Chronology: Regional Affairs

The Middle East Journal, Spring 2002 | Go to article overview

Chronology: Regional Affairs


2001

Oct. 18: Governments involved in the USled war in Afghanistan proposed to create a Muslim peacekeeping force. That coalition could include Turkey, the one country that is both Muslim and a member of NATO. Turkey indicated it would be willing to consider the proposal. [FT, 10/18; WP, 10/201

Oct. 19: Connections emerged between a novice French-Moroccan pilot, Zacarias Moussaoui, whom authorities tried to link to the September 11 hijackings, and terrorist cells of Usama bin Ladin accused of a second plot. Moussaoui, who was arrested in Minnesota in August and whom some investigators think would had been the 20th hijacker in the September 11 attacks, used to room with one of the central figures in an alleged plot to bomb the US Embassy in Paris. [WSJ, 10/19]

Oct. 23: Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf called for an early end to the bombing in Afghanistan, as reports of civilian casualties-conflicting and mostly unconfirmed-continued to come out of the country. Musharraf also cautioned that any strikes during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would increase unrest across the Muslim world. [NYT, 10/24]

Oct. 26: The US Treasury Department announced a new investigative team that would target charities, non-governmental organizations and underground remittance systems used by al-Qa'ida. The new team, called Operation Green Quest, would include prosecutors from the Justice Department and investigators from a number of financial agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, the Customs Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. [FT, 10/ 26]

The Czech Interior Minister confirmed that an Iraqi intelligence officer met with Mohammed 'Atta, one of the ringleaders of the September I I terrorist attacks, just five months before the synchronized hijackings and mass killings were carried out. The Iraqi official was later expelled from the country for "conduct incompatible with his diplomatic status." [NYT, 10/27; WSJ, 10/29]

Nov. 3: The Bush Administration imposed stringent financial sanctions on the anti-Israeli organizations Hamas, Hezbollah and 20 other suspected terrorist groups, significantly broadening the campaign to seize terrorist assets beyond groups with links to Usama bin Ladin's al-Qa `ida network. [WP, FT, NYT, 11/3]

Nov. 12: The United States and the countries most closely affected by developments in Afghanistan called for "a broad-based, multiethnic, politically balanced, freely chosen Afghan Administration" to take charge once the Taliban was totally driven out of Kabul. The goal, issued in a statement by a group known as "Six plus Two"the United States and Russia plus China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan-became more urgent with the news that the Taliban had withdrawn from Kabul. The group met with the special United Nations envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, who returned the previous week after a tour of the region and whose mission the group formally endorsed. [NYT, 11/13]

Nov. 16: About 160 British marines and American Special Operations troops flew to Bagram airfield north of Kabul as Western nations rushed to assemble an international force to keep order in Afghan areas wrested from the Taliban. …

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