War on Terror 2001 – Present Day

War on TerrorThis timeline details the main events in the War on Terror from 2001 – present day

2001 (11th September)
9/11 Attack
Four aeorplanes were hijacked by members of Al Qaeda. Two were crashed into the two towers of the World Trade Center in New York, one was crashed into the Pentagon in Washington and the fourth crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after the hijackers were overpowered by passengers. A total of 2,993 people were killed in the attack.
2001 (12th September)
US President George W Bush declared war on the perpetrators of the 9-11 attacks.
2001 (7th October)
Operation Enduring Freedom
This was a series of American and British air strikes on Kabul, Jalalabad and Kandahar in Afghanistan. The air strikes targetted Taliban strongholds.
2001 (mid November)
The Taliban had been removed from the Afghanistan capital, Kabul.
2001 (6th – 17th December)
Battle of Tora Bora
Al-Qaeda leader and architect of the 9-11 attacks, Osama Bin Laden, was almost captured during this battle, but escaped to Pakistan.
2001 (11th December)
Zacarias Moussaoui was charged with conspiring with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda plan the 9-11 attacks.
2001 (22nd December)
Hamid Karzai was appointed head of the government in Afghanistan.
2001 (22nd December)
Richard Reid, a British citizen and follower of Osama bin Laden, who intended to blow up a plane bound for Miami with explosives packed into his shoe, was arrested.
2002 (January)
The United States opened the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba.
2002 (12th October)
A bomb exploded on the island of Bali killing more than 200 people. The explosion was carried out by Muslim extremists linked to al-Qaeda.
2003 (11th February)
A tape recording of Osama bin Laden calling on Iraqis to carry out suicide bombings against US forces is interpreted as evidence of a link between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.
2003 (20th March)
United States, British, Australian and Polish troops invaded Iraq. Saddam Hussein called for a Jihad against the United States.
2003 (16th May)
A series of suicide bombings took place in Casablanca, Morocco killing 33 people. The bombers had links to al-Qaeda.
2003 (5th August)
A car bomb outside the Marriot Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia exploded killing 12 and injuring 150. The bomb was planted by militants loyal to al-Qaeda.
2003 (15th, 20th Novmeber)
Four truck bombs exploded in Istanbul, Turkey at the British consulate and HSBC headquarters killing 57 and injuring 700. The bombings were carried out by al-Qaeda.
2003 (13th December)
Saddam Hussein was captured.
2004 (11th March)
Ten bombs exploded on trains bound for Madrid killing 190 people and injuring 2000. The attacks were carried out by local extremists sympathetic to al-Qaeda.
2004 (16th March)
War began in north-west Pakistan between the government and militant groups including al-Qaeda, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Taliban.
2004 (4th April – 1st May)
Battle of Fallujah
This was a failed United States operation to remove extemists from Fallujah.
2004 (6th April – 10th April)
Battle of Ramadi
This battle saw the forces of the United States defeat Iraqi militants.
2004 (18th June)
The United States began a series of drone attaks on Taliban and al-Qaeda targets in north-west Pakistan.
2004 (9th September)
A car bomb exploded outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia killing 8 people and injuring 150. The attack was carried out by an Islamic extremist group linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
2004 (9th October)
Hamid Karzai was elected president of Afghanistan.
2004 (7th November – 23rd December)
Second Battle of Fallujah
This battle saw the forces of Iraq, United Kingdom and United States defeat al-Qaeda and Iraqi insurgents.
2005 (7th July)
Four suicide bombers targetted the London Underground and a double-decker bus killing 52 people and injuring 700. The attackers were Islamic extremists sympathetic to al-Qaeda
2005 (1st October)
Three explosions in Bali, Indonesia, killed 20 people and injured more than 100. The attacks were carried out by an extremist group sympathetic to al-Qaeda.
2006 (4th June)
Islamic extremists moved into Somalia.
2006 (7th June)
United States airstrikes killed al-Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
2006 (17th June – 15th November)
Second Battle of Ramadi
United States and Iraq forces managed to drive members of al-Qaeda in Iraq our of Ramadi.
2006 (20th July)
War began in Somalia when Ethiopian troops, backed by the United States, went to Somalia to support the Somali government against the Islamic extemists that had taken over part of the country.
2006 (15th October)
Al-Qaeda in Iraq was reformed as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
2006 (10th January)
George W Bush announced that the United States would be sending 20,000 troops to Iraq to protect local people.
2006 (7th June)
The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq was killed.
2007 (30th December)
Saddam Hussein was hanged in Baghdad.
2007 (11th April)
Two car bombs exploded in the Algerian capital, Algiers killing 23 people and injuring 162. The attacks were carried out by an Algerian al-Qaeda group.
2007 (20th May – 7th September)
Lebanon Conflict
This was an armed conflict between the forces of Lebanon and Islamist extremists. The four month conflict resulted in victory for the Lebanon.
2008 (2nd June)
