United States government

The War on Terrorism is a name that has been given to several campaigns by various nations, but today refers to a military and diplomatic campaign launched by the United States, with support from NATO and other allies, immediately following the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York City and Washington, D. C. , which were carried out by al-Qaeda. The campaign's stated goal was/is to end international terrorism by preventing groups defined by the US and its allies as "terrorist" (largely Islamist groups such as al-Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas) from posing a threat to the US and its allies, and by putting an end to state sponsorship of terrorism.

Terrorist groups are generally defined as those intentionally targeting civilians, but many have seen the US definitions as ideologically motivated. United States President George W. Bush declared the "War on Terror" in 2001, and is considered its leader; British Prime Minster Tony Blair is considered his closest ally. The UK has been a particularly strong supporter of the campaign, although many other nations' governments have been involved. In addition to 9/11, the war has encompassed responses or retributions to terrorist attacks or events in Israel, Russia, Indonesia, Iraq, Spain, Egypt and the United Kingdom.

The Bush administration declared a war on terrorism, with the stated goals of bringing Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda to justice and preventing the emergence of other terrorist networks. These goals would be accomplished by means including economic and military sanctions against states perceived as harboring terrorists and increasing global surveillance and intelligence sharing. The second-biggest operation outside of the United States was the overthrow of the oppressive Taliban rule from Afghanistan, by a U. S. -led coalition.

The U. S. was not the only nation to increase its military readiness, with other notable examples being the Philippines and Indonesia, countries that have their own internal conflicts with Islamic extremist terrorism The Saudi born Zayn al-Abidn Muhammad Hasayn Abu Zubaydah was arrested by Pakistani officials during a series of joint US and Pakistan raids during the week of March 23, 2002 During the raid the suspect was shot three times while trying to escape capture by military personnel.

Zubaydah is said to be a high-ranking al-Qaeda official with the title of operations chief and in charge of running al-Qaeda training camps. Later that year on September 14, 2002, Ramzi Binalshibh was arrested in Pakistan after a three-hour gunfight with police forces. Binalshibh is known to have shared a room with Mohammad Atta in Hamburg, Germany and to be a financial backer of al-Qaeda operations. It is said Binalshibh was supposed to be another hijacker; however the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services rejected his visa application three times, leaving him to the role of financier.

The trail of money transferred by Binalshibh from Germany to the United States links both Mohammad Atta and Zacarias Moussaoui. On March 1 2003, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was arrested during CIA-led raids on the suburb of Rawalpindi, nine miles outside of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. Mohammed at the time of his capture was the third highest ranking official in al-Qaeda and had been directly in charge of the planning for the September 11th attacks.

Escaping capture the week before during a previous raid, the Pakistani government was able to use information gathered from other suspects captured to locate and detain Mohammed. Mohammed was indicted in 1996 by the United States government for links to the Oplan Bojinka, a plot to bomb a series of U. S. civilian airliners. Other events Mohammed has been linked to include: ordering the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, the USS Cole bombing, Richard Reid attempt to blow up a civilian airliner with a shoe bomb, and the terrorist attack at the El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has described himself as the head of the al-Qaeda military committee Because the attacks on the United States were judged to be within the parameters of its charter, NATO declared that Article 5 of the NATO agreement was satisfied on September 12, 2001, making the US war on terror the first time since its inception that NATO would actually participate in a "hot" war.