Euronews is no longer accessible on Internet Explorer. This browser is not updated by Microsoft and does not support the last technical evolutions. We encourage you to use another browser, such as Edge, Safari, Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.
BREAKING NEWS

Bin Laden: timeline of a 10-year manhunt

Bin Laden: timeline of a 10-year manhunt
Euronews logo
Text size Aa Aa

Bin Laden’s death at the hands of US special forces comes four months before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that he is said to have masterminded. Throughout that time he has been the most wanted man on the planet, with a 25-million-dollar ransom on his head.

2001

- 11 September: Two hijacked planes crash into the World Trade Center, New York, bringing down the twin towers. A third plane crashes into the Pentagon, while a fourth comes down in a field in Pennsylvania.

- 17 September: President George W. Bush announces he wants the capture of bin Laden “dead or alive.” Bin Laden is said to have been in Afghanistan since 1996.

- 7 October: In a videotaped message bin Laden taunts “infidel” president Bush and says the United States will not live in peace while Palestinians are unable to do the same.

- 13 December: Another video shows bin Laden saying he had high hopes for the 9/11 attack but did not expect the twin towers to fall. US says video is proof of bin Laden’s guilt.

- end of December: Large scale US military bombardment of caves in the mountainous Tora Bora region of Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border.

2002

- 11 April: Al Qaeda claims responsibility for a truck bombing in Djerba, Tunisia in which five Tunisians, 14 Germans and a Frenchman are killed.

- 19 May: Release of a video showing bin Laden apparently during springtime (therefore after the Tora Bora bombardments.)

- September 10: Al Jazeera releases an audiotape in which it says bin Laden celebrates the 9/11 attackers as men who changed history.

- 12 November: In an audio tape, bin Laden apparently praises the Djerba bombing as well as attacks in Karachi (May 2002), Bali (October 2002), Yemen and Kuwait.

2003

- 1 March: al-Qaeda’s alleged third-in-command, Khaled Sheikh Mohamed, is arrested in Pakistan

- 10 September: Another video is aired of bin Laden and al-Qaeda’s alleged second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri walking down a mountainside, calling for jihad and praising 9/11 attackers.

2004

- 7 March: beginning of Operation Mountain Storm in southern and eastern Afghanistan

- 19 March: a Taliban spokesman tells AFP press agency that bin Laden and al-Zawahri are safe and sound in Afghanistan.

- 15 April: Arabic media release audiotape of bin Laden offering a truce to European countries if they withdraw troops from Muslim countries.

- 6 May: recording purportedly of bin Laden declaring jihad against the US-led occupation of Iraq.

- 2 June: a French army general claims that coalition forces have had bin Laden within reach on several occasions.

- 30 October: four days before the US presidential election, bin Laden warns in a voice recording that Bush has deceived Americans and that the US faces more attacks like 9/11.

- 27 December: in another audiotape, bin Laden urges Iraqis not to take part in elections the following January.

2005

- 15 March: Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf says that Pakistani intelligence services have had no trace of bin Laden for eight to ten months.

- 7 July: four suicide bombers kill 52 people on London’s transport network.

2006

- 20 April: American intelligence chief John Negroponte claims bin Laden is operating along the Afghan-Pakistan border.

- 7 September: the US Senate unblocks 200 million dollars for an intelligence cell dedicated to hunting bin Laden.

- 23 September: media leak a French intelligence report which claims Saudi secret services are convinced bin Laden died of typhoid in Pakistan in August.

- 28 September: Pakistani president Musharraf says bin Laden is hiding in Kunar province, east Afghanistan.

2007

- 7 September: bin Laden’s first appearance in a video tape for three years. He promises to step up violence in Iraq and says America is vulnerable despite its economic and military power.

2008

- 19 March: in an audio recording bin Laden threatens to punish Europe for publication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed.

- 27 May: an Afghan secret service official suggests bin Laden is in north-west Pakistan near the Afghan border.

2009

- 14 January: bin Laden calls for another jihad over Gaza in a new audiotape.

- 23 July: one of bin Laden’s sons, Saad, allegedly killed in an American drone attack earlier that year.

2010

- 25 March: bin Laden warns that any Americans taken hostage by al-Qaeda will be killed if the US puts to death Khaled Sheikh Mohamed.

- 12 April: Pakistani prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani insists bin Laden is not in Pakistan.

- 27 June: Leon Panetta, head of the CIA, claims that bin Laden is “very well hidden” and under protection in a tribal region of Pakistan.

2011

- 21 January: in an audio recording bin Laden says the fate of French hostages being held in Niger depends on French soldiers leaving Muslim nations.

- 2 May: President Obama announces that bin Laden has been killed in Pakistan.