December 2001




































30 31 1 2 3 4 5







DECEMBER 1, 2001
Afghan tribal warriors claim to be making a major assault on Taliban forces defending Kandahar's airport as thousands more fighters from another anti-Taliban faction head toward the city.

Four U.S. soldiers injured during a bloody Taliban uprising at a fortress in Afghanistan receive Purple Heart medals

Back to Top

DECEMBER 2, 2001
Relentless U.S. airstrikes pummel the defenders of Kandahar, with anti-Taliban forces within 20 miles of the last militia stronghold

A military transport plane returns the body of CIA officer Johnny ``Mike'' Spann, the first known U.S. combat casualty in Afghanistan, to the United States.

A Pentagon spokesman says a man claiming to be an American was among more than 80 Taliban fighters who straggled out of a flooded basement, days after their prison rebellion was crushed at an Afghan fort.

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says American military forces -- now numbering up to 2,000 troops -- may resort to extraordinary measures to root out al-Qaida terrorists. Asked if troops might pour gas into the cave complexes to flush them out, Rumsfield responds: ``One will do whatever it is necessary to do

Back to Top

DECEMBER 3, 2001
Anti-Taliban fighters battle for control of Kandahar's airport as American bombers pound suspected hide-outs of Osama bin Laden in the rugged White Mountains near the border with Pakistan.

Afghan factions meeting in Germany push forward with talks on post-Taliban rule after the Northern Alliance named four prominent figures it said should be considered to lead an interim administration.

European foreign ministers open an anti-terrorism conference with a vow to strengthen the continent's fledgling democracies. Ministers of the Organization for Security and Cooperation say more intervention in the Balkans and the former Soviet republics was needed to stop terrorism from taking root.

Three people who claim to be American citizens and who fought on the side of the Taliban militia are now in control of U.S. forces or U.S.-allied opposition forces in northern Afghanistan, senior defense officials say

The U.S. and Canada sign far-reaching agreements to increase border security and coordinate immigration policies to secure the world's largest trade relationship

Back to Top

DECEMBER 4, 2001
Anti-Taliban troops hunting Osama bin Laden clash with al-Qaida fighters near mountain hide-outs in Afghanistan.

Agreement is near on a new, interim Afghan government, tentatively scheduled to take power on Dec. 22. Hamid Karzai, a leading anti-Taliban commander, is touted as the possible leader of the executive body

Europe's top security body unveils a counterterrorism plan to halt illicit cash, weapons and safe havens for extremists

Rumsfeld says the U.S. government will decide ``in good time'' what to do with American John Walker, who is believed to have been fighting alongside the Taliban

Herbert Villalobos, 35, pleads guilty to helping two Sept. 11 hijackers illegally obtain Virginia identification cards

Back to Top

DECEMBER 5, 2001
Three American soldiers are killed and 19 wounded when a U.S. bomb misses its Taliban target. The bomb, carrying 2,000 pounds of explosives, landed about 100 yards from the soldiers' position north of Kandahar.

Anti-Taliban forces battle guerrillas loyal to Osama bin Laden with tanks and mortars, fighting their way through remote mountains toward a cave complex where they believe the terror suspect is holed up.

Factions meeting in Germany agree on an interim government for the country, to be headed by Hamid Karzai, a leading anti-Taliban commander. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan calls the agreement ``an important first step'' and urged the Afghan parties to work together to rebuild their war-battered country.

Secretary of State Colin Powell says the United States will take a first step toward diplomatic recognition of the interim government by soon opening a liaison office in the capital.

The ACLU and other civil rights and human rights groups file suit in federal court alleging that the Justice Department is violating the Constitution and federal law by withholding basic information about some 1,000 people picked up by police since Sept. 11.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 6, 2001
The Taliban agree to surrender Kandahar, their last bastion and birthplace, if their warriors are not punished and safety is guaranteed to leader Mullah Mohammed Omar. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says the U.S. will not tolerate any arrangement allowing Omar to remain free and to ``live in dignity'' in Afghanistan

The remains of two Special Forces soldiers killed in Afghanistan by an errant U.S. bomb arrive at a U.S. military base in Germany.

