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September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack/Back history

September_11,_2001_Terrorist_Attack: Background History

Overview -- Background history -- September 11 -- Rest of September -- October -- Aftermath

United States' strongest allies in west Asia are Turkey (a member of NATO), Israel and Egypt. All of these nations receive financial aid from the U.S. The U.S. also has military bases in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman.

1954-1979: United States backs the Iranian monarchy led by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran. This rule gradually loses the population's favor, as in addition to its ruthless and dictatorial nature (including a brutal secret police), they see it as alien and secular, and gradually fundamental Shi'ite Islam strengthens.

1967: United States holds that Israel should withdraw from territory won in the Six-Day War (Gaza Strip, West Bank, Golan Heights), and agrees with both the UN and Israel that it should do so as part of a comprehensive peace agreement (see UN Security Council Resolution 242).

1972: The North tower of the World Trade Center is completed.

1973: The South tower of the World Trade Center is completed.

1979: Iran is taken over by fundamentalist Shi'ite Islamists, led by Ayatollah Khomeini. The country proceeds from one extreme to another, eradicating all Western influence, setting up a radical theocracy and beginning to back radical Islamic forces all through the region.

1979: A communist government comes to power in Afghanistan, has Soviet backing. United States and Pakistan support the mujahadeen militarily in opposition (secretly at first), then the Soviet Union invades and gets involved in a long, fruitless war. Osama bin Laden joins the fight through the Saudi Arabian government.

1983: United States troops go to Lebanon as part of a United Nations peace-keeping force. The U.S. withdraws after its Marine barracks and Beirut Embassy are bombed by Iranian-backed Shiite terrorists, killing more than 250 Americans.

1980-1988: United States backs Iraq in the long and bloody Iran-Iraq War. The U.S. also blocks UN Security Council resolutions condemning the Iraqi invasion and removes Iraq from its list of nations sponsoring terrorism together with allowing transfer of U.S. arms to Iraq and re-establishing diplomatic relations.

1987-1988: U.S. sends its navy to the Persian Gulf to protect oil tankers and show support for Iraq. On March 17, 1987, an Iraqi aircraft attacks USS Stark killing 37 seamen, probably erroneously, but forcing American forces to adopt a more vigilant mindset. This in turn leads to USS Vincennes's erroneous shooting down of an Iranian civilian airplane, mistaken for an F-14, killing 290 on July 3, 1988.

1989: Introduction of the new US Quadrennial Defense Review which contains the Base Force strategy (http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/history/baseforc.pdf). This strategy defines international terrorism and rogue states as new national security threats, labelling Iraq and a number of other countries as rogue states, a year before the invasion of Iraq into Kuwait. These new threats are to be used in order to replace the cold war threat of communism in the post-cold war world.

Osama bin Laden founds Al-Qaida, with over $60 Billon of CIA funding from the years 1981-1988. Soviet Union withdraws from Afghanistan 1988. The United States ceases support for the mujahadeen. the Communist government falls three years later in (1992). A new government is formed to replace it but civil war among many rival factions ensues with some backed by Pakistan and other outsiders including the CIA.

1990-1991: Gulf War -- Iraq invades Kuwait. International coalition led by the United States expels Iraq and restores the Kuwaiti monarchy. Saddam Hussein remains in power in Iraq. U.S. and allied forces keep new military bases in the region. Osama bin Laden, outraged by what he views as an infidel presence in Saudi Arabia (home to two holy cities -- Mecca and Medina), and turns completely against the United States.

The United States and allies have since patrolled no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq. Economic sanctions against Iraq also continue, in an unsuccessful effort to compel Iraq to implement ceasefire agreements. Over a million Iraqi deaths have been blamed on the effects of these sanctions, although most evidence indicates the Iraqi leadership did not stop its weapon programs.

During the 1980s the Islamist movement spreads widely, teaching that all Arab nations are corrupt and not representative of "true" Islam; thus all of these nations must be overthrown and replaced with an Islamic government, run solely by Islamic law.

1991: the Cold War ends with the Soviet Union splitting apart into independent republics.

1992: the Cato Institute released a foreign policy analysis called 'The Green Peril - Creating the Fundamentalist Islamic threat' (http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-177).

