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Major Terrorist Acts Suspected of or Inspired by al-Qaeda

The following list includes the date, target of attacks, and casualties of significant attacks by the terrorist goup al-Qaeda.

  • 1993 (Feb.): Bombing of World Trade Center (WTC); 6 killed.
  • 1993 (Oct.): Killing of U.S. soldiers in Somalia.
  • 1996 (June): Truck bombing at Khobar Towers barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killed 19 Americans.
  • 1998 (Aug.): Bombing of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; 224 killed, including 12 Americans.
  • 1999 (Dec.): Plot to bomb millennium celebrations in Seattle foiled when customs agents arrest an Algerian smuggling explosives into the U.S.
  • 2000 (Oct.): Bombing of the USS Cole in port in Yemen; 17 U.S. sailors killed.
  • 2001 (Sept.): Destruction of WTC; attack on Pentagon. Total dead 2,992.
  • 2001 (Dec.): Man tried to denote shoe bomb on flight from Paris to Miami.
  • 2002 (April): Explosion at historic synagogue in Tunisia left 21 dead, including 11 German tourists.
  • 2002 (May): Car exploded outside hotel in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 14, including 11 French citizens.
  • 2002 (June): Bomb exploded outside American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, killing 12.
  • 2002 (Oct.): Boat crashed into oil tanker off Yemen coast, killing 1.
  • 2002 (Oct.): Nightclub bombings in Bali, Indonesia, killed 202, mostly Australian citizens.
  • 2002 (Nov.): Suicide attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killed 16.
  • 2003 (May): Suicide bombers killed 34, including 8 Americans, at housing compounds for Westerners in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • 2003 (May): 4 bombs killed 33 people targeting Jewish, Spanish, and Belgian sites in Casablanca, Morocco.
  • 2003 (Aug.): Suicide car-bomb killed 12, injured 150 at Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • 2003 (Nov.): Explosions rocked a Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, housing compound, killing 17.
  • 2003 (Nov.): Suicide car-bombers simultaneously attacked 2 synagogues in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 25 and injuring hundreds.
  • 2003 (Nov.): Truck bombs detonated at London bank and British consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 26.
  • 2004 (March): 10 bombs on 4 trains exploded almost simultaneously during the morning rush hour in Madrid, Spain, killing 191 and injuring more than 1,500.
  • 2004 (May): Terrorists attacked Saudi oil company offices in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, killing 22.
  • 2004 (June): Terrorists kidnapped and executed American Paul Johnson, Jr., in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • 2004 (Sept.): Car bomb outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, killed 9.
  • 2004 (Dec.): Terrorists entered the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, killing 9 (including 4 attackers).
  • 2005 (July): Bombs exploded on 3 trains and a bus in London, England, killing 52.
  • 2005 (Oct.): 22 killed by 3 suicide bombs in Bali, Indonesia.
  • 2005 (Nov.): 57 killed at 3 American hotels in Amman, Jordan.
  • 2006 (Jan.): Two suicide bombers carrying police badges blow themselves up near a celebration at the Police Academy in Baghdad, killing nearly 20 police officers. Al-Qaeda in Iraq takes responsibility.
  • 2006 (Aug.): Police arrest 24 British-born Muslims, most of whom have ties to Pakistan, who had allegedly plotted to blow up as many as 10 planes using liquid explosives. Officials say details of the plan were similar to other schemes devised by al-Qaeda.
  • 2007 (April): Suicide bombers attack a government building in Algeria's capital, Algiers, killing 35 and wounding hundreds more. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility.
  • 2007 (April): Eight people, including two Iraqi legislators, die when a suicide bomber strikes inside the Parliament building in Baghdad. An organization that includes al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia claims responsibility. In another attack, the Sarafiya Bridge that spans the Tigris River is destroyed.
  • 2007 (June): British police find car bombs in two vehicles in London. The attackers reportedly tried to detonate the bombs using cell phones but failed. Government officials say al-Qaeda is linked to the attempted attack. The following day, an SUV carrying bombs bursts into flames after it slams into an entrance to Glasgow Airport. Officials say the attacks are connected.
  • 2007 (Dec.): As many as 60 people are killed in two suicide attacks near United Nations offices and government buildings in Algiers, Algeria. The bombings occur within minutes of each other. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, formerly called the Salafist Group for Preaching, claims responsibility. It's the worst attack in the Algeria in more than 10 years.