India's interior minister says that a man in Indian custody, Mohammed Afroz, 28, claimed he was trained by Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida. Afroz allegedly divulged that al-Qaida had planned terrorist attacks in Britain, Australia and India similar to the Sept. 11 assault on the United States.

The U.N. Security Council unanimously endorses a power-sharing agreement for a temporary post-Taliban government and calls on all Afghan groups to fulfill the council's goal of restoring peace to the war-battered nation.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 7, 2001
Taliban forces abandon their last stronghold in Kandahar without a fight but with their weapons; U.S. forces battle to block their escape.

Afghanistan's new leader vows to arrest the fugitive mullah, Mohammad Omar.

American jets make repeated runs over the forested mountains of eastern Afghanistan, bombing hide-outs of Osama bin Laden loyalists.

U.S. Marines carrying photos of Taliban and al-Qaida leaders scour the roads of southern Afghanistan for those who might have slipped out of Kandahar.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 8, 2001
Rival armed groups that replaced the Taliban jockey for control of key parts of Kandahar, occasionally exchanging gunfire. Talks are reportedly under way to set up a civil administration and avoid an explosion of factional fighting.

John Walker, the American captured along with Taliban fighters, is held by Marines in Afghanistan; the Pentagon says he'll be handed over to U.S. civilian authorities as soon as possible.

Afghanistan's interim leader calls on fellow Afghans to capture terrorism suspect Osama bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar and promises to bring the two men to ``international justice.''

Back to Top

DECEMBER 9, 2001
A videotape of Osama bin Laden obtained by U.S. officials in Afghanistan makes clear the al-Qaida leader was behind the terrorist attacks, Vice President Dick Cheney says.

American bombers pound the hills and caves of Tora Bora, working to soften al-Qaida defenses for a ground assault by Afghan tribesmen. Pakistani forces move to seal off escape routes on their side of the border. 

A train crosses the only bridge from Uzbekistan into Afghanistan for the first time in four years, carrying humanitarian aid for refugees battling winter cold, disease and hunger

Back to Top

DECEMBER 10, 2001
Afghan tribal fighters push bin Laden loyalists from a valley leading to the underground Tora Bora complex. Marines intensify their hunt for Taliban leaders and members of al-Qaida terror network around Kandahar.

Interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai says getting rid of al-Qaida is a priority as the country tries to build post-Taliban government

Thousands of Pakistani soldiers fan out along Afghanistan border to prevent Islamic militants from fleeing the Tora Bora area.

Kenyan authorities arrest a man with suspected ties to al-Qaida who allegedly participated in the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Nairobi.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 11, 2001
A federal grand jury indicts a French Moroccan man for conspiracy in the Sept. 11 attacks, the first directly related to the suicide hijackings. Osama bin Laden is listed as an unindicted coconspirator.

Afghan tribal fighters overrun cave and tunnel complexes in Tora Bora, the suspected refuge of Osama bin Laden, and give al-Qaida holdouts an ultimatum to surrender or face annihilation.

Aviation, chemical magazines and text found in abandoned al-Qaida training camp.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 12, 2001
Afghan tribal chiefs give fighters of Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida group an ultimatum to lay down their arms and turn over their leaders by midday Thursday.

France says it will oppose the death penalty if Sept. 11 suspect Zacarias Moussaoui is convicted and will offer the French citizen diplomatic support while he's on trial.

The White House says translators are going over a videotape of Osama bin Laden talking about the Sept. 11 terror attacks to ensure accuracy ''before anything is released to the world.''

The House unanimously passes an intelligence bill that will place new emphasis on traditional human spy networks that have served as a key to the war on terrorism. The bill would increase spending by 8 percent.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 13, 2001
In a videotape released by the Pentagon, Osama bin Laden contentedly recalls the Sept. 11 attacks against America and says the destruction exceeded his estimates and the events ``benefited Islam greatly.'' 

