Understanding American Foreign Policy
prepared by Gordon L. Bowen, Ph.D.
Political Science and International Relations departments
Mary Baldwin College
Staunton, VA USA 24401
this page last updated September 12, 2008
11 April - A truck explodes near El Ghriba synagogue on the southern Tunisian island of Djerba, killing 14 Germans, five Tunisians and a Frenchman. Al-Qaida claims responsibility. (Jones 2008: 188, lists 15 total killed in this incident).
8 May - An assailant in a car kills himself, 11 French navy experts and three Pakistanis outside the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan. A Pakistani court later finds three members of the banned Islamic group Harkat-ul Muhajideen guilty of planning the attack.
14 June - A car bomb outside the US consulate in Karachi, Pakistan kills at least 11 people and wounds 45. Four members of Harkat-ul Muhajideen are later found guilty.
12 October - Bombs explode in Kuta Beach nightclub district of Bali in Indonesia, killing 202 people and wounding hundreds. A third bomb explodes near the US consulate in Sanur near Kuta, without causing casualties. Members of the banned Islamic group Jemaah Islamiyah, linked to al-Qaida, admit responsibility.
28 October - USAID worker Lawrence Foley is assassinated in Amman, Jordan by Abu Musab al Zarqawi's Al Qaeda affiliate.
28 November - At least 13 people are killed, and 80 are wounded, in a suicide bomb attack inside the lobby of the Paradise Hotel, a facility owned by an Israeli and frequented by Israeli tourists in Kenyan port of Mombasa. Two surface-to-air missiles are shot at, but miss an Israeli airliner taking off from the city. Al-Qaida admits responsibility.
12 May - Suicide bombers in vehicles shoot their way into housing compounds for expatriates in Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. Some 34 people, including nine Americans, are killed. US Secretary of State Colin Powell blames al-Qaida. Jones (189) described these attack thusly: "A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle within the Al Hamra housing complex, a residence for foreigners working in Saudi Arabia, in one of four simultaneous attacks against Western targets; it is impossible to disaggregate the casualty numbers based on the reporting, but, in total, 34 were killed and approximately 60 wounded. A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle within the Jedawai housing complex, a residence for foreigners working in Saudi Arabia, in one of four simultaneous attacks against Western targets... A suicide bomber detonated a vehicle within the Vinnell housing complex, a residence for foreigners working in Saudi Arabia, in one of four simultaneous attacks against Western targets... An assailant detonated a bomb at the headquarters of the Saudi Maintenance Company in one of four simultaneous attacks against Western targets in Riyadh; no casualties resulted from this attack."
16 May - Bombers set off at least five explosions in Casablanca, Morocco, which hit a Spanish restaurant, a five-star hotel and a Jewish community centre, killing 45 people, including 12 bombers, and wounding about 60. Members of the Morrocan organisation the Salafist Jihad, which has indirect links to al-Qaida, are found guilty.
7 June - A suicide car bomber blows up a bus full of German peacekeepers east of the Afghan capital Kabul, Afghanistan killing four and wounding 31. An Afghan civilian and the bomber are also killed. German Defence Minister Peter Struck blames al-Qaida.
5 August - A huge bomb kills 13 people and wounds 149 when it rips through the Marriott Hotel in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. The militant group Jemaah Islamiyah is blamed by Indonesian Defence Minister Matori Abdul Djalil for the blast.
8 August -A suicide car bomb detonated outside an upscale villa compound in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The compound was inhabited mainly by Saudis and other Arab nationals, killing at least 17 and injuring more than 120.
19 August - The Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri, said to be an al-Qaida division, claim responsibility for a massive truck bomb which devastates the UN headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq . Twenty two people are killed, including Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top UN envoy to Iraq.
15 November - Two car bombs explode outside Jewish synagogues in central Istanbul, Turkey killing 23, and injuring more than 300. An Arabic newspaper says the Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri claim responsibility.
20 November - Explosions hit the HSBC bank and the British consulate in Istanbul, Turkey killing at least 17 people, and injuring at least 450. A caller to Anatolian news agency claims responsibility on behalf of al-Qaida and a Turkish Islamist group. Later criminal trials confirm these claims.
27 February 2004 - A bomb onboard a Philippines ferry detonates, starting a fire that kills at least 100 people on their way from Manila to Bacolod in the central Philippines. The ferry was carrying around 860 people when two hours into the trip an explosion ripped the ferry, leading to a fire that quickly engulfed it. Abu Sayef, the al-Qaida affiliate, initially claims responsibility although the Philippines government denies the explosion was the result of a bombing. Later U.S. officials say the bombing was deliberate, not accidental.