A car bomb exploded outside the Danish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan killing 8 people and injuring 24. The attack was carried out by al-Qaeda.
2008 (13th July)
Battle of Wanat
This battle began when a Taliban force attacked NATO troops. Although the Taliban broke through NATO troop defences they were eventually repulsed.
2008 (7th August – 28th February)
Battle of Bajau
This was a long battle where the forces of Pakistan fought to free the Bajaur region of Pakistan from control of the Taliban. Although the Pakistan forces were successful in removing the Taliban and destroying the al-Qaeda command centre the leaders of both groups managed to escape.
2008 (26th – 29th November)
Twelve shooting and bombing attacks were made on the city of Mumbai, India killing 166 people and injuring more than 600. The attacks were carried out by Pakistani Islamic extremists.
2009 (30th January)
Ethiopian troops withdrew from Somalia ending the conflict that had begun in 2006.
2009 (February)
War in Somalia began between Somali Government forces supported by the African Union peacekeeping troops and militant extremist Islamist groups in Somalia.
2009 (26th April – 15th July)
Operation Black Thunderstorm
This was an armed operation carried out by Pakistan forces to free the north of Pakistan from Taliban control. The mission was successful and the region returned to government control.
2009 (23rd July)
Osama bin Laden’s son was killed by a United States missile strike.
2009 (26th July – present)
Conflict began in Nigeria between the government and the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
2009 (1st September – 30th November)
Khyber Pass Offensive
This was a campaign by the Pakistan military to clear the Khyber Pass region of Taliban forces. The Pakistan military were successful.
2009 (1st December)
President Obama announced that 30,000 additional US troops would be sent to Afghanistan.
2011 (2nd May
Taliban leader, Osama bin Laden was killed by United States special forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
2011 (18th December)
United States forces withdrew from Iraq ending the war that had begun in 2003.
2012 (16th January)
Conflict began in Mali between the Mali government and Islamic extremists affiliated to al-Qaeda.
2012 (11th September)
Islamist extemists attacked the United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, killing the US Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith, Foreign Service Information Management Officer.
2013 (13th January)
French troops were sent to support the Mali government.
2013 (16th – 19th January)
In Algeria, a group of extremists with links to al-Qaeda took hostage international workers at the Tigantourine gas facility. Algerian forces made an assault on the facility to break the crisis. 39 hostages lost their lives during the crisis.
2013 (11th May)
Two car bombs exploded in Reyhanli, Turkey near the border with Syria killing 51 people and injuring 140. No group claimed responsibility for the attacks but it is believed they were carried out by members of ISIL.
2013 (21st – 24th September)
Armed gunmen began shooting people in the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya killing 67 people and injuring 175. The attacks were carried out by members of the Al-Shabaab extremist Islamic group.
2014 (June)
The Islamic extremist group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) also known as Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) changed its name to Islamic State (IS).
2014 (5th August)
The United States began supplying Iraqi Kurds with weapons to fight IS.
2014 (5th September)
Nine countries – United States, United Kingdom, Turkey, Italy, Germany, France, Denmark, Canada and Australia agreed to support anti ISIL forces in Iraq and Syria with supplies and/or air support.
2014 (22nd September)
The United States, United States, Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates began making air strikes on known targets of IS.
2014 (27th October)
The last British troops left Afghanistan.
2014 (16th December)
Gunmen affiliated with the Taliban attacked the army school in Peshawar, Pakistan killing 141 people of whom most were children, and injuring 114.2014 (31st December)
Although President Obama had stated that US troops would withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 he changed this and a residual force was left to help train Afghan soldiers.
2015 (7th January)
Two al-Qaeda terrorists stormed the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris killing 11 people and injuring 11 more.
2015 (9th January)
An extremist supporter of IS and friend of the perpetrators of the Charlie Hebdo attack, entered a kosher suprette in Porte de Vincennes and took the occupants hostage. 4 people were killed and 9 injured during the attack.
2015 (27th January)
A number of gunmen affiliated to IS detonated a car bomb then entered the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli, Libya. 10 people were killed in the attack.
2015 (14th – 15th February)
Two separate shootings in Copenhagen, Denmark by Islamic extremists left 3 people deat and 5 injured.
2015 (15th February)
A video was released by IS depicting the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya. The Egyptian Airforce was mobilised and attacked ISIL camps in Libya.
2015 (18th March)
Three IS extremists attacked the Bardo National Museum in Tunis, Tunisia and took people hostage. 24 people were killed and 50 injured.
2015 (26th June)
A series of attacks in France, Kuwait, Syria, Somalia and Tunisia by IS and the Islamic extremist group Al-Shabaab, left more than 400 people dead and more than 330 injured.

