The hunt for Al Qaeda: Key dates

The hunt for Al Qaeda: key dates

Oct. 7 US attacks Afghanistan The campaign in Afghanistan, 90 percent of which is controlled by the Taliban regime, begins with US and British aircraft and submarine attacks. The allied forces target key cities and camps held by the Taliban.

Nov. 9 Fall of Mazar-e Sharif The Taliban's strategic northern stronghold of Mazar-e Sharif falls to the Northern Alliance troops led by Rashid Dostum. US air support and coordination is key to the ongoing anti-Taliban assault by Northern Alliance forces.

Nov. 10 Bin Laden rallies tribal support Speaking to tribal leaders in Jalalabad, Osama bin Laden affirms ties to local chieftans who will later help Al Qaeda fighters escape from Tora Bora.

Nov. 12 Taliban flee Kabul Northern Alliance troops push Taliban and Al Qaeda forces out of the Afghan capital city of Kabul. Meanwhile, Northern Alliance forces recapture the key western city of Herat.

Nov. 13 Taliban and Al Qaeda flee Jalalabad Chaos comes to the eastern city of Jalalabad as the Taliban relinquish control.

Nov. 15 Warlord Ghamsharik enters Jalalabad Haji Zaman Ghamsharik, recently brought back to Afghanistan from France by Western powers, enters Jalalabad and is greeted by a 1,000-gun salute.

Nov. 20 US broadcasts $25 million Bin Laden bounty Using radio broadcasts and leaflets dropped from planes, the US tells the Afghans about a $25 million reward for the capture of Osama bin Laden.

Nov. 26 Bin Laden meets fighters for tea An eyewitness says bin Laden met Yemeni Al Qaeda fighters for tea in a Tora Bora cave.

Nov. 30 Bin Laden begins flight from Tora Bora Marching on foot, bin Laden, according to eyewitnesses, departs Tora Bora and heads into Pakistan.

Dec. 2 John Walker Lindh is captured The American Taliban fighter is captured by US forces and interviewed by CNN.

Dec. 3 US bombing takes heavy civilian toll Local residents say a week of heavy US bombing on Tora Bora has killed 100 to 200 civilians, but left the tunnel complex largely untouched.

Dec. 5 assault on Tora Bora begins; INTERIM GOVERNMENT FOUNDED A long-awaited ground attack on Tora Bora begins as Afghan forces trek into the mountains near the cave fortress. Meanwhile in Bonn, Germany, Afghan leaders choose Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun, to lead a post-Taliban government.

Dec. 7 Fall of Kandahar The Taliban abandon their final stronghold and religious center, the city of Kandahar, as their hold on Afghanistan collapses.

Dec. 9 Cheney says Bin Laden probably still at Tora Bora Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," the vice president says "the preponderance of the reporting at this point" indicates bin Laden is near Tora Bora. The same day, US forces drop a 15,000 pound "daisy cutter" bomb on a cave where senior Al Qaeda leadership are believed to be hiding.

Dec. 10 Pakistan deploys border troops; Bin Laden heard on radiO Thousands of Pakistani troops fan out along the border near Tora Bora to prevent the escape of Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. Meanwhile, US forces report hearing bin Laden's voice on local shortwave frequencies, giving orders to troops on the front lines of Tora Bora.

Dec. 13 Bin Laden Sept. 11 tape released The US releases a videotape purportedly showing bin Laden laughing and talking about the Sept. 11 attacks.

Dec. 14 Pentagon says Bin Laden surrounded Pentagon officials say they think they have bin Laden cornered at Tora Bora as fighting in the region continues.

Dec. 17 Afghan Tora Bora forces declare victory Displaying a small, ragged band of captured Al Qaeda and Taliban fighters, Commander Haji Zahir announces that the Al Qaeda presence at Tora Bora has been vanquished.

Dec. 20 Bush says Bin Laden whereabouts unknown President Bush says the US doesn't know where bin Laden is but vows the Al Qaeda leader will be found, even if he "tried to slither out" of Afghanistan.

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