11 March - A co-ordinated bombing of trains in Madrid, Spain leaves more than 190 people dead and hundreds wounded. The attack, which leads to the unexpected fall of the pro-U.S. government of Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar, is blamed on Morrocan terrorists with close links to al-Qaida. According to investigators, the attack was carried out not by al-Qaida or even an affiliate, but instead by radical Muslims who identified with al-Qaida and were led by a charismatic figure.
5 April - The mastermind of the March 11 attacks and five others blow themselves up in a Madrid apartment building, killing a special policeman as well. Explosives discovered in the building where the five killed themselves to avoid capture indicate they were plotting more violence and were linked to the failed bombing of a high-speed rail line Friday. Two or three suspects may have escaped before blast.
21 April - A suicide bomber kills five people, including two senior Saudi Arabian police officers and an 11-year-old girl, in an attack on a government building in Riyadh. An Islamic militant group, the al-Haramin Brigades, claims responsibility.
27 April - Diplomatic residences including that of the U.K. are attacked in Damascus, Syria. One is injured.
1 May - Attack on oil refinery in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, in which gunmen target senior executive at the facility, partly owned by ExxonMobil. Five foreigners are killed, including two Americans.
20 May - Saudi Arabian security forces clash with five suspected Islamic militants near Buraida, killing four and wounding the fifth.
29–31 May - Khobar, Saudi Arabia: terrorists attack the offices of a Saudi oil company in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, take foreign oil workers hostage in a nearby residential compound, leaving 22 people dead including one American.
8 June - Al Qaeda assassins kill an American defense contractor working for the Vinnell Corporation in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
11–19 June, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: terrorists kidnap and execute Paul Johnson Jr., an American, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 2 other Americans and BBC cameraman killed by gun attacks. Some were employees of Lockheed Martin, and Advanced Electronics corporations.
15 September - British citizen working for the Marconi communications corporation is killed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
7 October - Three coordinated attacks target sites in Egypt. At Taba, a seaside resort, a car bomb at the Hilton Hotel kills 34 and wounds 159. A Nuweiba, two separate attacks occur, killing five and injuring 12. Both of these attacks targeted campgrounds where foreigners vacationed.
28 October - Nine are injured when a bomb explodes in the lobby of a Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, Pakistan.
6 December, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: terrorists storm the U.S. consulate, killing 9 consulate employees and injuring 15. 4 terrorists were killed by Saudi security.
12 Dec., 2004: A bomb exploded in a Philippines market packed with Christmas shoppers Sunday, killing at least 15 people and shattering a months long lull in terror attacks in the volatile southern Philippines, where Muslim rebels are active.
The homemade bomb, concealed in a box, went off in the meat section of the market in General Santos, about 620 miles south of Manila. Officials immediately bolstered security in the predominantly Christian port city of 500,000 people, fearing more attacks.
29 Dec., 2004: Al-Qaida operatives launch an attack on Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Interior in Riyadh, hoping to topple the ministry's inverted pyramid structure. The attack fails, but two are killed and seven injured. Seven terrorists also are killed. In a second attack that day on a military recruiting station in Riyadh, a car bomb kills one and injures four.
7 July, 2005: Four suicide bombers detonate bombs on London, U.K. Underground trains and a double-decker bus, killing 52 people and injuring more than 700 in the worst terrorist attack ever in the UK and the greatest civilian loss of life since the blitz of World War II. The attacks occur at Aldgate Station, at Kings Cross/Russell Square Station, on a train at Edgware Road, and on a No. 30 bus at Tavistock Square. The bombers are all British nationals and three are British born. Three are of Pakistani descent, the fourth a Jamaican who converted to Islam.
21 July - London, U.K.: Two weeks after the first Underground bombing, four other would-be suicide bombers attempt an identical attack on three trains and a bus. The bombs fail to go off and wound only one passenger. Within days, all four men are identified and arrested. Again, all are British nationals, this time of East African descent.
23 July - Three bombs detonate in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, killing 88, the worst terrorist attack in that country’s history. Two of the bombs detonated at resort hotels favored by Western tourists (Ghazala Gardens Hotel; Moeyenpick Hotel) while the third went off in the city’s Old Marketplace. Egyptian authorities rounded up a number of suspects and later killed one of the country’s leading Islamists in a shootout.