In France several people were injured when an IS extremist beheaded his employer before driving a vehicle into a gas factory causing an explosion.
In Kuwait a suicide bomber with links to IS entered a mosque. The explosion killed 27 people and injured more than 225.
In Syria ISIL extremists attacked Kobani, Syria. Suicide bombs and shootings left 230 people dead.
In Somalia al-Shabaab extremists killed 70 soldiers
In Sousse, Tunisia a single gunman linked to IS shot tourists on the beach and in two hotels. 33 people died and 39 were injured.

2015 (30th September)
Russia began air support for the Syrian government.
2015 (7th – 11th October)
United States and Afghan forces destroyed a large al-Qaeda camp in Kandahar province, Afghanistan.
2015 (12th November)
Two suicide bombers with links to IS caused explosions in Beirut, Lebanon resulting in 43 deaths and 240 injured.
2015 (13th November)
A number of extremists linked to IS made a number of attacks across the city of Paris, France. 130 people were killed and 370 injured.

A number of explosions occured outside the Stade de France killing 1 person. A security guard had prevented the bomber from entering the Stadium
Shootings took place in the rue Bichat, the rud de la Fontaine au Roi, the Rue de Charonne and the boulevard Voltaire.
Three gunmen entered the Bataclan theatre and began killing occupants. Others were taken hostage until the gunmen were overpowered two hours later.

