The US president, Bill Clinton, orders cruise missile strikes on al-Qaida training camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan that the US claims is producing chemical weapons.Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, merges his group with al-Qaida to form the International Front for Fighting Jews and Crusaders and, so intelligence agencies believe, becomes al-Qaida's second-in-command.1996Bin Laden is asked to leave Sudan and returns to Afghanistan, where the Taliban militia is in the ascendancy.
A tape attributed to Bin Laden by US officials praises the majority of these and warns US allies against following the "oppressive American government".
Ayman al-Zawahri returns in August with another taped message, this time warning America it would "pay dearly" if any of the al-Qaida suspects held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba are harmed.
A few days later, another al-Qaida tape, broadcast on al-Arabiya television, has Afghan-based al-Qaida official Abdel Rahman al-Najdi claiming that Bin Laden and key ally Mullah Omar are still alive.
In Yemen, meanwhile, a senior al-Qaida suspect linked to the 2000 bombing of the warship USS Cole is captured.
The arrest of Mohammed al-Ahdal results in the foiling of a plot to use a truck bomb to blow up the British embassy.2002It is not known whether Bin Laden is alive or dead.