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War on Terror

George W Bush

War on Terror: The 'War on Terror', also known as the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), included an International coalition of countries who supported the United States.

Definition and Summary of the War on Terror
Summary and definition:
The term 'War on Terror' followed the devastating September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States when President George H Bush used the phrase to describe the threat of terrorism in the world. He announced his intention to initially target the radical Islamic group Al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden, but went on to say that the War on Terror "Will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated".

The 'War on Terror', also known as the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), included an International coalition of countries who supported the United States. The War on Terror targets terrorists who commit violent acts of both Domestic and International Terrorism.

War on Terror: Definition of Terrorism
Terrorism is the use of violence by violent, radical groups against civilians to achieve their religious, political or ideological goals by instilling fear in people in an attempt to force their governments into changing their policies. There are two types of terrorism - Domestic Terrorism and International Terrorism.

War on Terror: Definition of Domestic Terrorism
Definition: Domestic Terrorism involves acts of terror, such as the Oklahoma City Bombing and the Unabomber, that are practiced by individuals in their own country against their own people. Examples of Domestic Terrorism in the United States are the Oklahoma City Bombing and the activities of the Unabomber.

War on Terror: Definition of International Terrorism
Definition: International Terrorism involves acts of terror in a foreign country by terrorists who are not native to that country. Examples of International Terrorism in the United States are the World Trade Center bombing, the 9/11 attacks. Acts of International Terrorism also extend to targeting military serving away from the homeland and innocent tourists visiting foreign countries such as in the Bali bombing when 7 US citizens were killed.

War on Terror: Middle Eastern Terrorists
Conflict with countries in the Middle East began in the 1920's when, responding to the rise of the automobile, the United States invested heavily in the Middle East oil industry. The US investments resulted in the families of the rulers of the countries becoming fabulously rich but most of the ordinary people remained extremely poor. The increased contact between the West and the East emphasized the clash in culture and the religions of the countries. Many Muslims became increasingly concerned that their traditional values and beliefs were being weakened through western influences and new movements, such as Al-Qaeda, began to emerge demanding a return to traditional Muslim laws and conventions and the strict interpretation of the Koran (Quaran), the Islamic sacred book.

War on Terror: State-Sponsored Terrorists
In the 1970's several countries in the Middle East realized that they could intimidate and disrupt the United States and their western allies by secretly providing terrorist organizations with money, training and weapons.  'State-Sponsored terrorism' is the term that is used to describe a government that secretly supports terrorist groups. The Middle Eastern countries of   Iraq, Iran, Libya and Syria have all sponsored terrorist groups in 'State-Sponsored terrorism'.

War on Terror Timeline
The US War on Terror timeline provides dates and facts with details of important events and terrorist attacks of Domestic and International terrorism that charts the on-going War on Terror and its effects and repercussions in the United States and other countries. The history timeline of the War on Terror is told in a factual timeline sequence consisting of a series of short facts providing a simple method of relating the relevant, significant acts of terrorism in the modern era.

War on Terror for kids: War on Terror for kids: History Timeline
The main events and dates of the War on Terror can be seen in the short, history War on Terror Timeline for kids.  

1970: Dawson's Field hijackings when terrorists hijacked four airplanes bound for New York City to a remote desert airstrip called Dawson's Field near Zarka, Jordan

1974: The "Alphabet Bomber" Muharem Kurbegovich bombed the Pan Am Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport

1975: LaGuardia Airport Bombing in East Elmhurst, New York City killed 11 and injured 75 people

1978: The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynsk begins a reign of terror sending mail bombs between 1978 to 1995

1979: The Taliban, one of the Mujahideen factions meaning "those engaged in jihad", was formed during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan

1979: Iran Hostage Crisis: Militant Iranian students, stormed the United States Embassy in Teheran and 52 Americans were held hostage for more than a year

1980: The Bombing of the Statue of Liberty an explosive device was detonated in the Story Room.

1983: Beirut Barracks Bombings when U.S. Marine barracks were bombed in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241

1984: Rajneeshee bioterror attack in which 751 people in The Dalles, Oregon were deliberately contaminated with salmonella

1985: TWA flight 847 hijacked and hostages were held for 17 days in Beirut, Lebanon

1986: La Belle discotheque bombing in West Berlin kills 3 and injures 150 people

1988: Lockerbie Bombing: Bomb on Pan Am flight 103 kills 270 in Lockerbie, Scotland

1989: Firebombing of the Riverdale Press following the defense of Salman Rushdie author of The Satanic Verses

1991: The Taliban was established in Pakistan.

