A firefighter walks through rubble of the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001. The accused mastermind of the attacks, Osama bin Laden, was killed on Sunday in a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan.
- [Doug Kanter/Getty Images]
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A firefighter breaks down after the World Trade Center buildings collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001. A videotape found in Afghanistan showed Osama bin Laden taking responsibility for and reveling in the Sept. 11 attacks.
- [Mario Tama/Getty Images]
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The USA Patriot Act was signed into law on Oct. 26, 2001. The act gave the U.S. government new authorities on wiretapping, electronic surveillance and other forms of intelligence gathering to help combat terrorism.
- [Luke Frazza/AFP/Getty Images]
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Congress authorized then-President George W. Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001." The war in Afghanistan began on Oct. 7, 2001. Here aviation ordnancemen move a 1,000 pound bomb onto the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in preparation for strikes against Al Qaeda.
- [US Navy/Courtesy/Getty Images]
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Northern Alliance fighters, backed by bombing from the United States, defeated the Taliban in the north of Afghanistan and captured Kabul in November 2001. Here Northern Alliance soldiers in Oykhonum, northern Afghanistan, on Nov. 9, 2001.
- [Sion Touhig/Getty Images]
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The Taliban sheltered bin Laden after he fled Sudan. From the mountain village of Tora Bora in 1996, Osama issued his "Declaration of War Against the Americans Who Occupy the Land of the Two Holy Mosques." Here a Taliban fighter in Kabul in 1996.
- [Seamus Murphy/GlobalPost]
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In December 2001, American operatives were confident bin Laden was hiding in the caves of Tora Bora, but bin Laden was able to give U.S. forces the slip. Here an anti-Taliban fighter looks over a former Al Qaeda cave deep in the Tora Bora valley on Dec. 26, 2001.
- [Chris Hondros/Getty Images]
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On Dec. 22, 2001, British citizen Richard Reid was arrested for trying to detonate an explosive device contained in his shoe while aboard an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami. He later pleaded guilty and said he was a follower of Osama bin Laden.
- [Illustration by Jane Collins/Getty Images]
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Detainees at Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Jan. 27, 2002. The first group of detainees arrived in January 2001. Bush said the prisoners were not eligible for POW protections under the Geneva Convention. The detention center at Guantanamo is still operating despite promises by U.S. President Barack Obama to shut it down.
- [Kevin Lamarque/AFP/Getty Images]
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Waterboarding is used to coerce prisoners by using water to cut off oxygen and to create the feeling of drowning. The Justice Department under President Bush approved use of the technique on "high value" terrorism suspects. Here Maboub Ebrahimzdeh lies on the sidewalk after a waterboarding demonstration to protest the practice in front of the Justice Department, Nov. 5, 2007.
- [Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
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President Bush argued the invasion of Iraq would advance the war on terror, and thus, the Iraq War began on March 19, 2003. Then-Undersecretary of Defense Douglas J. Feith said in a 2002 briefing that the relationship between Iraq and Al Qaeda was "mature" and "symbiotic." Here, a U.S. Marine chains the head of a statue of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein before pulling it down in Baghdad's al-Fardous Square on April 9, 2003.
- [Ramzi Haidar/AFP/Getty Images]
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A cashier put a "freedom sticker" on top of a box of "Freedom Fries" at a cafeteria in the U.S. Capitol building on March 12, 2003. With the French opposition of U.S. President Bush's policy on Iraq, the House Administration Committee ordered to change the names of French Fries and French Toast to "Freedom Fries" and "Freedom Toast" in all the cafeterias of the House of Representatives.
- [Alex Wong/Getty Images]
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A relative of an Iraqi prisoner being held by U.S. authorities at the Abu Ghraib prison reacts to a newspaper featuring photos of U.S. soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners inside the detention center on May 8, 2004. Before the fall of Saddam Hussein, the prison was notorious for torture and executions. After 2004, images were made public of Iraqi detainees being beaten and sexually humiliated at the prison.
- [Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images]
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Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area seen from the air. NATO and the Afghan government say that Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters cross into Afghanistan from the Pakistani side to stage attacks on NATO troops. Osama bin Laden was thought to be hiding in the mountainous border region, but instead was located at a compound 35 miles from the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.
- [John Moore/Getty Images]
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An Afghan tribesman from the Pashtun ethnic minority on May 2, 2010. Pashtuns live in the heart of the South-Central Asian region, on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan, which since 2001 has been the central front in the war on terror.
- [Majid Saeedi/Getty Images]
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President Barack Obama ordered an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan in December 2009. "We must deny Al Qaeda a safe haven," Obama said. At the time of the announcement, there were 71,000 troops in the country. When Obama took office the previous January, there were 34,000. Here a U.S. army soldier fires at Taliban positions on the outskirts of the village of Jellawar on Sept. 7, 2010.
- [Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images]
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Aerial view of Kandahar, a Taliban stronghold and the second largest city in Afghanistan. The Taliban captured Kandahar in 2004 and turned it into their capital. When campaigning for president, Obama said Afghanistan was a war worth fighting, as opposed to Iraq.
- [Ben Brody/GlobalPost]
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Korinne Commander hugs her husbaned, U.S. Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy Commander, as the couple says goodbye during a deployment ceremony on Jan. 5, 2010.
- [Joe Raedie/Getty Images]
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More than 1,553 American servicemen have been killed during Operation Enduring Freedom, since it began in 2001. A U.S. Marine team carries the remains of Marine Cpl. Jorge Villarreal, of San Antonio, Texas, at Dover Air Force Base on Oct. 18, 2010.
- [Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images]
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The "Tribute in Light" in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2010, the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. The mastermind of the attacks, Osama bin Laden, was killed nine years, seven months and 19 days after the attacks.
- [Chris Hondros/Getty Images]