is widespread scepticism and some claims that it is a fake.
23 December, 2001
Briton held after trying to blow up plane A British man is arrested on a flight from Paris to Miami after trying to blow up the plane with explosives hidden in his shoes. During his trial in the US Richard Reid pledged allegiance to Osama Bin Laden. He is now serving a life sentence.
22 March, 2002
Senior alQaeda member captured in Pakistan Abu Zubaydah believed to have served as Osama Bin Laden's field commander and chief recruiter is captured during a raid on a house in Pakistan. Number three on America's list of most wanted alQaeda suspects he is then handed over to the US authorities.
11 April, 2002
Blast at Tunisian synagogue kills 17 people A fuel tanker is blown up outside a synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba killing 19 people including 14 German tourists. An alQaeda spokesman later says the organisation was behind the suicide attack.
11 June, 2002
Dirty bomb plot foiled says US The US authorities announce the arrest of an American citizen they accuse of planning to build and detonate a bomb containing radioactive material. Jose Padilla was detained on 8 May at Chicago airport after arriving from Pakistan.
11 September, 2002
911 plotter captured in Pakistan Ramzi Binalshibh is arrested in Karachi on the anniversary of the attacks on America. He is accused of being a leading member of alQaeda and one of the main planners of the 11 September attacks.
12 October, 2002
Bomb attacks on Bali nightclubs kill 202 Two bombs rip through a busy nightclub area in the Balinese town of Kuta killing 202 people most of them foreign tourists. The Indonesian authorities believe the attacks were carried out by the South East Asian militant network Jemaah Islamiah which is said to have links to alQaeda.
22 October, 2002
First 911 trial opens in Germany Mounir alMotassadek a Moroccan citizen goes on trial in Hamburg accused of membership of a terrorist cell and of being an accessory to the murder of more than 3000 people. He denies any knowledge of plans to launch the attacks. In 2003 he is found guilty of assisting the hijackers and sentenced to 12 years in jail. Another court later orders a retrial.
28 November, 2002
Israeli targets come under attack in Kenya Sixteen people including three suicide bombers are killed in a blast at an Israeliowned hotel in Mombasa. A missile fired at an Israeli plane misses its target. A message on a website purporting to come from alQaeda says the group carried out the attack.
1 March, 2003
AlQaeda kingpin captured Khalid Sheikh Mohammed thought to be one of alQaeda's most senior leaders is arrested in a joint PakistaniCIA operation near Islamabad. The US believes he helped plan the 11 September attacks.
12 May, 2003
Dozens killed in Saudi bombings At least 34 people are killed in a series of bomb attacks in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh. The targets are luxury com£s housing foreign nationals and a USSaudi office. AlQaeda is the prime suspect Washington and Riyadh say. It is the first in a string of attacks over successive months in Saudi Arabia.
16 May, 2003
Morocco rocked by suicide attacks Bomb attacks in Casablanca kill 45 people including 12 attackers. Targets include a Spanish restaurant a fivestar hotel a Jewish community centre and the Belgian consulate. Four men later sentenced to death for the attacks are said by the Moroccan authorities to be members of the Salafia Jihadia widely believed to be linked to alQaeda.
27 June, 2003
Mastermind of Riyadh attacks arrested The man suspected of masterminding the series of bombings in Riyadh is detained in Saudi Arabia. The arrest of Ali Abdul Rahman alGhamdi also known as Abu Bakr alAzdi is described as a major blow to alQaeda's operations in Saudi Arabia. He was number two on the list of mostwanted suspects in connection with the 12 May attacks.
15 December, 2003
Suicide bombers hit two Turkish synagogues At least 23 people are killed and more than 300 injured in two devastating suicide attacks on synagogues in Istanbul. The government blames alQaeda for the attacks.
20 December, 2003
Two bomb attacks on British interests in Turkey Attacks on the British Consulate and the HSBC bank offices in Istanbul leave 27 people dead and more than 450 wounded. There are separate claims of responsibility from two allegedly alQaeda connected groups.
9 February, 2004
US uncovers alQaeda plans for Iraq violence US officials say they have uncovered what they believe is a plot by an alQaedalinked militant Abu Musab alZarqawi to stir up sectarian violence in Iraq.
11 March, 2004
Madrid rocked by deadly train bombings Ten bombs explode on four packed earlymorning commuter trains in Madrid killing 191 people and leaving at least 1800 injured. Spanish officials later say their investigations are focusing on the Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group which is said to support alQaeda's war against the West.
15 April, 2004
Bin Laden offers Europe truce An audio tape purported to be from Osama Bin Laden is broadcast. In it he offers Europe a truce if it "stops attacking Muslims" and withdraws all its troops from Muslim countries.
17 May, 2004
Top Iraqi official killed in suicide attack Ezzedine Salim head of the Iraqi Governing Council is killed when a bomber blows himself up near the headquarters of the USled coalition in Baghdad. A group linked to alQaeda suspect Abu Musab alZarqawi says it carried out the attack. US officials believe Zarqawi is behind a number of attacks in Iraq and was responsible for the beheading of a US hostage.
29 May, 2004
Militant shooting spree and siege kill 22 in Saudi Arabia Gumen allegedly from a group linked to alQaeda attack company offices in the eastern city of Khobar killing a number of people. The militants then move to the Oasis housing com£ where they seize several dozen people mostly expatriates. The 25hour crisis ends on 30 May when Saudi commandos storm the housing complex.