2015 (20th November)
A number of Islamist extremists with links to al-Qaeda stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, Mali killing 22 and injuring 7.
2016 (14th July)
A lone extremist who was inspired by IS drove a truck into crowds in Nice France killing 86 people and injuring 434.
2015 (2nd December)
14 people were killed and 22 injured after a couple opened fire on employees at the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center. The couple were killed by police four hours later.
2016 (14th January)
A number of explosions and shootings happened near the Sarinah shopping mall in Jakarta, Indonesia carried out by extremists with links to ISIL. 8 people died and 24 were injured.
2016 (22nd March)
Suicide bombers with links IS attacked Brussels Airport and the metro in Brussels causing the deaths of 32 people and injuring 340.
2016 (12th June)
A lone gunman opened fire on people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 49 people were killed and 53 injured.
2016 (14th July)
A lone extremist who was inspired by IS drove a truck into crowds in Nice France killing 86 people and injuring 434.
2016 (19th September)
An explosion in New York injured 29 people. The home made bomb was planted by an Islamist extremist. A second bomb was discovered before it exploded.
2016 (19th December)
A Tunisian Islamic extremist hijacked an articulated lorry and drove it into people and stalls at the Berlin Christmas market. 12 people died and 50 were injured.
2017 (22nd March)
An Islamic extremist drove a car at high speed into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge killing six people and injuring 49 others. After crashing the car into Westminster railings he left the vehicle brandishing a large knife and stabbed and killed PC Keith Palmer before he was shot dead.
2017 (3rd April)
14 people were killed and around 70 people injured when an Islamic extremist suicide bomber detonated explosives on the St Petersburg Metro.
2017 (7th April)
An Islamic extremist from Uzbekistan drove a truck into a pedestrian shopping area and a department store in Stockholm, Sweden. Five people lost their lives in the attack.
2017 (9th April)
An Islamic extremist suicide bomber detonated outside a Coptic church in Egypt. 16 people were killed and 66 injured in the attack.
2017 (11th April)
Three bombs exploded close to a bus carrying the Borussia Dortmund football team injuring two people.
2017 (20th April)
An Islamic terrorist wielding an assault rifle shot and killed a policeman in the Champs Elysee, Paris, France. The terrorist was shot dead as he tried to escape the scene.
2017 (22nd May)
A lone suicide bomber detonated explosives in the foyer of Manchester Arena at the end of a concert by US singer Ariana Grande. 22 people, including children, were killed and 116 injured.
2017 (3rd June)
Eight people died and 48 were in a terror attack that began with a white van hitting pedestrians on London Bridge. Three men armed with knives got out of the van and began randomly stabbing people in nearby Borough Market. All three were shot dead by police.
2017 (19th June)
One person was killed and 11 injured when a Welsh man drove a hire van into Muslims leaving the Finsbury Park mosque in London in the early hours of the morning. The attack was declared a terror attack on the Muslim population.
2017 (19th June)
A car containing a rifle, guns and gas deliberately crashed into a police van in the Champs Elysee, Paris, France and burst into flames. The only casualty was the driver who was killed.
2017 (mid July)
Battle of Mosul
Coalition forces liberated Mosul from ISIS control.
2017 (27th July)
Three people were killed and three injured when a knife man stabbed tourists in Hurghada, Egypt.
2017 (28th July)
One person was killed and six injured when a failed Islamist asylum seeker stabbed people in a shop in Hamburg.
2017 (17th August)
15 people were killed and around 130 injured after a van was deliberately driven into crowds in the Las Ramblas region of Barcelona in Spain. A few hours later a car was driven into pedestrians in the Spanish town of Cambrils injuring 7 people. Five suspects were shot dead in Cambrils.
2017 (18th August)
2 people were killed and 8 injured after being stabbed by a knife wielding terrorist in Turku, Finland. The terrorist was shot in the leg and detained by police.
2017 (15th September)
30 people were injured when a botched bomb exploded at Parsons Green Station, London, UK. The bomb had been planted by an 18 year old Iraqi refugee.
2017 (1st October)
Two women were killed in Marseille France by a knife-wielding illegal immigrant from Tunisia.
2017 (14th October)
A truck packed with explosives detonated in Mogadishu, Somalia, killing around 275 and injuring more than 300 people.
2017 (31st October)
A truck was driven into people in Lower Manhattan, New York killing at least 8 people and injuring at least 12.
2018 (23rd March)
Four people were killed and fifteen injured when an Islamic terrorist ran riot in the French towns of Carcasonne and Trebes with a knife and a gun.
2018 (12th May)
One person was killed and four injured after being stabbed in Paris, France by a knife wielding-immigrant.
2018 (29th May)
Four people were killed and four injured after a prisoner on leave ran amok in Lieges, Belgium with a knife and a gun.
2018 (31st August)
Two American tourists were injured in Amsterdam Central Station by an Afghan teenager.
2018 (11th December)
A gunman shot and killed 3 people and left 12 more seriously injured in a Christmas market in Strasbourg.


Published Sept 21, 2016 @ 10:18 am – Updated – Jun 2, 2020 @ 9:40 am

Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2017 – 2020). War on Terror 2001 – Present. Available: https://www.totallytimelines.com/war-on-terror-2001-present. Last accessed [date]