A federal judge rules that Zacarias Moussaoui will stand trial in Virginia.

U.S. planes strafe and bomb al-Qaida positions in snowy mountain canyons as Afghan tribal forces advance against bin Laden's fighters. More U.S. special forces are being sent into the Tora Bora region, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld says.

The House passes legislation to give tax relief to families of Sept. 11 victims and provide $6.1 billion in tax breaks to help New York City recover.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 14, 2001
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says $10 million in reward money will be offered soon for ''a discrete number'' of senior Taliban officials, including Mohammed Omar, the supreme leader.

U.S. Marines take control of Kandahar's airport, heavily damaged by U.S. airstrikes before the Taliban fled the city.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 15, 2001
Officials say U.S. forces overheard and recorded Osama bin Laden giving orders over a short-range radio to loyalists at Tora Bora during the past week.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 16, 2001
Afghan tribal leaders claim victory over al-Qaida guerrillas at their last stronghold in Afghanistan, a claim that's impossible to verify; Osama bin Laden is nowhere to be seen.

U.S. and Afghan opposition forces search caves and bunkers to root out al-Qaida terrorists, but Gen. Tommy Franks says that ``it's going to be a while'' before Tora Bora is under control.

Four of 13 armed Arabs holed up in Kandahar's hospital escape, apparently with the blessing of their guards

Back to Top

DECEMBER 17, 2001
Tribal fighters and U.S. special forces chase al-Qaida guerrillas through mountains; some tearfully surrender, pleading not to be turned over to Americans. 

Intelligence officer for Kandahar's new government says Taliban leader Mohammed Omar believed to be holed up with hundreds of fighters in south-central Afghanistan.

U.S. Marines preside over the reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan, which had been closed for 13 years

Eighteen firefighters charged after a Nov. 2 ground-zero brawl with cops will have their charges dismissed at Manhattan Criminal Court today, law-enforcement sources said. Seventeen expect their misdemeanor trespassing charges will be dismissed outright, the source said. The other, Sean Nealon, charged with third-degree assault, will have that charge reduced to trespassing and then dismissed, the source added.


Back to Top

DECEMBER 18, 2001
Tribal forces say Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida terror network defeated, pull out of White Mountains

Key al-Qaida figures believed among the prisoners in Navy brig; none offer credible information on location of Osama bin Laden.

Eastern alliance officials say hundreds of al-Qaida fighters and top commanders escaped to Pakistan during U.S. onslaught at Tora Bora.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 19, 2001
Gov. George Pataki says the underground fires that have burned at the World Trade Center site for the past three months have finally been extinguished.

Troop reinforcements move into the remote hills of central Yemen, where government forces have battled armed tribesmen in an assault to capture suspected operatives of Osama bin Laden.

U.S. fighter jets at the forefront of the bombing campaign in Afghanistan have reduced combat sorties and focused on reconnaissance following the fall of Tora Bora, the U.S. military says. 

Belgium has arrested a man of Tunisian descent on suspicion of recruiting fighters for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network, the public prosecutor's office says.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 20, 2001
Ellen Mariani of Derry, N.H., is first to sue airline for attacks, claiming United was negligent when her husband's plane slammed into World Trade Center.

Justice Department announces victims' families and survivors of Sept. 11 attacks can apply for federal aid beginning Friday; each would receive an average of $1.65 million. 

Congress overwhelmingly approves a compromise $20 billion anti-terrorism package. Lawmakers also agree to waive income taxes and provide other tax relief to the families of the victims of the attacks.

The island home of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island welcome visitors for the first time since Sept. 11; statue itself remains closed.

Number of victims of Sept. 11 attacks in New York drops to 2,963.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 21, 2001
As many as 500 firefighters who worked at the World Trade Center site are on leave for respiratory problems and other rescue-related injuries, and a union leader warns that the ailments could force many into retirement.

Tribal leaders stream into Kabul, the Afghan capital, for the inauguration of an interim government that they hope will bring "lasting peace" to a nation torn apart by decades of war.

