2001 U.S. Attack on Afghanistan/Timeline October 2001

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(EDT = GMT-4; Afghan time = GMT+4.30)

Earlier Timeline

September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack/Timeline October 2001

September 19, 2001

The U.S. sent combat aircraft to Persian Gulf military bases.

Saturday, October 6, 2001

President Bush tells Congressional leaders about the upcoming attack.

Sunday, October 7, 2001

Osama bin Laden releases a videotaped statement before the attacks begin.

9:30 a.m. EDT (approx): The leader of the Northern Alliance says he believes the U.S.-led attack will begin "very soon".

11:30 a.m. EDT (approx): Israel is informed about the upcoming attack.

12:30 p.m. EDT (9 PM local time): the United States, supported by Britain, begins its attack on Afghanistan, launching bombs and cruise missiles against Taliban military and communications facilities and suspected terrorist training camps.

Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers stated later that 15 long-range bombers, 15 aircraft-carrier-based strike aircraft, and approximately 50 Tomahawk missiles from US and British submarines were involved.

A Northern Alliance spokesman later tells CNN that attack hit anti-aircraft batteries near Kabul and "at least three terrorist camps" near Jalalabad.

Initial reports are that Kabul, Kandahar, and Herat are among the targets. Electricity in Kabul is almost immediately cut off.

1 p.m. EDT: President Bush makes a televised speech announcing the attack and discussing further US's intentions, including humanitarian aid."On my orders, the United States military has begun strikes against al Qaeda training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan." ... "We are the friends of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith. The United States of America is an enemy of those who aid terrorists and of the barbaric criminals who profane a great religion by committing murder in its name."

The FBI, using the National Alert Network, asks law enforcement agencies across the United States to go to their highest alert status against possible terrorist attacks. The security perimeter around the White House is increased.

A peace rally of ten to twelve thousand people is held in New York City. They march from Union Square, the central spontaneous September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack/Memorials and Services site in Manhattan, to Times Square, cheering the police at the beginning of the march. The list of about twelve speakers was cut to three or four by the police, and they were herded at the end into a one-lane-wide "bullpen". The New York Times buried their coverage of the march on page B12.

As of 8 p.m. EDT: There have been three waves of attacks.

8:35 p.m. EDT: BBC News tentatively reports a fourth wave of attacks.

9:45 p.m. EDT: The first reports of casualties.

Before 10 p.m. EDT: Rudy Giuliani in a news conference announces more National Guard and policemen have been issued to New York City.

Monday, October 8, 2001

Protest rallies lead to three casulties in the Gaza Strip and one in Pakistan. Palestinian authorities shoot and kill two students, one a 13-year old. Crowds then ransack Palestinian police buildings. In Pakistan, protests take place in Islamabad, Peshawar, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta, and near the Khyber Pass border crossing. The most violent protests in Pakistan are in Quetta (60 miles from Afghan border), where one person is shot and killed, the central police station, United Nations buildings, and several shops and movie theaters are set on fire and looted, and a police subinspector is kidnapped. 10,000 students at three universities protest without incident in Cairo, Egypt.

12:00 p.m. EDT (approx): Department of Defense officials report a second round of attacks. Electricity in Kabul is again cut off.

1:00 PM EDT (approx): The English journalist Yvonne Ridley has been set free by the Taliban and arrived at the Pakistan border.

1:08 p.m. EDT: Donald Rumsfeld, General Myers press briefing. As of midnight allies had struck 31 targets. Early warning radars, ground forces, C&C facilities, airfields, aircraft. "Strikes are continuing as we speak." About 10 bombers, 10 carrier-based jets. "We will use some Tomahawk missiles today from ships." No cruise missiles from bombers. The leaflets include some symbols and figures.

Tuesday, October 9, 2001

a.m. EDT: In a news conference in Islamabad, Pakistan, a United Nations spokeswoman reports that a cruise missile killed four U.N. employees and injured four others in a building several miles east of Kabul. The casualties were Aghans who were security guards in a Afghan Technical Consultancy, the U.N. demining agency (Afghanistan is the most heavily mined country on the planet), building.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder meets with President Bush in Washington, D.C.

Thursday, October 11, 2001

8 p.m. EDT: President Bush holds the first primetime presidential news conference since 1995. He had this message for the Taliban: "If you cough him up and his people today that we'll reconsider what we're doing to your country. You still have a second chance. Just bring him in, and bring his leaders and lieutenants and other thugs and criminals with him." About the Middle East: "if we ever get into the Mitchell process, where we can start discussing a political solution in the Middle East, that I believe there ought to be a Palestinian state, the boundaries of which will be negotiated by the parties so long as the Palestinian state recognizes the right of Israel to exist, and will treat Israel with respect, and will be peaceful on her borders." Also: "It would be a useful function for the United Nations to take over the so-called nation-building ? I would call it the stabilization of a future government ? after our military mission is complete." [1]

See Also: 2001 U.S. Attack on Afganistan/Timeline November 2001