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Timeline of the September 11 attacks
is a chronological list of all the major events leading up to, during, and immediately following the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington that day. The timeline starts with the completion of the first World Trade Center tower in 1970 through the September 11 attacks timeline first anniversary of the attacks in 2002.
1931: Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden founds the Saudi Binladin Group, which grows to be one of the largest construction firms in the Middle East and makes him a billionaire.  
1950: Sayyid Qutb returns to Egypt from a two-year visit from the United States sponsored by the Ministry of Education, and joins the Muslim Brotherhood due to his disgust towards Western culture. 
1951-1965: Qutb writes the book while in prison for an Fi Zilal al-Quran assassination attempt against Gamal Abdel Nasser. The book claims that Israel and the Arab states of the Persian Gulf are American satellite states and calls for an Islamist revolution against secularism—including Arab nationalism, socialism, and liberal democracy—to establish a Middle Eastern theocracy rooted in sharia law. The book becomes highly influential towards Islamic terrorists. 
1957: Osama bin Laden, Mohammed bin Awad's son, is born in Riyadh.
1959: David Rockefeller first proposes a "World Trade Center" to revitalize Lower Manhattan. 
1964: The design for the original World Trade Center, including the Twin Towers, is unveiled by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. 
1966: Construction begins on the original World Trade Center. 
1966: Sayyid Qutb is executed in Egypt and his brother Muhammad Qutb flees to Saudi Arabia, acquiring a teaching position at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah.
1970: The North Tower of the original World Trade Center is completed.
1973: The South Tower of the original World Trade Center is completed.
1976-1979: Bin Laden is radicalized by Qutb while attending King Abdulaziz University for business administration. 
1979: Bin Laden travels to Afghanistan to assist the Sunni Mujahideen in the Afghan-Soviet War. The United States first becomes concerned over Islamic extremism after the Iranian Revolution.
1981: Bin Laden's future deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Jama At al-Jihad, is arrested for his role in the assassination of Anwar Sadat and imprisoned for three years. 
1983: The 1983 Beirut barracks bombings provides inspiration for Bin Laden. 
1984: Bin Laden cofounds a network, the Maktab al-Khidamat, with Abdullah Yusuf Azzam in Afghanistan and Pakistan to recruit Muslims for the Afghan resistance. 
1988: Osama bin Laden forms a computer database of Islamist militants, founding al-Qaeda. 
1989: The Soviet Army withdraws from Afghanistan, and bin Laden advocates transforming al-Qaeda into a global network to fund jihad. Azzam prefers to focus on the Afghan Civil War but is assassinated in a car bombing. After the  1989 coup d'état in Sudan the country's spiritual leader Hassan Al-Turabi would invite bin Laden to stay there. 
1990: Bin Laden makes an offer to Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to defend Saudi Arabia from Ba'athist Iraq with 100,000 fighters after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. He is turned down, and becomes embittered by the intervention of non-Islamic troops from the U.S.-lead international coalition in the Gulf War. 
1991: Bin Laden moves to Sudan and begins expanding al-Qaeda. 
1992: Al-Qaeda attacks the United States for the first time in the Yemen hotel bombings in Aden.
1993: World Trade Center bombing.
1994: Al-Qaeda-connected militants attempt to crash Air France Flight 8969 into Eiffel Tower. Bin Laden's Saudi citizenship is revoked. 
1995: Operation Bojinka is discovered by Manila police on a laptop computer in an apartment after a fire.
27 September 1996: The Taliban, a radical Islamic movement, rises to power by conquering Kabul in the Afghan Civil War (1992–1996).
1996: Passenger plane suicide attack narrowly averted. 
1996: Bin Laden moves to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and begins to make statements considering himself at war with the United States and Saudi Arabia. Michael Scheuer subsequently creates a CIA unit, the Bin Laden Issue Station, to gather intelligence on Bin Laden and discovers the existence of al-Qaeda. 
1998: Bin Laden expands religious edict against US and allies by faxing a fatwa to an Arabic-language newspaper in London declaring a jihad on the United States, and reiterates the themes in a televised interview with ABC News.  
1998: Suspect claims 'extensive network of al-Qaeda sleeper agents' is planning 'big attack' inside US. 
7 August 1998: The 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania are carried out by Al-Qaeda.
8–10 August 1998: In Mazar-i-Sharif, the Taliban and Al Qaeda's 055 Brigade massacred between 4,000 to 8,000 people, including 11 Iranian diplomats. Iran threatened to intervene, but relented after mediation by the United Nations.
20 August 1998: Operation Infinite Reach, U.S. cruise missile strikes on Al-Qaeda training camp in Khost, Afghanistan, in retaliation of Al-Qaeda's U.S. embassy bombings two weeks earlier.
1998: 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta and associates are monitored some by US and Germany in their Hamburg apartment.        
1999: Indian Airlines Flight 814 hijacked. One passenger dies while the others are released.
1999: Suicide pilot crashes commercial airliner into ocean. 
2000: The 2000 millennium attack plots for bombings in Jordan and Los Angeles International Airport are discovered and prevented.
2000: The USS is bombed in Cole Yemen by Al-Qaeda. 9 September 2001: Al-Qaeda assassinates Ahmad Shah Massoud, commander of the Northern Alliance in the Afghan Civil War (1996–2001).
1992: Mohamed Atta arrives in Germany.
1994: Planning on Operation Bojinka begins in the Philippines.
1995: Operation Bojinka foiled, Said Bahaji and Ramzi bin al-Shibh arrive in Germany.
1996: Marwan al-Shehhi and Ziad Jarrah arrive in Germany.
1997: Zakariyah Essabar arrives in Germany.
1998: Recruitment of terrorists in Germany starts.
1998: Bill Clinton warned 'bin Laden preparing to hijack US aircraft' inside US. 
1999: Hamburg cell is fully formed.
1999: Germany monitors call to 9/11 hijacker al-Shehhi, shares information with CIA. 
1999: Germans monitor call mentioning key al-Qaeda Hamburg cell members, including 9/11 hijacker Atta's full name and number. 
1999: 9/11 hijacker Jarrah has unofficial wedding; photograph later suggests German intelligence has informant. 
1999: Three 9/11 hijackers obtain US visas. 
1999: Hani Hanjour gets pilot's license despite dubious skills.    
1999: German intelligence records calls between 9/11 hijacker al-Shehhi and others linked to al-Qaeda.  
1999: Saudi ambassador's wife gives funds that are possibly passed to 9/11 hijackers. 
1999: President Clinton warned about al-Qaeda operatives living in US. 
1999: Watch list importance is stressed but procedures are not followed.  
1999: NSA tells CIA about planned al-Qaeda summit involving future hijackers.
2000: 2000 al-Qaeda Summit in Malaysia, pilots head to the United States and train in flying schools. 2001: Remaining hijackers go to the United States, Zacarias Moussaoui goes to the United States and is arrested, other cell members flee Germany.
September 11, 2001
All times are in local time (
EDT or UTC − 4).
Rest of September
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