18 June, 2004
US engineer beheaded in Saudi Arabia Suspected AlQaeda militants in Saudi Arabia behead Paul Johnson after holding him hostage for a week. The purported head of alQaeda in the country Abdul Aziz alMuqrin is later killed by security forces.
30 July, 2004
Embassy bombings suspect arrest announced The arrest of a key suspect in the bombings of two US embassies in East Africa in 1998 is announced by Pakistani officials. Days after Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani's capture Pakistan confirms the arrest of another man believed to be an alQaeda computer and communications expert.
26 September, 2004
Pakistan alQaeda suspect killed Pakistani police shoot dead suspected alQaeda militant Amjad Farooqi in a twohour gun battle. Farooqi was wanted in connection with the murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl and attempts to kill Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. He was said to be a close associate of Abu Faraj alLibbi described as the operational chief of alQaeda in the region.
29 September, 2004
US warship bombers given death sentence A Yemeni court sentences Abd alRahim alNashiri and Jamal Mohammed alBadawi to death over the bomb attack on the USS Cole which killed 17 people in 2000. Four others are given between five and 10 years in jail for the attack.
29 October, 2004
Bin Laden video threatens US Four days before presidential elections in the US alJazeera TV airs a videotape in which Osama Bin Laden threatens fresh attacks on the US. The alQaeda leader says the reasons behind the events of 11 September 2001 still exist.
14 April, 2005
A UK court convicts alQaeda suspect Kamal Bourgass AlQaeda suspect Kamal Bourgass who stabbed to death a policeman is jailed for 17 years for plotting to spread ricin and other poisons on the UK's streets. Bourgass 31 was already serving a life term after being convicted of murdering Detective Constable Stephen Oake during a 2003 raid in Manchester.
20 April, 2005
Judge allows 911 suspect Moussaoui to enter guilty plea A US judge rules that Zacarias Moussaoui the only person to be charged in the US in connection with the 911 attacks can enter a guilty plea. Mr Moussaoui a French citizen of Moroccan origin tried to plead guilty in 2002 but retracted the plea a week later.
22 April, 2005
Alleged 911 planners go on trial in Madrid Immad Yarkas Driss Chebli and Ghassub alAbrash Ghaylun appear in court in Spain charged with assisting in the planning of the 11 September attacks. The three are charged variously with assisting with planning and logistics of the attacks and reconnaissance of the World Trade Center and other US targets.
4 May, 2005
Pakistan says it has caught alQaedas alleged number three Pakistan announces it has arrested Libyan alQaeda suspect Abu FarajalLibbi thought to be third in the network's hierarchy. Pakistani investigators say detrmation from suspects caught in 2004 led them to identify Libbi as a target and capture him. US President George Bush describes him as a "major facilitator and chief planner" for alQaeda.
7 July, 2005
Rushhour bomb attacks strike the heart of London LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Fifty two people die and 700 are injured as bombs explode on three underground trains and one bus in central London. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0 LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Analysts say the attacks bear the hallmarks of groups linked to or at least inspired by alQaeda.
26 September, 2005
AlQaeda suspect jailed in Spain for role in 911 attacks LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Syrian Imad Yarkas is jailed for 27 years by a court in Madrid after being convicted of conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the 11 September attacks. Prosecutors said Yarkas had run an AlQaeda cell in Spain which helped to organise the attacks. A further 17 men including an alJazeera TV journalist receive sentences ranging from six to 11 years for various other terrorism offences.
19 January, 2006
Bin Laden offers a long term truce LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0In what is believed to be his first new message since December 2004 Osama Bin Laden offers the US a "long term truce". The offer quickly rejected by the US comes in an audio tape aired by Arabic TV station alJazeera. The alQaeda leader also warns that new attacks on the US are being planned.
23 April, 2006
Bin Laden audio tape accuses West of waging war against Islam
6 May, 2006
Zacarias Moussaoui jailed for life for role in 911 attacks LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Zacarias Moussaoui is sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of involvement in the 11 September attacks. Judge Leonie Brinkema tells Moussaoui 37 that he will "never get a chance to speak again and that's an appropriate ending". Moussaoui will serve his sentence in a maximum security jail in Colorado.
8 June, 2006
AlQaeda in Iraq leader Zarqawi killed in airstrike LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Militant leader Abu Musab alZarqawi is killed in a US airstrike in Iraq. The selfstyled head of AlQaeda in Iraq was linked to hundreds of attacks and killings including the videotaped executions of Western hostages Nick Berg and Ken Bigley.
29 June, 2006
US Supreme Court rules military tribunals illegal LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0In a major blow to President Bush's policy the American Supreme Court rules that AlQaeda and Taleban suspects held at Guantanamo Bay cannot be tried in closed military tribunals. The ruling was made after an appeal by a man alleged to be Osama Bin Laden's driver who claimed that such proceedings violated the Geneva Convention. Despite this the US says it will not close the controversial Guantanamo Bay facilities.
3 September, 2006
AlQaedas number 2 in Iraq alSaedi arrested
7 November, 2006
AlQaeda plotter who planned attacks in UK and US is jailed for life LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Dhiren Barot is told he must serve at least 40 years in jail after admitting conspiracy to murder. The court heard Barot prepared meticulous plans for a series of synchronised attacks in the UK. LETTERSPACING0 KERNING0Barot a former Hindu who converted to Islam is also wanted by US authorities over charges of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction in the US and in Yemen.