This analysis describes the introduction of the threat symbolized by the Middle Eastern Moslem fundamentalist--"the Fundie, a Khomeini-like creature, armed with a radical ideology, equipped with nuclear weapons, and intent on launching a violent jihad against Western civilization" and by "building up Saddam Hussein as the most dangerous man in the world and as one of America's first new post-Cold War bogeymen" in support of US Foreign Policy, as well as the processes needed to create these threats.

Author Leon Hadar states that at the moment of publication (August 1992), the creation of the threat of "The Green Peril" was underway for several months.

February 26, (1993): World Trade Center bombing: A team likely backed by Osama bin Laden planted a van bomb in the World Trade Center, which exploded in the underground garage of the north tower. Six people were killed and over a thousand injured. Six Islamic extremist conspirators were convicted of the crime in 1997, and each sentenced to 240 years in prison.

1994: Osama bin Laden's Saudi Arabian citizenship revoked. He goes to Sudan.

November 13, 1995: A bomb at United States military headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia kills five Americans (other casualties?).

1996: The Taliban, a radical Islamic movement backed by the Arab mujahadeen staying in Afghanistan after the war with the Soviet Union ended, takes the capital Kabul and most of Afghanistan from the hands of the local mujahadeen groups and form a government. This Islamist regime is recognized only by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Osama bin Laden arrives from Sudan. The area of the country not under Taliban control remains under the Northern Alliance, made up of forces that had belonged to the local mujahadeen, and ironically, the former Communist government in addition to Afghan minorities who faced persecution (the Taliban members who are Afghani are mainly the ethnic majority Pashtun) group.

June 1996: A bomb at a United States military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, kills 19 people and injures 500.

February 1998: Osama bin Laden and other Islamic extremists issue a fatwa declaring it the religious duty of all Muslims "to kill the Americans and their allies - civilians and military ... in any country in which it is possible". Bin Laden bases the fatwa on the United States support for Israel and its actions during and following the Gulf War.

August 7, 1998: bombings of the United States embassies in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya. Over 200 people died in these attacks, which the United States has linked to Osama bin Laden.

August 21, 1998: The United States destroys what was apparently a pharmaceutical plant (believed at that time to be a chemical weapons plant) in Sudan with cruise missiles, and tries to kill bin Laden in a cruise missile attack on his camp in Afghanistan, during a meeting of "terrorist leaders". Twenty-four people were killed, but the leaders had dispersed by the time the missiles struck, and bin Laden was unharmed. The United States blocks a United Nations investigation into the Sudan attack.

October 1998: Iraq ejects United Nations monitoring teams (some of whose U.S. members were accused by Iraq in spying for the United States). U.S. and the United Kingdom introduce less strict Rules of Engagement, resulting in intermittent bombing of Iraqi Anti-Aircraft installations regarded as dangerous to overflying aircraft.

1999: Drought in Afghanistan begins.

September 23, 1999: Texas Governer George Walker Bush predicts (http://web.archive.org/web/19991012180137/georgewbush.com/News/September/nr82399_def.htm) on his Presidential Exploratory Committee website, that if he were to become President of the United States, he would prioritize the defense of the homeland stating :

"The protection of America itself will assume a high priority in a new century. Once a strategic afterthought, homeland defense has become an urgent duty. Every group or nation must know if they sponsor such attacks, our response will be devastating. If elected president, I will set three goals: I will renew the bond of trust between the American president and the American military, I will defend the American people against missiles and terror, and I will begin creating the military of the next century. Our Military needs the rallying point of a defining mission. And that mission is to deter wars - and win wars when deterrence fails. Sending our military on vague, aimless and endless deployments is the swift solvent of morale."

October 2000: USS Cole bombing in which 17 American sailors die, also tied to Osama bin Laden.

Late 2000: The the Israeli-Palestinian peace process falls apart, and the al-Aqsa Intifada begins.

May 2001: the United States gives $43 million to the Taliban for reducing poppy production (poppies are the source of heroin).

June 22, 2001: The United States Department of State issues a "worldwide caution" for U.S. citizens around the world of possible Osama bin Laden-related terrorist attacks. The warning is due to expire or be updated September 22.

Senator Warner states in his testimony (http://www.defenselink.mil/speeches/2001/s20010628-secdef3) before the Senate Armed Services Committee, that he would scrutinize their budget submissions "because we've got to prepare for an attack here at home of a terrorist nature in some form right in the cities here in the United States, and how best this nation responds."

September 9, 2001: Taliban assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the military leader of the Northern Alliance Afghani opposition (he dies of the wounds on September 13).

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