December 2001 News and Events

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • Terrorist Bombings Kill 25 in Israel (Dec. 2): Third Palestinian suicide attack in about 12 hours kills 16 on city bus in Haifa, Israel. Israelis tighten security after series of bombings claim at least 25 people. Yasir Arafat orders arrest of suspects.
  • Israelis Attack Palestinian Sites (Dec. 4): Target Yasir Arafat's compound and security offices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Action in response to recent series of suicide bombings by Palestinians.
  • Interim Afghan Government Formed (Dec. 5): Four factions sign pact for regime to succeed Taliban. It will be headed by Pashtun Hamid Karzai, a relative of former King Mohammad Zahir Shah.
  • Taliban Surrender Final Province (Dec. 7): Give up stronghold in Kandahar. (Dec. 9): Five-year brutal Taliban rule officially over. However, Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Muhammad Omar remain in hiding.
  • German Chancellor Strengthens Coalition (Dec. 8): Gerhard Schröder's role in forming new Afghanistan government bolsters shaky coalition.
  • Uzbeks to Open Bridge in Afghanistan (Dec. 8): Under pressure from U.S., agree to clear way for food and medical supplies to be distributed in Afghanistan.
  • Moroccan-born Frenchman Charged in Terror Attacks (Dec. 11): Zacarias Moussaoui, suspected of being the “fifth hijacker” in the Sept. 11 attacks, indicted in a Virginia court on charges of conspiring to murder, commit acts of terrorism, commit aircraft piracy, and use weapons of mass destruction.
  • Milosevic Charged with Genocide (Dec. 11): In third indictment by U.N. War Crimes Tribunal at the Hague, former Yugoslav president cited for his role in the civil war in Bosnia in the early 1990s. He refuses to enter plea.
  • Palestinians Kill 10 Israelis (Dec. 12): Members of Hamas militant group detonate bombs under bus in West Bank and gun down fleeing passengers. (Dec. 13): Israeli government decides to break contact with Palestinian chairman, Yasir Arafat.
  • Videotape Shows Bin Laden Boasting (Dec. 13): U.S. releases tape with terrorist leader laughing about Sept. 11 attacks that killed more than 3,000 people. Bin Laden says suicide missions caused more damage to World Trade Center than expected.
  • Russian Accepts Bush Treaty Decision (Dec. 13): President Vladimir V. Putin reluctantly accedes to U.S. withdrawal from 1972 Antiballistic Treaty and calls for new arms control plan.
  • Gunmen Attack New Delhi Government (Dec. 13): Five in suicide squad kill nine in Parliament House and themselves. Injure 18. (Dec. 14): India blames militant Islamic group supported by Pakistan for raid.
  • Arafat Calls for End of Attacks (Dec. 16): Palestinian Authority chairman responds to pressure by U.S. and Europe to stop terrorism against Israelis. In TV address he urges militants to end campaign of armed attacks against Israelis, including suicide bombings.
  • Argentine President Resigns (Dec. 20): Fernando de la Rua leaves office midway through four-year term as riots erupt over his failure to end economic crisis.
  • India Recalls Ambassador to Pakistan (Dec. 21): Also ends bus and train service between nations in protest of Pakistan's failure to crack down on groups that India accuses of attacking its parliament.
  • New Afghan Leader Sworn In (Dec. 22): Hamid Karzai, a tribal chief, pleads for unity by fellow citizens and international community in rebuilding war-ravaged nation.
  • Explosives in Shoes Found on Jetliner (Dec. 23): Tests confirm that material packed with wires had been hidden in sneakers of passenger, Richard Reid, 28, on flight over the Atlantic. Man was subdued by other passengers and flight attendants on American Airlines jet.
  • Pakistan Arrests Militant Leaders (Dec. 28): Moves to end threat of war by seizing some 50 Islamic militants accused by India of mounting suicide attack on parliament building.
  • The Euro Entering Circulation (Dec. 31): At midnight common currency of notes and coins becomes legal tender in 12 European nations.
  • Afghan Peacekeeping Agreement Reached (Dec. 31): Interim government and British force settle terms for operation of growing military force to control fighting.
  • Pakistan Arrests a Leading Muslim Militant (Dec. 31): Reported to seize Hafiz Muhammad Saeed in apparent effort to head off conflict with India.


  • Bush Freezes Muslim Assets (Dec. 4): Widens campaign against terrorist groups by seizing assets of Texas-based Holy Land Foundation, largest Muslim charity in United States.
  • Gun Checks Banned in Terror Inquiry (Dec. 5): Justice department refuses to let FBI examine records of suspects in attack on Sept. 11.
  • Civil Rights Commission Nominee Barred (Dec. 7): Democratic senators keep president's choice, Peter Kirsanow, from being seated and prevent him from voting.
  • Congress Gives Up Economic Action (Dec. 19): Abandons hope of agreement this year on steps to help unemployed and speed recovery from recession.


  • Enron Corp. Files Bankruptcy (Dec. 2): One of world's largest energy companies enters record claim. Blames rival company, Dynegy, over canceled acquisition deal.
  • Head of Huge Media Company to Retire (Dec. 11): Gerald M. Levin, chief executive of AOL Time Warner, selects Richard D. Parsons as his successor.
  • New Cold Remedy Reported (Dec. 17): Chicago scientists say they have developed first drug that reduces duration and intensity of common cold.
  • 2001 Was Second Warmest in 140 Years (Dec. 18): UN weather agency reports temperatures are getting hotter faster than at any time previously.
  • AT&T Agrees to Sell Cable TV Division (Dec. 19): Comcast Corp. to buy nation's largest operation for about $47 billion in stock. Deal would establish network of more than 22 million subscribers.
  • New Dietary Guidelines for Diabetes (Dec. 26): American Diabetes Association says victims of disease can eat some sweets as long as they control their blood sugar levels.
  • Screening for Cancer Questioned (Dec. 29): Medical researchers increasingly doubtful about preventive value of early testing of healthy people.
  • Inferno Kills Hundreds in Peru (Dec. 30): Fireworks explosions feed blaze that spreads across four blocks in historic center of Lima. At least 276 perish.
  • New Year to Bring New State Laws (Dec. 31): They include an Oregon ban on smoking in most workplaces and a revamping of Florida's election laws.

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