Kenton Keith, a former U.S. ambassador to Qatar, says about 7,000 people suspected of having ties to the Taliban and Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network are being held and interrogated in Afghanistan.

The Bush administration says it did not deliberately omit details in its translation of a videotaped conversation between Osama bin Laden and several allies. New translations of the tape, which was released last week, reveal that bin Laden speaks the names of several Sept. 11 hijackers.

U.S. warplanes attack a convoy that the Pentagon says was carrying Taliban or al-Qaida leaders in Afghanistan. But an Afghan official says the trucks were bringing tribal leaders loyal to the new government to the capital.

President Bush says Osama bin Laden may "slither out" of Afghanistan, but he won't escape the global reach of U.S. forces. He says the United States would send troops to nations seeking help to hunt down terrorists.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 22, 2001
Emphasizing unity in a deeply divided country, Hamid Karzai is sworn in as Afghanistan's prime minister

German lawmakers approve a six-month deployment of as many as 1,200 troops for an international force established to protect Afghanistan's new government.

A passenger on a jetliner bound from Paris to Miami tried to ignite an "improvised explosive'' in his sneakers, but flight attendants and fellow passengers subdued him, witnesses and authorities say. The plane, escorted by military jets, lands safely in Boston.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 23, 2001
Jordanian troops leave for Afghanistan to set up a 50-bed field hospital in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif.

Afghanistan's new Cabinet meets for the first time. 

In a huge manhunt for a handful of Osama bin Laden loyalists, Pakistani troops patrol in trucks and helicopters and train machine guns on ravines and barren hills along the Afghan border.

The Washington Post reports the CIA had recruited and paid a team of 15 Afghan agents to track Osama bin Laden's movements in Afghanistan from early 1998 to this Sept. 11.

Federal law enforcement officials say the man who tried to light his shoes on fire during a trans-Atlantic flight Saturday had explosives in his sneakers. He is tentitively identified as Richard C. Reid, a British citizen, and charged with interfering with flight attendants, a felony.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 24, 2001
U.S. B-52 bombers armed with 'smart' bombs hit targets near the southern city of Kandahar in strikes that officials say were aimed at destroying weapons stores belonging to Taliban fighters.

The shoes of the suspected suicide bomber subdued aboard an American Airlines flight Saturday contained alarmingly sophisticated, working bombs with enough explosive power to cause a disaster, law enforcement officials say

Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai appoints a powerful ethnic Uzbek warlord, Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, as deputy defense minister in Afghanistan's interim government.

In eastern Afghanistan, a tribal commander says his fighters had searched nearly all the caves in Tora Bora and found a large amount of ammunition.

Congress has recognized what New Yorkers already know - the cops, firefighters and emergency personnel who perished Sept. 11 are true American heroes. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), flanked by members of New York's Bravest, officially announced yesterday that the nation will award posthumously the Congressional Gold Medal - the country's highest honor for civilians.


Back to Top

DECEMBER 25, 2001
Gen. Tommy Franks, commander of the American-led military campaign in Afghanistan, says anti-terrorism operations are being conducted ``in a great many places'' around the world in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Recovery workers searching for human remains at the World Trade Center ruins pause for a brief Christmas dinner as spectators crowd around the site.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 26, 2001
Qatar-based television station Al-Jazeera airs part of a videotape of Osama bin Laden, whose statements indicate he was speaking in the first half of December.

Afghan Prime Minister Hamid Karzai says ordinary Afghans are happy to have peacekeepers in the country despite a long tradition of resisting foreign fighters. He also says U.S. troops are still needed to pursue remaining terrorists in Afghanistan.

Red Cross says the United States and its allies are allowing full access to captives in Afghanistan, although the Bush administration is keeping its options open by declining to declare them prisoners of war.