  • 2007 (Dec.): Benazir Bhutto, former Pakistani prime minister, is assassinated in a suicide attack on Dec. 27, 2007, at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. President Pervez Musharraf blames al Qaeda for the attack, which kills 23 other people. Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban leader with close ties to al Qaeda is later cited as the assassin.
  • 2008 (Jan.): In the worst attack in Iraq in months, a suicide bomber kills 30 people at a home where mourners were paying their respects to the family of a man killed in a car bomb. The Iraqi military blames the attack on al-Qaeda in Iraq.
  • 2008 (Feb.): Nearly 100 people die when two women suicide bombers, who are believed to be mentally impaired, attack crowded pet markets in eastern Baghdad. The U.S. military says al-Qaeda in Iraq has been recruiting female patients at psychiatric hospitals to become suicide bombers.
  • 2008 (April): A suicide bomber attacks the funeral for two nephews of a prominent Sunni tribal leader, Sheik Kareem Kamil al-Azawi, killing 30 people in Iraq's Diyala Province.
  • 2008 (April): A suicide car bomber kills 40 people in Baquba, the capital of Diyala Province in Iraq.
  • 2008 (April): Thirty-five people die and 62 are injured when a woman detonates explosives that she was carrying under her dress in a busy shopping district in Iraq’s Diyala Province.
  • 2008 (May): At least 12 worshipers are killed and 44 more injured when a bomb explodes in the Bin Salman mosque near Sana, Yemen.
  • 2008 (May): An al-Qaeda suicide bomber detonates explosives in Hit, a city in the Anbar Province of Iraq, killing six policemen and four civilians, and injuring 12 other people.
  • 2008 (June): A car bomb explodes outside the Danish Embassy in Pakistan, killing six people and injuring dozens. Al-Qaeda claims responsibility, saying the attack was retaliation for the 2006 publication of political cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten that depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
  • 2008 (June): A female suicide bomber kills 15 and wounds 40 others, including seven Iraqi policemen, near a courthouse in Baquba, Iraq.
  • 2008 (June): A suicide bomber kills at least 20 people at a meeting between sheiks and Americans in Karmah, a town west of Baghdad.
  • 2008 (Aug.): About two dozens worshippers are killed in three separate attacks as they make their way toward Karbala to celebrate the birthday of 9th-century imam Muhammad al-Mahdi. Iraqi officials blame al-Qaeda in Iraq for the attacks.
  • 2008 (Aug.): A bomb left on the street explodes and tears through a bus carrying Lebanese troops, killing 15 people, nine of them soldiers. No one claims responsibility for the attack, but in 2007, the army fought an al-Qaeda linked Islamist group in Tripoli.
  • 2008 (Aug.): At least 43 people are killed when a suicide bomber drives an explosives-laden car into a police academy in Issers, a town in northern Algeria.
  • 2008 (Aug.): Two car bombs explode at a military command and a hotel in Bouira, killing a dozen people. No group takes responsibility for either attack, Algerian officials said they suspect al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb is behind the bombings.
  • 2008 (Sept.): In its first acknowledged ground attack inside Pakistan, U.S. commandos raid a village that is home to al-Qaeda militants in the tribal region near the border with Afghanistan. The number of casualties is unclear.
  • 2008 (Sept.): A car bomb and a rocket strike the U.S. embassy in Yemen as staff arrived to work, killing 16 people, including 4 civilians. At least 25 suspected al-Qaeda militants are arrested for the attack.
  • 2008 (Nov.): at least 28 people die and over 60 more are injured when three bombs explode minutes apart in Baghdad, Iraq. Officials suspect the explosions are linked to al-Qaeda.
  • 2009 (April): on April 6 in Baghdad, a series of six attacks kills 36 people and injure more than 100 in Shiite neighborhoods; April 23: at least 80 people are killed in three separate suicide bombings in Baghdad. This is the largest single-day death toll due to attacks since February 2008. One of the bombings is reportedly set off by a female, who was standing among a group of women and children receiving food aid.
  • 2009 (Dec.): A Nigerian man on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit attempted to ignite an explosive device hidden in his underwear. The explosive device that failed to detonate was a mixture of powder and liquid that did not alert security personnel in the airport. The alleged bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, told officials later that he was directed by the terrorist group al-Qaeda. The suspect was already on the government's watch list when he attempted the bombing; his father, a respected Nigerian banker, had told the U.S. government that he was worried about his son's increased extremism.
  • 2009 (Dec.): A suicide bomber kills eight Americans civilians, seven of them CIA agents, at a base in Afghanistan. It's the deadliest attack on the agency since 9/11. The attacker is reportedly a double agent from Jordan who was acting on behalf of al-Qaeda.
