February 2002

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • U.S. Says al-Qaeda Able to Strike Again (Feb. 6): CIA head George Tenet reports terrorist group is trying to reassemble and manage another large attack.
  • Britain Fights Vaccine Fears (Feb. 7): Working to assure parents of safety of MMR, common childhood immunization. Many believe products may be linked to autism despite word to the contrary.
  • Taliban Official in U.S. Custody (Feb. 8): Former foreign minister, Mullah Muttawakil, surrenders at Kandahar.
  • Milosevic Trial Opens at The Hague (Feb. 12): Former Yugoslav president faces charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. (Feb. 12): In opening statement, Milosevic defends himself and berates NATO for decade of violence in the Balkans.
  • Algerian Pilot Escapes Extradition (Feb. 12): U.S. fails to win custody from British court of Loft Raisi, suspected of being “lead trainer” of hijackers in Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
  • Afghan Government Minister Assassinated (Feb. 14): Abdul Rahman, member of Hamid Karzai's interim government, murdered at Kabul airport.
  • U.S. Air Strikes Bolster Kabul Government (Feb. 18): New phase of Afghanistan war opens when American forces drop precision-guided missiles on “enemy troops.”
  • Colombia President Suspends Talks with Rebels (Feb. 20): Andres Pastrana acts after FARC members hijack a commercial plane and kidnap a Liberal Party senator.
  • Video Confirms Death of Reporter (Feb. 21): FBI says tape delivered to Pakistani official proves Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl is dead.
  • Angolan Rebel Leader Killed (Feb. 22): Jonas Savimbi, leader of UNITA, which has waged a decades-long civil war, is shot in a battle with Angolan army.
  • U.S. Believes bin Laden Is Alive (Feb. 23): Officials think the terrorist leader is hiding in remote border area between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Israelis Keep Arafat Confined (Feb. 25): Government decides to continue restricting Palestinian leader to West Bank city of Ramallah, but lifts his confinement to his compound. Arafat will need prime minister's permission to leave Ramallah.
  • Bin Laden Had No Atomic Arms (Feb. 25): Administration officials find no evidence in analysis of radioactive substances seized in Afghanistan.
  • Bush Welcomes Saudi Peace Offer (Feb. 26): Praises Crown Prince Abdullah's proposal for Israel to withdraw completely from West Bank and Gaza Strip in exchange for normalized relations with all Arab nations.
  • Israelis Raid Refugee Camps (Feb. 28): Troops kill at least 11 Palestinians in brutal battle. One Israeli dies in the fighting.
  • Muslim Mob Attacks Trainload of Hindus (Feb. 27): Fifty-eight people burned to death in Ahmedabad. Group returning from demonstration to support construction of a temple on a Muslim holy site in Ayodhya. (Feb. 28): Hindus retaliate, burning Muslims alive in their homes and setting fire to Muslim-owned restaurants, shops, cars, and apartments.


  • Bush Proposes Military Budget Increase (Feb. 1): Administration to seek additional $120 billion over next five years, bringing annual budget to $451 billion in 2007.
  • Clintons Criticized Over Gifts (Feb. 12): GOP Congressional inquiry reports they underestimated value of dozens they received in White House and did not reveal others valued below reporting threshold.
  • American Taliban Soldier Charged (Feb. 13): John Walker Lindh pleads not guilty to charges that he supported terrorist groups and conspired to kill U.S. citizens.
  • House Votes for Campaign Reform (Feb. 14): Approves, 240–189, broad overhaul of financing procedures, including ban on soft money.
  • Bush Offers Antipollution Plan (Feb. 14): Discloses program to slow accumulation of gases linked to climate change and cut pollution from power plants.
  • Big TV Networks Win Court Victory (Feb. 19): Federal bench in Washington rules government must reconsider number of stations a network can own and voids ban on cable operator ownership of TV stations.
  • President “Outraged” by Enron (Feb. 22): Changing view about company, heavy campaign contributor, Bush says corporation misled employes and investors.
  • Bush Changes Toxic Waste Policy (Feb. 22): Specifies fewer sites for restoration and transfers most costs from industry to taxpayers.


  • Queen Marks Golden Jubilee (Feb. 6): Elizabeth II observes 50th anniversary of ascension to the throne.
  • Another Company Under Inquiry (Feb. 8): SEC investigating bankruptcy filing of optic network operator Global Crossing. Largest filing ever by a telecommunications company.
  • Winter Olympics Open (Feb. 8): 19th winter games open with festive ceremony at Salt Lake City.
  • Enron Ex-Head Criticized at Hearing (Feb. 12): Bipartisan group of 21 senators highly critical of Kenneth L. Lay, former chairman.
  • Canadian Skaters Get Gold Medals (Feb. 15): David Pelletier and Jamie Salé share top honor with Russian pair after a judge admits to vote-rigging.
  • Rotting Corpses Found Near Crematory (Feb. 15): Operator of Georgia's Tri-State Crematory, Ray Marsh, allegedly dumped bodies on property when furnace failed.
  • Train Fire Kills Hundreds in Egypt (Feb. 20): More than 370 holiday travelers dead. Explosion in stove blamed.
  • Operation on Fetus Called Success (Feb. 21): Boston surgeons operate on fetus's aortic valve in utero. Baby born healthy although delivered six weeks early.
  • U.S. Issues New Guidelines on Mammograms (Feb. 21): Ending months of controversy, health officials strongly recommend breast cancer screening beginning at age 40, instead of 50.
  • Georgia Killer Wins Clemency (Feb. 25): State commutes death sentence to life in prison because of age and mental health of Alexander Williams, who was 17 when he raped and murdered a teenager.
  • Former Enron Official Defiant at Hearing (Feb. 26): Jeffrey K. Skilling, former CEO, tells Senate panel he did not lie to Congress about his role in Enron's collapse.
  • Movie Soundtrack Dominates Grammys (Feb. 27): O Brother Where Art Thou recording wins five awards, including album of the year award and best country vocal. Newcomer Alicia Keys also nets five awards.

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