Russian army engineers have defused nearly 5,000 explosives in Kabul and in a key tunnel connection once used by the former Soviet Union to send troops into Afghanistan.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 27, 2001
With their armies facing each other along the border, India and Pakistan jabbed diplomatically Thursday, ordering half of each other's embassy staffs sent home and banning overflights by each other's national airlines, China, which neighbors both nations, said Thursday that it was ``deeply worried'' by the escalating tensions between the two nuclear-armed antagonists and called for ``dialogue and consultations'' to keep stability.

The world's most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, appeared in a videotape Thursday calling for the destruction of the U.S. economy as the surest way to bring down America. ``I concentrate on the importance of continuing holy war actions against America, militarily and economically, and America is retreating with God's help,''

The oldest U.S. overseas outpost has repelled enemies and welcomed refugees since 1898, when U.S. Marines fighting the Spanish-American War established camp at the natural harbor on Cuba's southeast coast. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday it could take weeks to prepare the Navy base to hold the Taliban and al-Qaida fighters, and described it as the ``least worst place'' for the prison.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 28, 2001
Oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided in an emergency meeting to slash the group's production target by 1.5 million barrels a day beginning Jan. 1 in a bid to bolster sagging world oil prices. The cuts are to last for at least six months.

As India and Pakistan shot at each other and spoke of war, weeping friends and relatives on both sides bid farewell Friday before the two nations sever their land and air links for the first time in 30 years. Warning that an Indian troop buildup at the border was pushing the countries into confrontation, Pakistan told the United States it may need to further reinforce its side of the frontier by moving troops now helping the U.S. hunt for Osama bin Laden

Seven members of the International Committee of the Red Cross went to the camp to check the detainees' medical conditions. ``They visited the command and several persons, and are satisfied with our procedures,'' Marine Maj. Chris Hughes said. ``With every group (of prisoners) we bring in, there are injured - broken bones, dehydration or malnutrition. And they receive medical treatment throughout.''

Back to Top

DECEMBER 29, 2001
India said Saturday it would continue to mass tens of thousands of troops at its border until Pakistan cracks down on Islamic militants, rejecting a Pakistani call for the two nations' leaders to meet to try to defuse the crisis.

Two B1-b bombers struck a complex occupied by members of the fallen Taliban leadership that harbored bin Laden's al-Qaida terrorists, Maj. Brad Lowell of the U.S. Central Command said Saturday.

British and U.S. forces joined hundreds of Afghans in the search of caves of the former al-Qaida complex near Tora Bora, looking for documents and other intelligence as well as al-Qaida that may still be hiding there.

Cuban officials said Saturday that they oppose the use of the U.S. Navy base in Guantanamo Bay for detainees from the war in Afghanistan mostly because they believe the base should have been closed decades ago. Holding detainees at an American base inside a country that has long insisted that the base be closed shows ``the arrogance of the government of the empire,''

Back to Top

DECEMBER 30, 2001
Pakistan said Monday it had arrested the outspoken former leader of a militant Islamic group accused by India of helping orchestrate an attack on its Parliament that has taken the two countries to the brink of hostilities. It was Pakistan's most significant arrest of a militant since fresh tension with India began earlier this month.

The new Afghan government has reached an agreement with international peacekeepers on how they will function in the coming months, the country's interim foreign minister said Sunday.

Aid workers racing to feed the needy in Afghanistan before winter makes that mission nearly impossible are encountering sometimes frightening obstacles. Warlords have threatened them, local Afghans have tried to rob them and the offices they used to store and distribute much-needed help have been looted down to the light fixtures.

Back to Top

DECEMBER 31, 2001
Europe made history on Tuesday with the midnight launch of euro single currency notes and coins for more than 300 million people, completing an unprecedented monetary union aimed at securing peace and greater prosperity.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee said in a New Year message India was ready to open talks with Pakistan -- including on the disputed Kashmir region -- if its neighbor and rival abandoned an ``anti-India mentality.

U.S. intelligence shows ousted Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar may be hiding near Baghran, in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province, officials said on Monday.

Gulf Arab states urged neighboring Iraq Monday to allow U.N. weapons inspectors back into the country or risk more tension in the Middle East


Back to Top

"Theme from Ben" Now Playing
MIDI is Embedded