  • 2010 (Oct.): Two packages are found on separate cargo planes. Each package contains a bomb consisting of 300 to 400 grams (11-14 oz) of plastic explosives and a detonating mechanism. The bombs are discovered as a result of intelligence received from Saudi Arabia's security chief. The packages, bound from Yemen to the United States, are discovered at en route stop-overs, one in England and one in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. A week after the packages are found, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) takes responsibility for the plot.
  • 2011 (Jan.): Two Frenchmen are killed in Niger. France highly suspects the al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).
  • 2011 (Jan.): Four suicide bombings occur in Iraq between January 18-20. At least 137 people are killed and 230 are injured. Al-Qaeda is suspected in all four bombings.
  • 2011 (April): Men claiming to be Moroccan members of AQIM appear on the internet and threaten to attack Moroccan interests. The following week a bomb killing 15 people, including 10 foreigners, explodes in Marrakesh, Morocco.
  • 2012 (Summer): Over the summer of 2012, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and Ansar Dine, another radical Islamist group, take advantage of the instability and an increasingly weak military in Mali and capture Timbuktu, Kidal, and Gao, cities in the north. They implement and brutally enforce Shariah, or Islamic law. They also destroy many ancient books and manuscripts and vandalized tombs, saying that worshipping saints violates the tenets of Islam. The Islamists continue to stretch their area of control into the fall, prompting concern that legions of Islamists will gather and train in northern Mali and threaten large swaths of Africa. ECOWAS begins planning a military action to reclaim the north from the Islamists.
  • 2012 (Sept.): Militants armed with antiaircraft weapons and rocket-propelled grenades fire upon the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, killing U.S. ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other embassy officials. U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton says the U.S. believes that al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, a group closely linked to al-Qaeda, orchestrated the attack.
  • 2013 (Jan.): Militants push into the southern part of Mali, crossing into the area controlled by the government. France sends about 2,150 troops to Mali to push them back. By the end of January, French troops push the militants out of Gao and Timbuktu, forcing them back to northern Mali. Soldiers from other African nations are also deployed to Mali to aid in the effort and will take a more active role in both combat and training Malian troops once France withdraws from Mali.
  • 2013 (Jan. 16): Islamic militants enter neighboring Algeria from Mali and take dozens of foreign hostages at the BP-controlled In Amenas gas field. Algerian officials say the militants are members of an offshoot of al-Qaeda called Al Mulathameen and are acting in retaliation for France's intervention in Mali. On Jan. 17, Algerian troops storm the complex and attack the kidnappers. By the end of the standoff on Jan. 20, 29 militants and 37 hostages are killed. Three Americans are among the dead.
  • 2013 (April 15): Multiple bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Two bombs go off around 2:50 in the afternoon as runners finish the race. Three people are killed and more than 170 people are injured. Three days later, the FBI releases photos and video of two suspects in the hope that the public can help identify them. Just hours after the FBI releases the images, the two suspects rob a gas station in Central Square then shoot and kill a MIT police officer in his car. Afterwards, the two men carjack a SUV and tell the driver that they had set off the explosions at the marathon. Police pursue the vehicle into Watertown. During the shootout, a MBTA officer is shot and one of the suspects, identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, age 26, is killed. A suicide vest is found on his body. The other suspect, Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev, age 19, remains at large for several hours, causing a massive manhunt and lockdown for all of Boston, Cambridge, and many other surrounding communities. The manhunt ends the next evening, on April 19, when he is found alive, but seriously injured, hiding in a boat behind a house in Watertown. The two suspects are brothers and had been living together on Norfolk Street in Cambridge. They have lived in the U.S. for about a decade, but are from an area near Chechnya, a region in Russia. While the ongoing investigation so far has shown that the two suspects were not acting with any known terrorist group, evidence suggests they may have learned how to build the bombs online from an affiliate of Al Qaeda in Yemen.

Information Please® Database, © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.

September 11, 2001: Timeline of Terrorism Disasters 2004 Disasters

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