October 2001 News and Events

Updated February 11, 2017 | Infoplease Staff


  • Suicide Bombers Kill Dozens in Kashmir (Oct. 1): Car bomb kills at least 38 in Srinagar, increasing Indian-Pakistani tension. Pakistan-based Islamic militants claim responsibility.
  • Serbs Seek Two War Crimes Suspect (Oct. 2): Bosnian parliament votes to clear way for arrest of Bosnian Serb leaders Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, two most notorious suspects who remain at large.
  • Russia and Iran Sign Military Accord (Oct. 2): Kremlin expects new pact will lead to millions in annual sales of jets, missiles, and other weapons.
  • Russian Airliner Crashes in Black Sea (Oct. 4): Casualties include 64 passengers and 12 crew members; stray Ukranian missile is suspected and later confirmed.
  • Attacks on Afghanistan Begin (Oct. 7): U.S. and British air forces attack Taliban military installations and terrorist training camps. Bombings continue on a daily basis. Food and medicine is dropped for civilians in areas not controlled by Taliban.
  • Hurricane Iris Socks Central America (Oct. 8): Storm kills approximately 18 people in Belize, mostly American tourists who drowned when their diving boat sank. Some 13,000 people are left homeless.
  • Russians Recover Sunken Submarine (Oct. 8): In 15 hours nuclear-powered craft brought to surface in Barents Sea. Sank in 2000 with 118 crewmen on board.
  • U.S. Forces in Uzbekistan (Oct. 13): Uzbekistan agrees to allow U.S. forces to be stationed there in fight against Taliban in neighboring Afghanistan.
  • Israeli Official Assassinated (Oct. 17): Right-wing cabinet member Rehavam Zeevi is shot in a hotel corridor. Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claims responsibility. (Oct. 18): Israeli forces begin to occupy Palestinian-controlled towns and villages in response to assassination of Zeevi.
  • U.S. Embassy Bombers Get Life Sentences (Oct. 18): Four members of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network receive life without parole for their roles in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
  • President Bush Arrives in Shanghai (Oct. 18): Attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit of 21 nations. Participants issue a statement condemning terrorist attacks on U.S. (Oct. 21): Bush and Russian president Vladimir Putin announce they could agree to amend the 1972 antiballistic missile treaty, thus allowing the U.S. to proceed with a missile defense shield. U.S. Mounts Helicopter Assault (Oct. 19): Risky night raid into southern Afghanistan begins new phase of war on terrorism. Attack follows 13 days of aerial bombardment. Series of helicopter assaults may mark start of attempt to show Afghanistan regime and U.S. allies seriousness of America's resolution. (Oct. 19): U.S. commandos strike Taliban headquarters and military airfield. U.S. forces seek information about Taliban and terrorist leaders.
  • Bush Meets Chinese President (Oct. 19): President says he finds support among Pacific Rim nations for military action in Afghanistan and war against terrorism.
  • U.S. Planes Attack Taliban Troops (Oct. 21): Stage first major assault on Afghanistan forces north of Kabul, the capital. Opposition Northern Alliance cheers action as it appears to be preparing to storm enemy fortifications on way to capital.
  • IRA Begins to Disarm (Oct. 23): Irish Republican Army announces that it has begun to dismantle its weapons arsenal, marking a dramatic leap forward in fragile Northern Ireland peace process.
  • U.S. Planes Bomb Red Cross Complex (Oct. 26): Nearly destroy site at Kabul, Afghanistan, that had been attacked 10 days previously. Pentagon admits military planners had picked wrong target.
  • Gunmen Kill 16 in Pakistan Church (Oct. 28): Shoot Roman Catholic worshippers as service ends.
  • Ground Raid Yields Little Data (Oct. 29): U.S. officials say documents and computer files seized by U.S. ground forces in southern Afghanistan failed to produce intelligence material that Pentagon had expected Analysts continue review.


  • Supreme Court Disbars President Clinton (Oct. 1): High court rules against former president. Clinton is appealing.
  • Anthrax Scare Rivets Nation (Oct. 5 et. seq.): Photo editor at Florida's American Media becomes first person to die from illness in U.S. since 1976. (Oct. 9): FBI joins investigation after second case of anthrax exposure confirmed at American Media. (Oct. 15): Letter sent to office of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle tests positive for anthrax. Contaminated mail has also been received by NBC News in New York and a Microsoft office in Reno, Nevada. (Oct. 16): A 7-month-old boy who had visited the offices of ABC News in New York is hospitalized with anthrax, while a second case of anthrax is confirmed in Florida. (Oct. 18): An employee of CBS News in New York and a New Jersey postal worker have been infected with anthrax, for a total of six people with the disease, while about 37 people in New York, Washington, New Jersey, and Florida have been exposed. (Oct. 22): Two postal workers in Washington, DC, die of anthrax.
  • Anti-Terror Chief Sworn In (Oct. 8): Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge takes the helm of the recently created Office of Homeland Security. He's charged with coordinating 40 federal agencies to prevent future terrorist attacks.
  • Congressional Democrats Elect Minority Whip (Oct. 10): Nancy Pelosi of California is elected second-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.
  • Anthrax Danger Spreads (Oct. 14): As more cases of deadly disease are reported, Bush administration announces huge expansion of program to deal with bioterrorism. It is moving to buy antibiotics available to treat up to 12 million people.
  • U.S. Reports 1,000 Detentions (Oct. 29): Justice department reports number held after September 11 terrorist attacks. Civil liberties advocates hint at possible secret detentions.
  • New Terrorist Attacks Predicted (Oct. 29): Government officials warn of danger but give no indication of what targets might be. Attorney general Ashcroft says “information is credible.”
  • Bush Plans Fight on Anthrax (Oct. 31): Four dead and 12 made ill by deadly germ disease. Fourth victim is New York hospital worker stricken by inhalation form of anthrax. In wake of nationwide mystery, president is discussing with allies new proposals to make it a crime for individuals to buy, build, or acquire biological weapons for terrorist attacks.


  • Federal Reserve Board Cuts Interest Rates (Oct. 2): Key federal rate drops one-half point to 2.5 percent; ninth cut of year brings rates to a 39-year low.
  • Electric Chair Barred in Georgia (Oct. 5): State supreme court is first in nation to rule that electrocution is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual.
  • Russian Nuclear Submarine Raised (Oct 8): Kursk is brought to surface in Barents Sea. Vessel sank in 2000, killing its entire crew of 118.
  • Plane Crashes at Milan, Killing 118 (Oct. 8): Pilot of Cessna takes wrong turn on runway and collides with SAS jet airliner taking off at full speed.
  • Polaroid Files for Bankruptcy (Oct. 12): Huge debts, declining market share cited.
  • Retail Sales Plunge (Oct. 12): Commerce Dept. announces sales fell 2.4% in September, the worst monthly drop in nearly a decade.
  • O. J. Simpson Acquitted in Road Rage Case (Oct. 24): Cleared by Miami jury of guilt in altercation.
  • 128 Missing in Swiss Tunnel Collision (Oct. 25): Eleven confirmed dead as two trucks crash, setting off an intense blaze.