1992: Fatwahs were issued by Al Qaeda against American Troops in Saudi Arabia and Yemen

1993: 1993 World Trade Center Bombing at World Trade Center kills 6 with more than 1000 injured

1993: Fatwahs were issued by Al Qaeda against American Troops in Somalia

1993: Battle of Mogadishu (Black Hawk Down) when the US fought forces of Somali warlord Aidid

1995: Oklahoma City Bombing destroys a federal building kills 168, injures nearly 700

1996: Khobar Towers bombing at U.S. complex in Dharan, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 American soldiers

1998: Bombing at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania kills more than 200.

1998: Osama Bin Laden proclaimed that it was his Islamic duty to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WDM's) to overthrow to launch attacks on the United States and its western allies

1998: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) placed Osama bin Laden on its ten most-wanted fugitives list

2000: Bomb kills 17 American sailors and injures 39 aboard USS Cole near the Yemeni port of Aden

2001: 9/11 terrorist attacks: Hijacked airliners crash into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania, killing thousands of innocent people

2001: Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, President George H Bush used the term 'War on Terror' to describe the threat of terrorism in the world.

2001: An International coalition of countries who supported the United States was built to support America's. War on Terror and begins to target the radical Islamic group Al-Qaeda, led by Osama bin Laden who was being sheltered by the Taliban.

2001: Anthrax attacks across in Washington D.D., Florida and New York City

2001: President Bush signed the USA Patriot Act, an antiterrorism law, on October 26, 2001,  allowing federal officials greater authority in tracking and intercepting communications.

2001: The American War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001 when the United States invaded Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.

2002: Bali Bombings: Bombing at nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, kills 202 and injures 209

2002: American troops deployed to the Philippines to help combat Filipino Islamist groups

2002: Guantanamo Bay detention camp established in Cuba on January 2002

2002: The Bush Administration sends about 100 Special Operations Forces to Yemen, a power base for Al Qaeda.

2002: Jihadi organizations and groups begin promoting extremism in Pakistan

2002: Mombasa attacks, an Al-Qaeda group bombs an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya

2002: The Homeland Security Act was enacted by Congress in November 25, 2002 and the Department of Homeland Security became operational on January 24, 2003

2003: The Iraq War (20 March 2003 – 18 December 2011) began with an air campaign, immediately followed by a US-led ground invasion to capture Saddam Hussein and investigate his threat of weapons of mass destruction (WDM's).

2003: Riyadh compound bombings where at least 34 people were killed in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia

2003: Casablanca bombings in Casablanca, Morocco killing 33 victims

2003: Canal Hotel bombing, used as the United Nations (UN) headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq killed 22 people

2003: Istanbul bombings killed 57 civilians and more than 300 injured on synagogues in the city of Istanbul, Turkey

2004: The Pakistan Army launched a campaign in the Waziristan region to remove the Al-Qaeda forces in the region and the US launches Drone attacks in the region.

2004: Madrid train bombings on commuter trains in Spain killed 191 people and over 1800 people injured

2004: Khobar Massacre at the Oasis housing compound in the city of Khobar, Saudi Arabia

2005: London bombings on 7 July when 52 were killed and 700 were injured as bombs exploded on 3 underground trains and a London bus

2006: The War in Somalia between Somalian troops against the Somali Islamist umbrella group, the Islamic Court Union (ICU)

2006: Saddam Hussein is executed for crimes against humanity on December 30, 2006 in Kadhimiya, Iraq

2007: Algiers bombings in which fifty people were killed

2008: Islamabad Marriott Hotel bombing in Pakistan killing 54 people and injuring 266 others

2009: Pakistan emerged as a new global hub for anti-West militancy

2011: US air strikes and drone attacks in Yemen

2011: Death of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan

2012: Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens - refer to the Benghazi attack

2012: The conflict in northern Mali with radical Islamists (affiliated to Al-Qaeda) advancing into the West African country of Mali.

2013: The Boston Marathon bombing on September 11, 2012 killed 6 people and 280 were injured

2013: The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) grew out of Al-Qaeda - refer to ISIS and ISIL

2013: August 2013: Kayla Jean Mueller an American humanitarian aid worker was taken captive by ISIL in Aleppo, Syria. Kayla Jean Mueller was subsequently killed c. February 6, 2015

2013: ISIS and ISIL consolidated its hold over numerous towns and cities in Iraq. Their takeover of the Iraqi city of Mosul the two groups merged to create a caliphate, renamed itself the Islamic State (IS) and claimed absolute authority over all of the world’s Muslims.

2013: In 2013, President Barack Obama announced that the United States was no longer pursuing the 'War on Terror', stating that the military focus should be on specific enemies rather than a tactic.

US American History
1990 - Present: The Modern Era
Al-Qaeda Facts
Islamic State (IS)

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Updated 2018-01-01

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