19 August - In a series of three coordinated operations, attackers fire Katushka rockets in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba, narrowly missing two U.S. Navy ships (USS Ashland, USS Kearsarge), and killing a Jordanian security man in a dockside warehouse. Two rockets are fired into the nearby Israeli port city of Eliat, causing minor damage.
9 November, Amman, Jordan: In another series of three coordinated attacks, suicide bombers hit 3 American hotels (Radisson, Grand Hyatt, and Days Inn) in Amman, Jordan, killing 63 and wounding more than 100. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility.
27 December, Kiryat Shmona, Israel: Three rockets fired by al Qaeda cause property damage but no injuries in this Northern Israel town.
10 January, 2006: A roadside bomb targeting Western workers in Algiers, Algeria kills one and injures nine.
3 February: Five bombs explode targeting a rice mill owned by a prominent nationalist leader, and nationalist politicians in Kustia, Bangladesh. No one is injured.
24 February: Bombers attack an import oil facility at Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, but fail to stop production. Two guards are killed, and five injured. Two terrorists also die.
19 October - Lakhdaria, Algeria: In a coordinated attack, facilities of the French oil company Razel are attacked, then emergency responders arriving on the scene of the fire are attacked by a bomb.
30 October - Reghaia and Dergana, Algeria: In a second set of coordinated attacks, police stations in these two towns are bombed, killing 3 and injuring 24.
23 January - A group of 40 claiming to be Al Qaeda in Palestine attack and destroy the al-Wahah tourist resort near Gaza, Palestinian Territories.
2-6 February - Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb attack spectators at a soccer match, injuring 2 (Feb. 2) and assassinate the mayor (Feb. 6) of Benchoud, Algeria.
12 February - In a series of seven coordinated attacks in the area east of Algiers, Algeria, six are killed and 30 are injured. Attacks occurred in Si-Mustafa, Draa Benkheda, Meklaa (2), Illoua, and Souk El Had (2).
3 March - Seven Russian workers are killed and five wounded in a bomb attack on their convoy in Ain Delfa, Algeria.
16 March - U.N. personnel are attacked but not injured in Bayt Hanun, Gaza (Palestinian Territories); Al Qaeda in Palestine claims responsibility.
28 March - A bomb intended to kill a public official fails to detonate properly and there are no injuries when it ultimately is exploded in Boumerdes, Algeria.
11 April - A series of three suicide bombings target the prime minister and a police station in Algiers, Algeria. While the prime minister survived, 23 were killed and 162 were injured.
23 April - A security official is assassinated in the market of Boumerdes, Algeria. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility.
13 May - Constantine, Algeria: one police officer is killed and two others injured when a bomb is detonated at a police checkpoint. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility.
15 May - Timidaouen, Algeria: Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility for an attempt to destroy energy supplies by use of a bomb. No major explosion results, however.
11 July - An Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb militant drives a truck filled with explosives into a military base and detonates it, killing 10 and injuring 23 in Lakhdaria, Algeria.
20 July - An Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb bombing of a train carrying fuel supplies causes nine cars to derail, but no injuries in Souk El Had, Algeria.
6 September - An eighteen year old Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb suicide bomber attempts to assassinate the President of Algeria, killing 15 and injuring at least 75 in Batna, Algeria.
8 September - A fifteen year old Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb suicide truck bomber detonates his vehicle in such a way as to kill 30 coast guard personnel at Dellys, Algeria.
21 September - A convoy of foreign workers is attacked near Lakhdaria, Algeria. Nine are wounded. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility.
11 December - Algiers, Algeria: In a series of coordinated bombings, 67 are killed and 177 are injured in bombings targeting the U.N. High Commission on Refugees and the Algerian Constitutional Court. Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb claims responsibility.
27 December - Rawalpindi, Pakistan: Assassins fire shots at, then detonate bombs, in an attempt to kill former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Mrs. Bhutto is killed, as 23 others, and approximately 50 are injured. Al Qaeda and tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud were held to be responsible by the Government of Pakistan, though some other sources, including the Bhutto family, dispute this assignment of responsibility.
Al-Jazeera, “Chronology of al-Qaida attacks since 9/11” (Nov. 30, 2003): “http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/5F183180-C3BC-45D5-A469-AD7CF661A3EE.htm
Seth G. Jones and Martin C. Libicki, How Terrorist Groups End: Lessons for Countering al Qa'ida (Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation, 2008). available free online at: http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2008/RAND_MG741-1.pdf
MSMBC: “Hunt for Al Qaida,” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4677978/
Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “Afghanistan: A
Chronology Of Suicide Attacks Since 2001”: