12 May 2003

The Riyadh compound bombings, carried out by al-Qaeda, kill 26 people.

Riyadh compound bombings
LocationRiyadh, Saudi Arabia
Date12 May 2003
TargetThree compounds frequented by Westerners
Attack type
suicide attack

Two major bombings took place in residential compounds in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 2003. On 12 May 2003, 39 people were killed, and over 160 wounded when bombs went off at three compounds in Riyadh—Dorrat Al Jadawel, Al Hamra Oasis Village, and the Vinnell Corporation Compound.[1] On 8 November, a bomb was detonated outside the Al-Mohaya housing compound west of Riyadh, killing at least 17 people and wounding 122.[2]

The bombings have been attributed to Islamic extremists as part of a campaign against Westerners and Westernization in Saudi Arabia. They are thought to have been sparked by the stationing of US troops in Saudi Arabia during the 1991 Gulf War with Iraq.[3]


A smaller campaign of insurgency in Saudi Arabia had begun in November 2000 when car bombings were carried out targeting and killing individual expatriates in Riyadh and other cities. As early as February 2003, the US State Department issued travel warnings that Westerners could be targeted by terrorists. The warnings followed an explosion at a private residence where weapons, explosives, cash, and false documents were subsequently discovered. In early May 2003, the US State Department warned that terrorists were in the final stages of planning terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government also warned of this, and issued an alert for 19 men believed to be members of Al-Qaeda planning attacks.[4]

May attack

Late on 12 May, several vehicles manned by heavily armed assault teams arrived at three Riyadh compounds: The Dorrat Al Jadawel, a compound owned by the London-based MBI International and Partners subsidiary , the Al Hamra Oasis Village, and the Vinnell Corporation Compound, occupied by a Virginia-based defense contractor that was training the Saudi National Guard.[1] All contained large numbers of Americans, Westerners, and non-Saudi Arabs.

Around 11:15 pm, multiple gunmen infiltrated the Al Hamra Oasis Village, a site inhabited mainly by Westerners. They killed the guards at the gate and proceeded to open fire at residents, killing Westerners, non-Saudi Arabs, and Saudis and the assailants then detonated a car bomb.[5] The next attack was at the Jadawel compound, though the assailants failed to gain access to the compound due to the prominent level of security. There was a shootout between security personnel and terrorists on approach to the front gates. The terrorists then detonated a two-ton truck bomb outside the area killing themselves, two security guards and injuring many others.[5]

The final target was the Vinnell compound. The terrorists approached the gate in a sedan, with a pickup truck carrying the explosives following. Those in the sedan shot the Saudi soldiers guarding the gate and then opened the gate for the pickup truck. The truck was driven to the front of one of the residential high rises on the compound, and detonated. At the time, many of the Vinnell employees were away from the compound, supporting an exercise for the National Guard. Seven Americans were killed or died of injuries the night of the attack, along with two Filipino employees. An eighth American died in hospital several days later. Some of the terrorists died when the truck bomb was detonated, and others escaped by climbing over the compound wall.[5]

Possibility of inside actors

According to American intelligence sources, the bombers operation "depended on a significant level of 'insider' knowledge of the compounds." According to one American military official quoted by the Daily Telegraph, it took the bombers

(...) 30 seconds to a minute to get from the gate to the housing block. They had to know where the switches were to operate the gates after attacking the guards. They then drove at breakneck speed with a bomb weighing nearly 200 kilograms to the most intensely populated location in the complex and blew it up.

"Several bombers" were wearing uniforms of the National Guard to help them get into the three bombed complexes. The intelligence officials believe that al-Qaeda has infiltrated even the elite National Guard, which is involved in compound security.[6]


In the immediate aftermath of the May bombing a large number of Western expatriates left Saudi Arabia. Airlines reported a "flood of bookings for flights from Saudi Arabia to Britain and America". There were also bomb scares and an evacuation of one compound near those attacked and at the landmark Faisaliya Tower.[6]

The attacks were denounced by then-US President George W. Bush as "ruthless murder"[7] and by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah as the work of "monsters." Abdullah vowed to destroy the terrorist group that ordered them, and the Saudi government began a harsh crackdown on the insurgency, arresting more than 600 terrorist suspects and seizing bomb-making materials, bomb belts, and thousands of weapons.[8]

On 7 June 2003, an official Saudi statement[9] identified twelve men as the perpetrators of this attack. According to that statement, the identification was based on DNA found at the scene. The names were Al-Qaeda member Khaled Muhammad bin Muslim Al-Arawi Al-Juhani, Muhammed Othman Abdullah Al-Walidi Al-Shehri, Hani Saeed Ahmad Al Abdul-Karim Al-Ghamdi, Jubran Ali Ahmad Hakami Khabrani, Khaled bin Ibrahim Mahmoud, Mehmas bin Muhammed Mehmas Al-Hawashleh Al-Dosari, Muhammed bin Shadhaf Ali Al-Mahzoum Al-Shehri, Hazem Muhammed Saeed Kashmiri, Majed Abdullah Sa'ad bin Okail, Bandar bin Abdul-Rahman Menawer Al-Rahimi Al-Mutairi, Abdul-Karim Muhammed Jubran Yazji, and Abdullah Farres bin Jufain Al-Rahimi Al-Mutairi.

Abdul Rahman Jabarah was killed in a gunfight with Saudi security forces, as was Zubayr Al-Rimi. Both men were believed to have had involvement in the attack.

Saif al-Adel and Saad bin Laden were implicated in the attacks.[10] According to Seth G. Jones, the bombings were planned by al Qaeda in Iran, with apparent Iranian complicity.[11][12] In May 2003, then-State Department official Ryan Crocker provided information on the upcoming attack to Iranian officials, who apparently took no action.[13] However, according to an interrogation of former al-Qaeda spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, al-Adel and Saad were being held prisoner in Iran when the attacks took place.[14] Saad was killed in a drone strike in Pakistan in 2009.[15]


In the compound bombings, reportedly at least 27 people died from several different countries:[16][17]

Deaths by nationality
Country Number
 United States 9
 Saudi Arabia 7
 Philippines 3
 Jordan 2
 United Kingdom 2
 Australia 1
 Ireland 1
 Lebanon 1
  Switzerland 1

In addition, twelve suicide bombers died, bringing the entire toll from the attacks to 39. More than 160 other people were injured, including more than two dozen Americans.

In October 2003, as-Sahab released the videotaped wills of the bombers Abu Umar al-Ta'ifi (also known as Hamza al-Ansari), Muhammad bin Shazzaf al-Shahri (also known as Abu Tareq al-Aswad) and Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab al-Maqit, recorded two weeks before the attacks.[18]

November attack

Casualties by nationality
Country Deaths[19] Injured[19]
 Saudi Arabia 11 31
 Egypt 4 17
 India 1 1
 Sudan 1 0
 Lebanon 0 53
 Canada 0 6
 United States 0 4
 Sri Lanka 0 1
 Bangladesh 0 1
 Romania 0 1
 Indonesia[20] 0 1
 Philippines 0 1
 Syria 0 1
 Pakistan 0 1
 Turkey 0 1
 Eritrea 0 1
 Palestine 0 1
Total 17 122

On 8 November, a suicide truck bomb detonated outside the Al-Mohaya housing compound in Laban Valley, West of Riyadh, killing at least 17 people and wounding 122, among them 36 children. Those killed in the attack were mainly Arabs, many of them workers from countries such as Egypt and Lebanon. Among the injured were people from India, Bangladesh, Philippines, and Eritrea.[2] (The US State Department had warned of further attacks in the Kingdom on the day of the attack.[2])

Questions about inside actors

According to the Saudi Press Agency, suicide bombers posing as guards drove into the compound in a vehicle which "looked like a police car",[21] and after an exchange of gunfire with security forces blew themselves up—the compound allegedly chosen by them because those occupied by Western expatriates were too well guarded. However, journalist John R. Bradley[22] noted that none of the suicide bombers were identified by the government, and that despite official reports of gunfire before the bombing—and thus presumably casualties among security forces—there were no televised visits by Interior Minister Prince Naif to homes of members of those forces, as is customary when members are killed in an attack.[23]

Bradley reports that in an alternative version of the bombing—provided to him by Saudi opposition figures with sources among disgruntled members of the security forces and government—the police car was "in fact ... a car belonging to the Saudi special security forces,"[23] and that the bomb was not detonated in suicide but by remote control, its detonators escaping unharmed. Thus,

attackers dressed as policemen, driving a special security forces car, taking care not to kill any of those defending the compound, and apparently not themselves being fired upon with any degree of accuracy [meant that] There could not be greater evidence, if even only half of that proved true, that Al-Qaeda had infiltrated Saudi Arabia's military and security forces, including those entrusted with the protection of residential compounds. [23]

According to Bradley, surviving residents of the compound stated that three months before the bombing Saudi religious police accompanied by regular Saudi police, had visited them—a rare intrusion into the "refuge from Saudi morality that the compounds are supposed to provide". The police had warned the residents that their "Westernized lifestyle" was "under scrutiny". It was an "open secret", according to Bradley, that many of the religious police supported Osama bin Laden.[23]

See also


  1. ^ a b "One bombed compound owned by pro-Western Saudi". CNN. 13 May 2003. Archived from the original on 18 January 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Saudis expect another attack any time". Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  3. ^ Hegghammer, Thomas (2010). Jihad in Saudi Arabia: Violence and Pan-Islamism since 1979. Cambridge University Press. pp. 160, 203.
  4. ^ "Al Qaeda Plot Foiled By Saudi Security Force". Susris.com. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "What Really Happened When Al Qaeda attacked". Strategypage.com. 3 September 2003. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  6. ^ a b Gedye, Robin; Bradley, John R (16 May 2003). "Bomber 'moles' in Saudi forces". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 June 2014.
  7. ^ "President Bush condemns Riyadh bombing as 'ruthless murder'". KUNA. 13 May 2003. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
  8. ^ "600 Suspects Nabbed in Crackdown, Says Turki". Arabnews.com. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Riyadh names 12 perpetrators". Saudinf.com. 7 June 2003. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  10. ^ Thomas Joscelyn (18 May 2011). "Analysis: Al Qaeda's interim emir and Iran". The Long War Journal. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  11. ^ Jones, Seth G. (29 January 2012). "Al Qaeda in Iran". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  12. ^ Bergen, Peter (10 March 2013). "Strange bedfellows -- Iran and al Qaeda". CNN. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  13. ^ Filkins, Dexter (30 September 2013). "The Shadow Commander". The New Yorker. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  14. ^ http://kronosadvisory.com/Kronos_US_v_Sulaiman_Abu_Ghayth_Statement.1.pdf
  15. ^ "Bin Laden son 'probably killed'". BBC News. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  16. ^ "Hunt for Riyadh bomb masterminds". CNN. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  17. ^ "Riyadh bombings claim 9th American". CNN. 1 June 2003. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  18. ^ Weimann, Gabriel. "Terror on the Internet", 2006. p. 45 & 62
  19. ^ a b "CNN.com - Saudis expect another attack any time - Nov. 10, 2003". edition.cnn.com.
  20. ^ "NewsMine.org - Nov03 suicide attack kills 11". newsmine.org.
  21. ^ "Riyadh attack death toll mounts". BBC News. 9 November 2003. Retrieved 12 June 2014.
  22. ^ Bradley speaks Arabic and according to his publisher worked in Saudi Arabia as a journalist for two years. (Bradley, John R. (2005). Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis. macmillan. p. dustjacket.)
  23. ^ a b c d Bradley, John R. (2005). Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis. macmillan. pp. 113–4. Retrieved 12 June 2014. saudi arabia exposed no deaths means no visits.

External links

9 April 2003

Iraq War: Baghdad falls to American forces.

Battle of Baghdad (2003)
Part of the invasion of Iraq
Statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled in Firdos Square
DateApril 3–12, 2003
(1 week and 2 days)

United States-led coalition victory

 Iraq  United States
 United Kingdom
(air support)
Commanders and leaders
Saddam Hussein
Qusay Hussein
Saif Al-Din Al-Rawi
Ra'ad al-Hamdani[1]
George W. Bush
Tommy Franks
David D. McKiernan
Tony Blair
Brian Burridge
45,000 30,000
Casualties and losses
1,700–2,120 killed (independent estimate)[2]
2,320 killed (U.S. military estimate)[3]
34 killed[4]
1 A-10 Thunderbolt II shot down
2 Abrams tanks destroyed[5]
17 vehicles destroyed[6]

The Battle of Baghdad, also known as the Fall of Baghdad, was a military invasion of Baghdad that took place in early April 2003, as part of the invasion of Iraq.

Three weeks into the invasion of Iraq, Coalition Forces Land Component Command elements, led by the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division moved into Baghdad. The United States declared victory on April 14, and President George W. Bush gave his Mission Accomplished Speech on May 1.

Baghdad suffered serious damage to its civilian infrastructure, economy, and cultural inheritance from the fighting, as well as looting and arson. During the invasion, the Al-Yarmouk Hospital in south Baghdad saw a steady rate of about 100 new patients an hour.[7]

Over 2,000 Iraqi soldiers as well as 34 coalition troops were killed in the battle. After the fall of Baghdad, Coalition forces entered the city of Kirkuk on April 10 and Tikrit on April 15, 2003.


A T-72 Asad Babil abandoned after facing the final US thrust into Baghdad
A Marine Corps M1 Abrams tank patrols a Baghdad street after its fall in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
NASA Landsat 7 image of Baghdad, April 2, 2003. The dark streaks are smoke from oil well fires set in an attempt to hinder attacking air forces.

Limited bombing began on March 19, 2003 as United States forces unsuccessfully attempted to kill Saddam Hussein. Attacks continued against a small number of targets until March 21, 2003, when, at 17:00 UTC, the main bombing campaign of the US and their allies began. Its forces launched approximately 1700 air sorties (504 using cruise missiles).[8] The invasion of the city commenced three days after Allied forces led by Major General Buford Blount and the 3rd Infantry Division had secured the Baghdad airport.

US officials said that their forces fought skirmishes there with Iraq's Special Republican Guard, with two task forces going up to the Tigris river from the southern outskirts of the city before moving west towards the airport. Major General Victor Renuart said the intention was to indicate to the Iraqi leader that coalition forces could move in and out of Baghdad whenever they wished.[9] The Guardian reported that US forces occupied two "presidential palaces".[10] The Army also surrounded the Information Ministry and other key government installations for a while.[11]

On March 24, retired US Army general Barry McCaffrey, told BBC Newsnight: "If [the Iraqis] actually fight, clearly it's going to be brutal, dangerous work and we could take, bluntly, a couple to 3,000 casualties".[12]


The invasion of Baghdad was led by the United States Army's 3rd Infantry Division and the United States Marine Corps' 1st Marine Division, equipped with M1 Abrams tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and M113 armored personnel carriers, LAV 25s, and Amphibious Assault Vehicles.[13] These forces, supported by American and British aircraft including B-52s, Harrier GR7 attack jets and A10 Warthogs,[12] confronted 36,000 soldiers of the Iraqi Special Republican Guard protected in sprawling bunkers 30 miles (48 km) outside Baghdad, armed with Asad Babil tanks and heavy artillery.[12]

Aerial bombing

At the time of invasion, coalition aircraft were making bombing runs on Baghdad at the rate of 1,000 sorties a day, most of them aimed at the Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard.[14] U.S. planes also dropped about 200,000 leaflets warning civilians to stay in their homes.[7] Royal Air Force Tornados from 9 and 617 Squadrons attacked the radar defense systems protecting Baghdad, but lost a Tornado on March 22 along with the pilot and navigator (Flight Lieutenant Kevin Main and Flight Lieutenant Dave Williams) in a friendly fire incident, shot down by an American Patriot missile as they returned to their airbase in Kuwait.[15] On April 2, a US Army Black Hawk helicopter and a United States Navy F/A-18C Hornet were shot down near Karbala.[14][16][17][18] On 8 April, an A-10 Warthog attack plane was shot down in the fighting around Jumhuriya Bridge by an Iraqi surface-to-air missile.[19][20]

At Tuwayhah

On April 4, 2003, the 2nd Tank Battalion Marine Corps had a stiff fight with the Al Nida Division of the Republican Guards and foreign Islamist fighters on the outskirts of Baghdad. By the end of the day, the Al Nida was considered rendered "combat-ineffective", but three US Marines (1st Lieutenant Brian McPhillips, Sergeant Duane Rios and Corporal Bernard Gooden[21]) were killed in the At Tuwayhah fighting and a tank lost.[22] That day, the 5th Regimental Combat Team reported that two supporting Abrams tanks were destroyed battling the Fedayeen and Al Nida Republican Guards, the latter attempting to use anti-aircraft guns in the ground role.[5]

Baghdad International Airport

The entrance when the airport was called Saddam International Airport

On the morning of April 3, 2003, US forces advanced on Saddam International Airport. This location turned out to be the best defended Iraqi position of the entire war and two US soldiers were killed by mortar fire early in the fighting.[23] After several hours of combat, the First Brigade, Third Infantry Division succeeded in taking control of Baghdad International Airport, which would become the hub of American logistics in Iraq for the next seven years. Before sunrise on April 4, the Americans were subjected to a fierce counter-attack by Iraqi troops. The First Brigades Tactical Operations Center (TOC) began receiving small arms and mortar fire. Under the cover of darkness, a number of T-72 tanks managed to get within several hundred meters of their position. According to one source: "It was not until a chemical reconnaissance vehicle was fired on, and a Bradley actually was hit by a T-72 main gun round, that the battalion became aware of its peril."[24]

Fortunately for the crew, the hit was only a glancing one, and they were able to drive their vehicle to safety. A fireteam with a Javelin ATGM destroyed two of the Iraqi tanks, while the rest were destroyed by a passing M1 Abrams. As dawn approached, the attack on the TOC intensified, and Iraqi infantry flooded into the position on foot. During the fighting, Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith was killed by enemy fire while fighting off an Iraqi attack on his team in an action that resulted in the posthumous awarding of division's first Medal of Honor since World War II. During the softening up bombardment of Baghdad Airport on April 3, 2003, an Air Force F-15E fighter mistakenly attacked Battery C, First Battalion, 3-13th Field Artillery (supporting Third Infantry Division), destroying two Humvees and killing Sergeant 1st Class Randy Rehn and Sergeants Donald Oaks and Todd Robins.[25] Five other soldiers from the unit were injured in the air attack. Sergeant 1st Class Wilbert Davis is also reported to have been killed along with American journalist Michael Kelly on April 3 after coming under fire, during operations to secure Baghdad Airport.[26][27]

Thunder Runs

On April 5, Task Force 1–64 Armor of the US Army's 3rd Infantry Division, 2nd Brigade, executed a raid, later called the "Thunder Run", to test remaining Iraqi defenses. The operation began south of Baghdad and went through main roads to the newly secured airport.[28] Iraqi resistance was disorganized, and the unit sustained few casualties. The unit was forced to abandon one tank due to a recoilless rifle or RPG strike in the rear that penetrated a fuel cell and set the engine on fire.[29] The crew was unharmed. Later, the Air Force bombed the tank to destroy it in place, and the Iraqi Information Ministry claimed credit for destroying it.

Two days later, the entire 2nd Brigade of the 3rd Infantry Division was ordered to conduct another "Thunder Run", following the same route as before. This route had been fortified in the intervening period, and senior leaders feared much more substantial resistance than during the prior encounter. Colonel David Perkins, the brigade's commander, followed the original Thunder Run route north into Baghdad, but then veered east into the government districts instead of west towards the airport. The 2nd Brigade easily took control of what is now the "Green Zone" in one day, dramatically speeding up the end of conventional ground combat in Iraq.[30]

This portion of the battle was described in detail in the book Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad by David Zucchino, published March 22, 2004.

The April 6 death of journalist David Bloom, who had been embedded with the 3–15 Infantry, prevented the dramatic fighting from coming to public attention at the time of the battle.[31]

Objectives Moe, Larry, and Curly

On April 7, 2003, intense fighting took place at three locations known as objectives Moe, Larry, and Curly (named after the characters in The Three Stooges). Each objective was a cloverleaf where east–west roads intersected with the main north–south route (Highway 8) being used for the Thunder run. Successfully holding these highway interchanges was essential to keep Highway 8 open thus allowing US forces to remain in the city center following the second Thunder run. Objective Moe was at the junction of Highway 8 and the Qadisiyah expressway, Larry at Qatar Al-Nada street leading to the Al Jadriyah bridge, and Curly at the Dora expressway. At the southernmost location, Objective Curly, an 18-hour battle by the 3–15 Infantry resulted in the deaths of two US soldiers (Staff Sergeant Robert Stever and Sergeant 1st Class John Marshall) killed by RPG rounds and about 40 wounded[32] with 350 to 500 Iraqi casualties (Special Republican Guard, Fedayeen and Syrian fighters[32]). US tank (1st and 4th Battalions of the 64th Armored Regiments) and infantry units nearly ran out of fuel and ammunition and were almost overrun until reinforcements broke through and were able to resupply Objective Curly.[32] Toward the end of the fighting, an Ababil-100 SSM missile or an Iraqi FROG-7 rocket exploded among the parked vehicles of the headquarters of 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, killing two soldiers (Private 1st Class Anthony Miller and Staff Sergeant Lincoln Hollinsaid) and two embedded journalists (Julio Parrado and Christian Liebig), wounding 15 others and destroying 17 military vehicles.[6]

Tharthar Palace

US Marines fighting Iraqi insurgents in March 2003

On April 7, US troops took control of a major presidential palace along the Tigris river. It had been hoped that leaders of the regime would be found in the complex, located near Saddam Hussein's home town of Tikrit.[33] American commanders on the ground said that they would remain in the city center rather than return to the outskirts as they had done previously.

Within hours of a palace seizure and with television coverage of this spreading through Iraq, US forces ordered Iraqi forces within Baghdad to surrender, or the city would face a full-scale assault. Iraqi government officials had either disappeared or had conceded defeat.

Jumhuriya Bridge

On April 8, 2003, some 500 Iraqi soldiers, including Republican Guard mounted a fierce counterattack across the Jumhuriya Bridge, forcing part of the US forces on the western side of Baghdad to initially retreat, but the Iraqis reportedly lost 50 soldiers in the fighting that included the use of A-10 Warthogs on the part of the US forces.[34] An A-10 attack plane was shot down in combating the counterattack by an Iraqi surface-to-air missile.[19][20]


As the American forces secured control of the capital, Iraqi civilians immediately began looting the palaces, as well as government offices. At the Yarmuk Hospital, not only all beds, but all medical equipment was stolen.[citation needed] One other hospital managed to keep on functioning in a manner by organizing local civilians as armed guards.

Serious looting was described at National Museum of Iraq, and the Saddam Arts Center, the University of Baghdad, three five-star hotels: the Al-Rashid, the Al-Mansour and Babel Hotel, state-owned supermarkets, many embassies, and state-owned factories.[35]

At the National Museum of Iraq, which had been a virtual repository of treasures from the ancient Mesopotamian cultures as well as early Islamic culture, many of the 170,000 irreplaceable artifacts were either stolen or broken (partially found safe and well later). On April 14, the Iraq National Library and National Archives were burned down, destroying thousands of manuscripts from civilizations dating back as far as 7,000 years.[36]

Within eight days following the 2003 invasion, only 35, or 5% of the 700 animals in the Baghdad Zoo survived. This was a result of theft of some animals for human food, and starvation of caged animals that had no food or water.[37] Survivors included larger animals like lions, tigers, and bears.[37] Notwithstanding the chaos brought by the invasion, South African Lawrence Anthony and some of the zoo keepers cared for the animals and fed the carnivores with donkeys they had bought locally.[37][38]

Political control

As the U.S. forces were occupying the Republican Palace and other central landmarks and ministries on April 9, Saddam Hussein had emerged from his command bunker beneath the Al A'Zamiyah district of northern Baghdad, and greeted excited members of the local public. This impromptu walkabout was probably his last and his reasons for doing so are still unclear. It is possible that he wished to take what he thought might be his last opportunity to greet his people as their country's president. The walkabout was captured on film and broadcast several days after the event on Al-Arabia Television and was also witnessed by ordinary people who corroborated the date afterwards. He was accompanied by bodyguards and other loyal supporters including at least one of his sons and his personal secretary. After the walkabout Hussein returned to his bunker and made preparations for his family.

On April 9, 2003, Baghdad was formally occupied by Coalition forces. Much of Baghdad remained unsecured however, and fighting continued within the city and its outskirts well into the period of occupation. Saddam, certain members of his family and close subordinates had vanished, and his whereabouts were unknown.

Many Iraqis celebrated the downfall of Saddam by vandalizing the many portraits and statues of him together with other pieces of his legacy. One widely publicized event was the dramatic toppling of a large statue of Saddam in Baghdad's Firdus Square. This attracted considerable media coverage at the time.

Firdus Square statue destruction

Before a conglomerate of international press (and small crowd of around 100 U.S.-supported Iraqi militia[39][40]), a 20-foot-tall (6.1 m) statue of Saddam in Firdus Square was toppled by a U.S. Marine Corps M88 Recovery Vehicle. Initially, a Marine corporal named Edward Chin of the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines Regiment placed a United States flag on the statue's head, though it was replaced with an Iraqi flag. Various other symbols of the president were defaced.

Search for Hussein

The Americans had meanwhile started receiving rumors that Saddam was in Al A'Zamiyah and at dawn on April 10, they dispatched three companies of U.S. Marines to capture him. The Marines fought a fierce four-hour battle at a Baghdad mosque where senior Iraqi leaders had been thought to be holed up, as American warplanes attacked areas of the city under the control of Iraqi fighters. "We had information that a group of regime leadership was attempting to organize a meeting. The fighting in and around the mosque complex could not be avoided as enemy forces were firing from the area of the mosque." said Navy captain Frank Thorp. Marines came under fire from rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and assault rifles. One Marine was killed and more than 20 were wounded, but neither Saddam nor any of his aides were found.


Prior to the invasion, the US policy was that journalists reporting from the ground should be "embedded", that is, be stationed within military units. Such reporters were required to sign contracts with the military and agree to rules that restricted what they could report on. Journalists found breaking those rules risked losing their embedded accreditation and being expelled from Iraq.[41][42]

Black Hawk helicopters from 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) move into an Iraqi city during an operation to occupy the city, April 5.

Iraq, initially issued a statement contradicting western reporters' accounts of the invasion. Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, head of the Information Ministry, told a press conference on April 7 that there were no U.S. troops in Baghdad, saying: "Their infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad. Be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected. Iraqis are heroes."[43]

On April 8, two American air-to-surface missiles hit Al Jazeera's office in a residential area of Baghdad killing a reporter and wounding a cameraman. The nearby office of Arab satellite channel Abu Dhabi TV was also hit by air strikes. Al Jazeera and Abu Dhabi TV were the only international media organizations to continue operating from their headquarters in Baghdad. Since the war started, other international media organizations had moved their operations to the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad. On the same day a U.S. Army tank fired into the 15th floor of the Palestine Hotel, killing two cameramen and wounding three. These attacks prompted accusations that the US was deliberately targeting news media outlets. Al Jazeera had provided the Pentagon with co-ordinates of its office in Baghdad; the Abu Dhabi TV building was clearly identified by a large blue sign on its roof, and, for the Palestine Hotel, according to Geert Linnebank, Reuters editor-in-chief, "US troops who have known all along that this hotel is the main base for almost all foreign journalists in Baghdad".[44] In the Abu Dhabi case, the station aired the picture of Iraqi fire from beneath the camera. In the hotel case, however, other journalists on the scene stated that there was no fire from or around the hotel.[45][46]

External links


  1. ^ (2009). Iraqi Perspectives Project: A View of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Saddam's Senior Leadership (PDF). p. 145; 210. ISBN 978-0-9762550-1-7. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Wages of War -- Appendix 1. Survey and assessment of reported Iraqi combatant fatalities in the 2003 War". comw.org. Archived from the original on September 2, 2009. Retrieved December 16, 2011.
  3. ^ Iraqi Death Toll, Health Perils Assessed by Medical Group Archived June 18, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Iraq Coalition Casualties: Military Fatalities Archived March 26, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b "On April 4, 5th RCT ran into several hundred fedayeen from Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and other parts of the Middle East and Africa. The result was wholesale slaughter, but the cost was considerable: two Abrams tanks were destroyed by the attackers, while numerous vehicles sustained damage from RPG fire. The marines killed a senior general from the Republican Guard ... In addition, marine tankers destroyed twelve to fifteen T-72s and T-55s as well as numerous 37mm anti-aircraft guns, which the Iraqis attempted to use against advancing marines." The Iraq War, Wiiliamson Murray, Robert Scales, p.225, Harvard University Press, 2005
  6. ^ a b Myers, Steven Lee (April 7, 2003). "Iraqi Missile Hits Army Base". Archived from the original on June 27, 2018. Retrieved April 30, 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
  7. ^ a b Zoroya, Gregg; Walt, Vivienne (7 April 2003). "USATODAY.com – From the battered streets of Baghdad, it's clear: 'The battle has reached us'". USA Today. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2010. U.S. planes also dropped about 200,000 leaflets warning civilians to stay in their homes
  8. ^ "Operation Iraqi Freedom – By the Numbers Archived November 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine", USCENTAF, April 30, 2003, 15.
  9. ^ "US forces raid Baghdad". BBC News. 5 April 2003. Archived from the original on 14 March 2007. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  10. ^ Jeffery, Simon (April 7, 2003). "US forces occupy palaces". The Guardian. London. Retrieved April 26, 2010.
  11. ^ "DAYBOOK : A look at the day's major developments in the war with Iraq". The Washington Post. 8 April 2003. Archived from the original on 21 August 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
  12. ^ a b c "Battle for Baghdad begins". The Guardian. Archived from the original on August 27, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  13. ^ Sipress, Alan (5 April 2003). "U.S. Forces Enter the Heart of Baghdad". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 21 August 2018. Retrieved 19 November 2006.
  14. ^ a b Tyler, Patrick E. (April 3, 2003). "Combat - U.S. Ground Forces Sweep Toward Baghdad - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2010. Allied aircraft are making bombing runs at the rate of 1,000 sorties a day, most of them aimed at Mr. Hussein's guard divisions.
  15. ^ Staff and agencies (October 31, 2006). "Coroner condemns 'glaring failures' that led to US missile killing RAF crew". the Guardian. Archived from the original on March 5, 2017. Retrieved December 11, 2016.
  16. ^ "On 2 April 2003, a US Army Sikorsky H-60 Black Hawk helicopter was shot down near Karbala, killing seven soldiers and wounding four others. This event appeared to indicate a significant enemy presence in the city. The Encyclopedia of Middle East Wars: The United States in the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan, and Iraq Conflicts, Spencer C. Tucker, p. 672, ABC-CLIO, 2010
  17. ^ "Ocala Star-Banner - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Archived from the original on 7 March 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2016.
  18. ^ "On 2 April a navy FA-18 was shot down west of Karbala, Iraq." Leave No Man Behind: The Saga of Combat Search and Rescue, George Galdorisi, Thomas Phillips, p. 519, Zenith Imprint, 2008
  19. ^ a b "A-10 aircraft strafed both sides of the main road leading to the bridge and one aircraft was lost to a shoulder-launched missile." Cradle of Conflict: Iraq and the Birth of Modern U.S. Military Power, Michael Knights, p.326, Naval Institute Press, 2005
  20. ^ a b "Star-News - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  21. ^ "U.S. Military Deaths in War With Iraq -- 2003". ABC News. May 25, 2006. Archived from the original on October 2, 2014. Retrieved October 15, 2014.
  22. ^ Marines stand their ground as ambush rages on Archived October 15, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ "Moscow-Pullman Daily News - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  24. ^ James Lacey (2007). Takedown: the 3rd Infantry Division's twenty-one day assault on Baghdad. Naval Institute Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-9058230454.
  25. ^ "Pennsylvania soldier killed by friendly fire". old.post-gazette.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2014. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  26. ^ "U.S. begins second wave of incursions into Baghdad". Archived from the original on October 18, 2014. Retrieved October 11, 2014.
  27. ^ A Stupid Death in a Stupid War: Remembering Michael Kelly Archived October 16, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  28. ^ Michael R. Gordon; Bernard E. Trainor (2007). Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion And Occupation of Iraq. Vintage Books. pp. 378–379. ISBN 978-1-4000-7539-3. Archived from the original on March 8, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  29. ^ Gordon and Trainor, 380–381.
  30. ^ Gordon and Trainor, 390–410.
  31. ^ "10 years later, David Bloom remembered". today.com. Retrieved June 15, 2020.
  32. ^ a b c "Bangor Daily News - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  33. ^ "US poised for Baghdad battle". BBC. April 3, 2003. Archived from the original on November 4, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  34. ^ "Moscow-Pullman Daily News - Google News Archive Search". news.google.com. Archived from the original on March 7, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  35. ^ Collier, Robert (April 12, 2003). "Looters shake Iraqi cities / CHAOS: Troops watch as Baghdad is ransacked – SFGate". The San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved April 10, 2010.
  36. ^ Eskander, Saad. "The Tale of Iraq's 'Cemetery of Books' " (cover story), in: Information Today; Dec 2004, Vol. 21, issue 11, p. 1–54; 5 pl, 1 color
  37. ^ a b c "The Choice, featuring Lawrence Anthony". BBC radio 4. September 4, 2007. Archived from the original on June 28, 2008. Retrieved September 4, 2007.
  38. ^ Anthony, Lawrence; Spence Grayham (June 3, 2007). Babylon's Ark; The Incredible Wartime Rescue of the Baghdad Zoo. Thomas Dunne Books. ISBN 978-0-312-35832-7.
  39. ^ "The photographs tell the story..." informationclearinghouse.info. Archived from the original on February 10, 2005. Retrieved February 5, 2005.
  40. ^ Ludwig, Steve (May 29, 2003). "Lights, camera, rescue". Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  41. ^ Joe Strupp, MRE Criticizes Expelling of Embeds Over Pix of Shot-Up Humvee, Editor and Publisher December 15, 2005 [1] Archived April 21, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ Johnson and Fahmy,When Good Conflicts Go Bad; Testing a frame-building model on embeds' attitudes towards government news management in the Iraq war, pp. 523–524, International Communication Gazette, 2010, issue 72.
  43. ^ "World News, Business News, Breaking US & International News". Reuters. Archived from the original on April 21, 2003.
  44. ^ Fury at US as attacks kill three journalists, The Guardian, April 9, 2003 [2] Archived April 21, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  45. ^ Perlez, Jane (April 8, 2003). "At Least 3 Journalists Die in Blast at Baghdad Hotel". The New York Times. Archived from the original on April 22, 2009. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
  46. ^ http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=1503&ncid=1503&e=1&u=/afp/20030408/ts_afp/iraq_war_baghdad_media_030408165654 Archived August 24, 2003, at the Wayback Machine

Coordinates: 33°20′00″N 44°26′00″E / 33.3333°N 44.4333°E / 33.3333; 44.4333

12 March 2003

The World Health Organization officially release a global warning of outbreaks of Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Other namesSudden acute respiratory syndrome[1]
SARS virion.gif
Electron micrograph of SARS coronavirus virion
SpecialtyInfectious disease
SymptomsFever, persistent dry cough, headache, muscle pains, difficulty breathing
ComplicationsAcute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) with other comorbidities that eventually leads to death
CausesSevere acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1)
PreventionHand washing, cough etiquette, avoiding close contact with infected persons, avoiding travel to affected areas[2]
Prognosis9.5% chance of death (all countries)
Frequency8,098 cases
Deaths774 known

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a viral respiratory disease of zoonotic origin caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-1), the first identified strain of the SARS coronavirus species severe acute respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus (SARSr-CoV). The syndrome caused the 2002–2004 SARS outbreak. Around late 2017, Chinese scientists traced the virus through the intermediary of Asian palm civets to cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in Xiyang Yi Ethnic Township, Yunnan.[3]

SARS was a relatively rare disease; at the end of the epidemic in June 2003, the incidence was 8,422 cases with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 11%.[4] No cases of SARS-CoV-1 have been reported worldwide since 2004.[5]

In December 2019, another strain of SARS-CoV was identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).[6] This new strain causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a disease which brought about the COVID-19 pandemic.[7]

Signs and symptoms

SARS produces flu-like symptoms and may include fever, muscle pain, lethargy, cough, sore throat, and other nonspecific symptoms. The only symptom common to all patients appears to be a fever above 38 °C (100 °F). SARS may eventually lead to shortness of breath and pneumonia; either direct viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia.[citation needed]

The average incubation period for SARS is 4–6 days, although rarely it could be as short as 1 day or as long as 14 days.[8]


The primary route of transmission for SARS-CoV is contact of the mucous membranes with respiratory droplets or fomites. While diarrhea is common in people with SARS, the fecal–oral route does not appear to be a common mode of transmission.[8] The basic reproduction number of SARS-CoV, R0, ranges from 2 to 4 depending on different analyses. Control measures introduced in April 2003 reduced the R to 0.4.[8]


A chest X-ray showing increased opacity in both lungs, indicative of pneumonia, in a patient with SARS

SARS-CoV may be suspected in a patient who has:

  • Any of the symptoms, including a fever of 38 °C (100 °F) or higher, and
  • Either a history of:
    • Contact (sexual or casual) with someone with a diagnosis of SARS within the last 10 days or
    • Travel to any of the regions identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as areas with recent local transmission of SARS.
  • Clinical Criteria of Sars-Cov Diagnosis[9]
    • Early illness: equal to or more than 2 of the following: chills, rigors, myalgia, diarrhea, sore throat (self – reported or observed)
    • Mild-to-Moderate illness: temperature of > 38 plus indications of lower respiratory tract infection (cough, dyspnea)
    • Severe Illness: ≥1 of radiographic evidence, presence of ARDS, autopsy findings in late patients.

For a case to be considered probable, a chest X-ray must be indicative for atypical pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome.

The WHO has added the category of "laboratory confirmed SARS" which means patients who would otherwise be considered "probable" and have tested positive for SARS based on one of the approved tests (ELISA, immunofluorescence or PCR) but their chest X-ray findings do not show SARS-CoV infection(e.g. ground glass opacities, patchy consolidations unilateral).[9][10]

The appearance of SARS-CoV in chest X-rays is not always uniform but generally appears as an abnormality with patchy infiltrates.[11]


There is no vaccine for SARS, although immunologist Anthony Fauci mentioned that the CDC developed one and placed it in the US national stockpile.[12] That vaccine, however, is a prototype and not field-ready as of March 2020.[13] Clinical isolation and quarantine remain the most effective means to prevent the spread of SARS. Other preventive measures include:

  • Hand-washing with soap and water, or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer[14]
  • Disinfection of surfaces of fomites to remove viruses
  • Avoiding contact with bodily fluids
  • Washing the personal items of someone with SARS in hot, soapy water (eating utensils, dishes, bedding, etc.)[15]
  • Keeping children with symptoms home from school
  • Simple hygiene measures
  • Isolating oneself as much as possible to minimize the chances of transmission of the virus

Many public health interventions were made to try to control the spread of the disease, which is mainly spread through respiratory droplets in the air, either inhaled or deposited on surfaces and subsequently transferred to a body's mucous membranes. These interventions included earlier detection of the disease; isolation of people who are infected; droplet and contact precautions; and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks and isolation gowns.[4] A 2017 meta-analysis found that for medical professionals wearing N-95 masks could reduce the chances of getting sick up to 80% compared to no mask.[16] A screening process was also put in place at airports to monitor air travel to and from affected countries.[17]

SARS-CoV is most infectious in severely ill patients, which usually occurs during the second week of illness. This delayed infectious period meant that quarantine was highly effective; people who were isolated before day five of their illness rarely transmitted the disease to others.[8]

Although no cases have been identified since 2004, as of 2017, the CDC was still working to make federal and local rapid-response guidelines and recommendations in the event of a reappearance of the virus.[18]


Award to the staff of the Hôpital Français de Hanoï for their dedication during the SARS crisis

As SARS is a viral disease, antibiotics do not have direct effect but may be used against bacterial secondary infection. Treatment of SARS is mainly supportive with antipyretics, supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation as needed. While Ribavirin is commonly used to treat SARS, there seems to have little to no effect on SARS-CoV, and no impact on patient's outcomes.[19] There is currently no proven antiviral therapy. Tested substances, include ribavirin, lopinavir, ritonavir, type I interferon, that have thus far shown no conclusive contribution to the disease's course.[20] Administration of corticosteroids, is recommended by the British Thoracic Society//Health Protection Agency in patients with severe disease and O2 saturation of <90%.[21]

People with SARS-CoV must be isolated, preferably in negative-pressure rooms, with complete barrier nursing precautions taken for any necessary contact with these patients, to limit the chances of medical personnel becoming infected.[9] In certain cases, natural ventilation by opening doors and windows is documented to help decreasing indoor concentration of virus particles.[22]

Some of the more serious damage caused by SARS may be due to the body's own immune system reacting in what is known as cytokine storm.[23]


As of 2020, there is no cure or protective vaccine for SARS that has been shown to be both safe and effective in humans.[24][25] According to research papers published in 2005 and 2006, the identification and development of novel vaccines and medicines to treat SARS was a priority for governments and public health agencies around the world.[26][27][28] In early 2004, an early clinical trial on volunteers was planned.[29] A major researcher's 2016 request, however, demonstrated that no field-ready SARS vaccine had been completed because likely market-driven priorities had ended funding.[13]


Several consequent reports from China on some recovered SARS patients showed severe long-time sequelae. The most typical diseases include, among other things, pulmonary fibrosis, osteoporosis, and femoral necrosis, which have led in some cases to the complete loss of working ability or even self-care ability of people who have recovered from SARS. As a result of quarantine procedures, some of the post-SARS patients have been documented as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder.[30][31]


SARS was a relatively rare disease; at the end of the epidemic in June 2003, the incidence was 8,422 cases with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 11%.[4]

The case fatality rate (CFR) ranges from 0% to 50% depending on the age group of the patient.[8] Patients under 24 were least likely to die (less than 1%); those 65 and older were most likely to die (over 55%).[32]

As with MERS and COVID-19, SARS resulted in significantly more deaths of males than females.

2003 Probable cases of SARS – worldwide
Probable cases of SARS by country or region,
1 November 2002 – 31 July 2003[33]
Country or region Cases Deaths Fatality (%)
 China[a] 5,327 349 6.6
 Hong Kong 1,755 299 17.0
 Taiwan[b] 346 73[34][35] 21.1
 Canada 251 43 17.1
 Singapore 238 33 13.9
 Vietnam 63 5 7.9
 United States 27 0 0
 Philippines 14 2 14.3
 Thailand 9 2 22.2
 Germany 9 0 0
 Mongolia 9 0 0
 France 7 1 14.3
 Australia 6 0 0
 Malaysia 5 2 40.0
 Sweden 5 0 0
 United Kingdom 4 0 0
 Italy 4 0 0
 Brazil 3 0 0
 India 3 0 0
 South Korea 3 0 0
 Indonesia 2 0 0
 South Africa 1 1 100.0
 Colombia 1 0 0
 Kuwait 1 0 0
 Ireland 1 0 0
 Macao 1 0 0
 New Zealand 1 0 0
 Romania 1 0 0
 Russia 1 0 0
 Spain 1 0 0
  Switzerland 1 0 0
Total excluding China[a] 2,769 454 16.4
Total (29 territories) 8,096 774 9.6
  1. ^ a b Figures for China exclude Hong Kong and Macau, which are reported separately by the WHO.
  2. ^ After 11 July 2003, 325 Taiwanese cases were 'discarded'. Laboratory information was insufficient or incomplete for 135 of the discarded cases; 101 of these patients died.

Outbreak in South China

The SARS epidemic began in the Guangdong province of China in November 2002. The earliest case developed symptoms on 16 November 2002.[36] The index patient, a farmer from Shunde, Foshan, Guangdong, was treated in the First People's Hospital of Foshan. The patient died soon after, and no definite diagnosis was made on his cause of death. Despite taking some action to control it, Chinese government officials did not inform the World Health Organization of the outbreak until February 2003. This lack of openness caused delays in efforts to control the epidemic, resulting in criticism of the People's Republic of China from the international community. China officially apologized for early slowness in dealing with the SARS epidemic.[37]

The viral outbreak was subsequently genetically traced to a colony of cave-dwelling horseshoe bats in Xiyang Yi Ethnic Township, Yunnan.[3]

The outbreak first came to the attention of the international medical community on 27 November 2002, when Canada's Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN), an electronic warning system that is part of the World Health Organization's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN), picked up reports of a "flu outbreak" in China through Internet media monitoring and analysis and sent them to the WHO. While GPHIN's capability had recently been upgraded to enable Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish translation, the system was limited to English or French in presenting this information. Thus, while the first reports of an unusual outbreak were in Chinese, an English report was not generated until 21 January 2003.[38][39] The first super-spreader was admitted to the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital in Guangzhou on 31 January, which soon spread the disease to nearby hospitals.[40]

In early April 2003, after a prominent physician, Jiang Yanyong, pushed to report the danger to China,[41][42] there appeared to be a change in official policy when SARS began to receive a much greater prominence in the official media. Some have directly attributed this to the death of an American teacher, James Earl Salisbury, in Hong Kong.[43] It was around this same time that Jiang Yanyong made accusations regarding the undercounting of cases in Beijing military hospitals.[41][42] After intense pressure, Chinese officials allowed international officials to investigate the situation there. This revealed problems plaguing the aging mainland Chinese healthcare system, including increasing decentralization, red tape, and inadequate communication.

Many healthcare workers in the affected nations risked and lost their lives by treating patients, and trying to contain the infection before ways to prevent infection were known.[44]

Spread to other regions

The epidemic reached the public spotlight in February 2003, when an American businessman traveling from China, Johnny Chen, became afflicted with pneumonia-like symptoms while on a flight to Singapore. The plane stopped in Hanoi, Vietnam, where the victim died in Hanoi French Hospital. Several of the medical staff who treated him soon developed the same disease despite basic hospital procedures. Italian doctor Carlo Urbani identified the threat and communicated it to WHO and the Vietnamese government; he later succumbed to the disease.[45]

The severity of the symptoms and the infection among hospital staff alarmed global health authorities, who were fearful of another emergent pneumonia epidemic. On 12 March 2003, the WHO issued a global alert, followed by a health alert by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Local transmission of SARS took place in Toronto, Ottawa, San Francisco, Ulaanbaatar, Manila, Singapore, Taiwan, Hanoi and Hong Kong whereas within China it spread to Guangdong, Jilin, Hebei, Hubei, Shaanxi, Jiangsu, Shanxi, Tianjin, and Inner Mongolia.[citation needed]

Hong Kong

9th-floor layout of the Hotel Metropole in Hong Kong, showing where a super-spreading event of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) occurred

The disease spread in Hong Kong from Liu Jianlun, a Guangdong doctor who was treating patients at Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital.[46] He arrived in February and stayed on the ninth floor of the Metropole Hotel in Kowloon, infecting 16 of the hotel visitors. Those visitors traveled to Canada, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam, spreading SARS to those locations.[47]

Another larger cluster of cases in Hong Kong centred on the Amoy Gardens housing estate. Its spread is suspected to have been facilitated by defects in its bathroom drainage system that allowed sewer gases including virus particles to vent into the room. Bathroom fans exhausted the gases and wind carried the contagion to adjacent downwind complexes. Concerned citizens in Hong Kong worried that information was not reaching people quickly enough and created a website called sosick.org, which eventually forced the Hong Kong government to provide information related to SARS in a timely manner.[48] The first cohort of affected people were discharged from hospital on 29 March 2003.[49]


The first case of SARS in Toronto was identified on 23 February 2003.[50] Beginning with an elderly woman, Kwan Sui-Chu, who had returned from a trip to Hong Kong and died on 5 March, the virus eventually infected 257 individuals in the province of Ontario. The trajectory of this outbreak is typically divided into two phases, the first centring around her son Tse Chi Kwai, who infected other patients at the Scarborough Grace Hospital and died on 13 March. The second major wave of cases was clustered around accidental exposure among patients, visitors, and staff within the North York General Hospital. The WHO officially removed Toronto from its list of infected areas by the end of June 2003.[51]

The official response by the Ontario provincial government and Canadian federal government has been widely criticized in the years following the outbreak. Brian Schwartz, vice-chair of Ontario's SARS Scientific Advisory Committee, described public health officials' preparedness and emergency response at the time of the outbreak as "very, very basic and minimal at best".[52] Critics of the response often cite poorly outlined and enforced protocol for protecting healthcare workers and identifying infected patients as a major contributing factor to the continued spread of the virus. The atmosphere of fear and uncertainty surrounding the outbreak resulted in staffing issues in area hospitals when healthcare workers elected to resign rather than risk exposure to SARS.[citation needed]

Identification of virus

In late February 2003, Italian doctor Carlo Urbani was called into The French Hospital of Hanoi to look at Johnny Chen, an American businessman who had fallen ill with what doctors thought was a bad case of influenza. Urbani realized that Chen's ailment was probably a new and highly contagious disease. He immediately notified the WHO. He also persuaded the Vietnamese Health Ministry to begin isolating patients and screening travelers, thus slowing the early pace of the epidemic.[53] He subsequently contracted the disease himself, and died in March 2003.[54][55]

The CDC and Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory identified the SARS genome in April 2003.[56][57] Scientists at Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the Netherlands demonstrated that the SARS coronavirus fulfilled Koch's postulates thereby suggesting it as the causative agent. In the experiments, macaques infected with the virus developed the same symptoms as human SARS victims.[58]

Origin and animal vectors

In late May 2003, studies were conducted using samples of wild animals sold as food in the local market in Guangdong, China. The results found that the SARS coronavirus could be isolated from masked palm civets (Paguma sp.), even if the animals did not show clinical signs of the virus. The preliminary conclusion was the SARS virus crossed the xenographic barrier from Asian palm civets to humans, and more than 10,000 masked palm civets were killed in Guangdong Province. The virus was also later found in raccoon dogs (Nyctereuteus sp.), ferret badgers (Melogale spp.), and domestic cats. In 2005, two studies identified a number of SARS-like coronaviruses in Chinese bats.[59][60]

Phylogenetic analysis of these viruses indicated a high probability that SARS coronavirus originated in bats and spread to humans either directly or through animals held in Chinese markets. The bats did not show any visible signs of disease but are the likely natural reservoirs of SARS-like coronaviruses. In late 2006, scientists from the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of Hong Kong University and the Guangzhou Centre for Disease Control and Prevention established a genetic link between the SARS coronavirus appearing in civets and humans, bearing out claims that the disease had jumped across species.[61]

In December 2017, "after years of searching across China, where the disease first emerged, researchers reported ... that they had found a remote cave in Xiyang Yi Ethnic Township, Yunnan province, which is home to horseshoe bats that carry a strain of a particular virus known as a coronavirus. This strain has all the genetic building blocks of the type that triggered the global outbreak of SARS in 2002."[3] The research was performed by Shi Zhengli, Cui Jie, and co-workers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China, and published in PLOS Pathogens. The authors are quoted as stating that "another deadly outbreak of SARS could emerge at any time. The cave where they discovered their strain is only a kilometre from the nearest village."[3][62] The virus was ephemeral and seasonal in bats.[63] In 2019, a similar virus to SARS caused a cluster of infections in Wuhan, eventually leading to a global pandemic.

A small number of cats and dogs tested positive for the virus during the outbreak. However, these animals did not transmit the virus to other animals of the same species or to humans.[64][65]


The World Health Organization declared severe acute respiratory syndrome contained on 5 July 2003. The containment was achieved through successful public health measures.[66] In the following months, four SARS cases were reported in China between December 2003 and January 2004.[67][68]

While SARS-CoV-1 probably persists as a potential zoonotic threat in its original animal reservoir, human-to-human transmission of this virus may be considered eradicated because no human case has been documented since four minor, brief, subsequent outbreaks in 2004.[69][66]

Laboratory accidents

After containment, there were four laboratory accidents that resulted in infections.

  • One doctoral student at Singapore General Hospital in Singapore in August 2003[70]
  • A 44-year-old senior scientist at the National Defense University in Taipei in December 2003. He was confirmed to have the SARS virus after working on a SARS study in Taiwan's only BSL-4 lab. The Taiwan CDC later stated the infection occurred due to laboratory misconduct.[71][72]
  • Two researchers at the Chinese Institute of Virology in Beijing, China around April 2004, who spread it to around six other people. The two researchers contracted it 2 weeks apart.[73]

Study of live SARS specimens requires a biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) facility; some studies of inactivated SARS specimens can be done at biosafety level 2 facilities.[74]

Society and culture

Fear of contracting the virus from consuming infected wild animals resulted in public bans and reduced business for meat markets in southern China and Hong Kong.[75]

See also


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Further reading

External links

External resources

23 January 2003

A very weak signal from Pioneer 10 is detected for the last time, but no usable data can be extracted.

Pioneer 10
An artist's impression of a Pioneer spacecraft on its way to interstellar space.jpg
Artist's conception of the Pioneer 10 spacecraft
Mission typeOuter Solar System and
heliosphere exploration
OperatorUnited States NASA / ARC
COSPAR ID1972-012A
SATCAT no.5860
WebsitePioneer Project website (archived)
NASA Archive page
Mission duration30 years, 10 months, 22 days
Spacecraft properties
ManufacturerUnited States TRW
Launch mass258.8 kilograms (571 lb)
Power155 watts (at launch)
Start of mission
Launch dateMarch 2, 1972 (1972-03-02)
RocketAtlas SLV-3C Centaur-D Star-37E
Launch siteCape Canaveral LC-36A
End of mission
Last contactLast telemetry April 27, 2002; last signal received January 23, 2003 (2003-01-23)[1]
Flyby of Jupiter
Closest approachDecember 3, 1973 (1973-12-03)[2]
Distance132,252 km (82,178 mi)
Pioneer 10 - Pioneer 11 - mission patch - Pioneer patch.png  
Artist's impression of Pioneer 10's flyby of Jupiter

Pioneer 10 (originally designated Pioneer F) is an American space probe, launched in 1972 and weighing 258 kilograms (569 pounds), that completed the first mission to the planet Jupiter.[3] Thereafter, Pioneer 10 became the first of five artificial objects to achieve the escape velocity needed to leave the Solar System. This space exploration project was conducted by the NASA Ames Research Center in California. The space probe was manufactured by TRW Inc.

Pioneer 10 was assembled around a hexagonal bus with a 2.74-meter (9 ft 0 in) diameter parabolic dish high-gain antenna, and the spacecraft was spin stabilized around the axis of the antenna. Its electric power was supplied by four radioisotope thermoelectric generators that provided a combined 155 watts at launch.

It was launched on March 3, 1972, by an Atlas-Centaur expendable vehicle from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Between July 15, 1972, and February 15, 1973, it became the first spacecraft to traverse the asteroid belt. Photography of Jupiter began November 6, 1973, at a range of 25,000,000 kilometers (16,000,000 mi), and about 500 images were transmitted. The closest approach to the planet was on December 3, 1973, at a range of 132,252 kilometers (82,178 mi). During the mission, the on-board instruments were used to study the asteroid belt, the environment around Jupiter, the solar wind, cosmic rays, and eventually the far reaches of the Solar System and heliosphere.[3]

Radio communications were lost with Pioneer 10 on January 23, 2003, because of the loss of electric power for its radio transmitter, with the probe at a distance of 12 billion kilometers (80 AU) from Earth.

Mission background


Pioneer 10 in the final stages of construction
Pioneer 10 on a Star-37E kick motor just prior to being encapsulated for launch
Pioneer 10 during encapsulation into payload fairing

In the 1960s, American aerospace engineer Gary Flandro of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory conceived of a mission, known as the Planetary Grand Tour, that would exploit a rare alignment of the outer planets of the Solar System. This mission would ultimately be accomplished in the late 1970s by the two Voyager probes, but in order to prepare for it, NASA decided in 1964 to experiment with launching a pair of probes to the outer Solar System.[4] An advocacy group named the Outer Space Panel and chaired by American space scientist James A. Van Allen, worked out the scientific rationale for exploring the outer planets.[5][6] NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center put together a proposal for a pair of "Galactic Jupiter Probes" that would pass through the asteroid belt and visit Jupiter. These were to be launched in 1972 and 1973 during favorable windows that occurred only a few weeks every 13 months. Launch during other time intervals would have been more costly in terms of propellant requirements.[7]

Approved by NASA in February 1969,[7] the twin spacecraft were designated Pioneer F and Pioneer G before launch; later they were named Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11. They formed part of the Pioneer program,[8] a series of United States unmanned space missions launched between 1958 and 1978. This model was the first in the series to be designed for exploring the outer Solar System. Based on multiple proposals issued throughout the 1960s, the early mission objectives were to explore the interplanetary medium past the orbit of Mars, study the asteroid belt and assess the possible hazard to spacecraft traveling through the belt, and explore Jupiter and its environment.[9] Later development-stage objectives included the probe closely approaching Jupiter to provide data on the effect the environmental radiation surrounding Jupiter would have on the spacecraft instruments.

More than 150 scientific experiments were proposed for the missions.[10] The experiments to be carried on the spacecraft were selected in a series of planning sessions during the 1960s, then were finalized by early 1970. These would be to perform imaging and polarimetry of Jupiter and several of its satellites, make infrared and ultraviolet observations of Jupiter, detect asteroids and meteoroids, determine the composition of charged particles, and to measure magnetic fields, plasma, cosmic rays and the zodiacal light.[9] Observation of the spacecraft communications as it passed behind Jupiter would allow measurements of the planetary atmosphere, while tracking data would improve estimates of the mass of Jupiter and its moons.[9]

NASA Ames Research Center, rather than Goddard, was selected to manage the project as part of the Pioneer program.[7] The Ames Research Center, under the direction of Charles F. Hall, was chosen because of its previous experience with spin-stabilized spacecraft. The requirements called for a small, lightweight spacecraft which was magnetically clean and which could perform an interplanetary mission. It was to use spacecraft modules that had already been proven in the Pioneer 6 through 9 missions.[9] Ames commissioned a documentary film by George Van Valkenburg titled "Jupiter Odyssey". It received numerous international awards, and is visible on Van Valkenburg's YouTube channel.

In February 1970, Ames awarded a combined $380 million contract to TRW Inc. for building both of the Pioneer 10 and 11 vehicles, bypassing the usual bidding process to save time. B. J. O'Brien and Herb Lassen led the TRW team that assembled the spacecraft.[11] Design and construction of the spacecraft required an estimated 25 million man-hours.[12] An engineer from TRW said "This spacecraft is guaranteed for two years of interplanetary flight. If any component fails within that warranty period, just return the spacecraft to our shop and we will repair it free of charge."[13]

To meet the schedule, the first launch would need to take place between February 29 and March 17 so that it could arrive at Jupiter in November 1974. This was later revised to an arrival date of December 1973 in order to avoid conflicts with other missions over the use of the Deep Space Network for communications, and to miss the period when Earth and Jupiter would be at opposite sides of the Sun. The encounter trajectory for Pioneer 10 was selected to maximize the information returned about the radiation environment around Jupiter, even if this caused damage to some systems. It would come within about three times the radius of the planet, which was thought to be the closest it could approach and still survive the radiation. The trajectory chosen would give the spacecraft a good view of the sunlit side.[14]

Spacecraft design

Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft diagram

The Pioneer 10 bus measures 36 centimeters (14 in) deep and with six 76-centimeter (30 in) long panels forming the hexagonal structure. The bus houses propellant to control the orientation of the probe and eight of the eleven scientific instruments. The equipment compartment lay within an aluminum honeycomb structure to provide protection from meteoroids. A layer of insulation, consisting of aluminized mylar and kapton blankets, provides passive thermal control. Heat was generated by the dissipation of 70 to 120 watts (W) from the electrical components inside the compartment. The heat range was maintained within the operating limits of the equipment by means of louvers located below the mounting platform.[15] The spacecraft had a launch mass of about 260 kilograms (570 lb).[3]:42

At launch, the spacecraft carried 36 kilograms (79 lb) of liquid hydrazine monopropellant in a 42-centimeter (17 in) diameter spherical tank.[15] Orientation of the spacecraft is maintained with six 4.5 N,[16] hydrazine thrusters mounted in three pairs. Pair one maintained a constant spin-rate of 4.8 rpm, pair two controlled the forward thrust, and pair three controlled the attitude. The attitude pair were used in conical scanning maneuvers to track Earth in its orbit.[17] Orientation information was also provided by a star sensor able to reference Canopus, and two Sun sensors.[18]

Power and communications

Two of the SNAP-19 RTGs mounted on an extension boom
Testing spin rotation centered along the main communication dish axis

Pioneer 10 uses four SNAP-19 radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs). They are positioned on two three-rod trusses, each 3 meters (9.8 ft) in length and 120 degrees apart. This was expected to be a safe distance from the sensitive scientific experiments carried on board. Combined, the RTGs provided 155 W at launch, and decayed to 140 W in transit to Jupiter. The spacecraft required 100 W to power all systems.[3]:44–45 The generators are powered by the radioisotope fuel plutonium-238, which is housed in a multi-layer capsule protected by a graphite heat shield.[19]

The pre-launch requirement for the SNAP-19 was to provide power for two years in space; this was greatly exceeded during the mission.[20] The plutonium-238 has a half-life of 87.74 years, so that after 29 years the radiation being generated by the RTGs was at 80% of its intensity at launch. However, steady deterioration of the thermocouple junctions led to a more rapid decay in electrical power generation, and by 2001 the total power output was 65 W. As a result, later in the mission only selected instruments could be operated at any one time.[15]

The space probe includes a redundant system of transceivers, one attached to the narrow-beam, high-gain antenna, the other to an omni-antenna and medium-gain antenna. The parabolic dish for the high-gain antenna is 2.74 meters (9.0 ft) in diameter and made from an aluminum honeycomb sandwich material. The spacecraft was spun about an axis that is parallel to the axis of this antenna so that it could remain oriented toward the Earth.[15] Each transceiver is an 8 W one and transmits data across the S-band using 2110 MHz for the uplink from Earth and 2292 MHz for the downlink to Earth with the Deep Space Network tracking the signal. Data to be transmitted is passed through a convolutional encoder so that most communication errors could be corrected by the receiving equipment on Earth.[3]:43 The data transmission rate at launch was 256 bit/s, with the rate degrading by about −1.27 millibit/s for each day during the mission.[15]

Much of the computation for the mission is performed on Earth and transmitted to the spacecraft, where it was able to retain in memory up to five commands of the 222 possible entries by ground controllers. The spacecraft includes two command decoders and a command distribution unit, a very limited form of a processor, to direct operations on the spacecraft. This system requires that mission operators prepare commands long in advance of transmitting them to the probe. A data storage unit is included to record up to 6,144 bytes of information gathered by the instruments. The digital telemetry unit is used to prepare the collected data in one of the thirteen possible formats before transmitting it back to Earth.[3]:38

At the CHM celebration of the 35th anniversary of the intel 4004 microprocessor on November 13 2006 Federico Faggin said the 4004 processor was one of the artefacts aboard Pioneer 10.

Scientific instruments

Helium Vector Magnetometer (HVM)
Pioneer 10-11 - P50 - fx.jpg

This instrument measures the fine structure of the interplanetary magnetic field, mapped the Jovian magnetic field, and provided magnetic field measurements to evaluate solar wind interaction with Jupiter. The magnetometer consists of a helium-filled cell mounted on a 6.6–m boom to partly isolate the instrument from the spacecraft's magnetic field.[21]

Quadrispherical Plasma Analyzer
Pioneer 10-11 - P51b - fx.jpg

Peers through a hole in the large dish-shaped antenna to detect particles of the solar wind originating from the Sun.[22]

Charged Particle Instrument (CPI)
Pioneer 10-11 - P52a - fx.jpg

Detects cosmic rays in the Solar System.[24]

Cosmic Ray Telescope (CRT)
Pioneer 10-11 - P52b - fx.jpg

Collects data on the composition of the cosmic ray particles and their energy ranges.[25]

Geiger Tube Telescope (GTT)
Pioneer 10-11 - p53 - fx.jpg

Surveys the intensities, energy spectra, and angular distributions of electrons and protons along the spacecraft's path through the radiation belts of Jupiter.[26]

Trapped Radiation Detector (TRD)
Pioneer 10-11 - P54 - fx.jpg

Includes an unfocused Cerenkov counter that detects the light emitted in a particular direction as particles passed through it recording electrons of energy, 0.5 to 12 MeV, an electron scatter detector for electrons of energy, 100 to 400 keV, and a minimum ionizing detector consisting of a solid-state diode that measure minimum ionizing particles (<3 MeV) and protons in the range of 50 to 350 MeV.[27]

Meteoroid Detectors
Pioneer 10-11 - P56 - fx.jpg

Twelve panels of pressurized cell detectors mounted on the back of the main dish antenna record penetrating impacts of small meteoroids.[28]

Asteroid/Meteoroid Detector (AMD)
Pioneer 10-11 - P55b - fx.jpg

Meteoroid-asteroid detector look into space with four non-imaging telescopes to track particles ranging from close by bits of dust to distant large asteroids.[29]

Ultraviolet Photometer
Pioneer 10-11 - P57a - fx.jpg

Ultraviolet light is sensed to determine the quantities of hydrogen and helium in space and on Jupiter.[30]

Imaging Photopolarimeter (IPP)
Pioneer 10-11 - P60 - fx.jpg

The imaging experiment relies upon the spin of the spacecraft to sweep a small telescope across the planet in narrow strips only 0.03 degrees wide, looking at the planet in red and blue light. These strips were then processed to build up a visual image of the planet.[31]

Infrared Radiometer
P58 - fx.jpg

Provides information on cloud temperature and the output of heat from Jupiter.[32]

  • Principal investigator: Andrew Ingersoll / California Institute of Technology[23]

Mission profile

Launch and trajectory

The launch of Pioneer 10
Pioneer 10 interplanetary trajectory
Map comparing locations and trajectories of the Pioneer 10 (blue), Pioneer 11 (green), Voyager 2 ( red) and Voyager 1 (purple) spacecraft, as of 2007

Pioneer 10 was launched on March 3, 1972 at 01:49:00 UTC (March 2 local time) by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from Space Launch Complex 36A in Florida, aboard an Atlas-Centaur launch vehicle. The third stage consisted of a solid fuel Star-37E stage (TE-M-364-4) developed specifically for the Pioneer missions. This stage provided about 15,000 pounds of thrust and spun up the spacecraft.[33] The spacecraft had an initial spin rate of 30 rpm. Twenty minutes following the launch, the vehicle's three booms were extended, which slowed the rotation rate to 4.8 rpm. This rate was maintained throughout the voyage. The launch vehicle accelerated the probe for net interval of 17 minutes, reaching a velocity of 51,682 km/h (32,114 mph).[34]

After the high-gain antenna was contacted, several of the instruments were activated for testing while the spacecraft was moving through the Earth's radiation belts. Ninety minutes after launch, the spacecraft reached interplanetary space.[34] Pioneer 10 passed by the Moon in 11 hours[35] and became the fastest human-made object at that time.[36] Two days after launch, the scientific instruments were turned on, beginning with the cosmic ray telescope. After ten days, all of the instruments were active.[35]

During the first seven months of the journey, the spacecraft made three course corrections. The on-board instruments underwent checkouts, with the photometers examining Jupiter and the Zodiacal light, and experiment packages being used to measure cosmic rays, magnetic fields and the solar wind. The only anomaly during this interval was the failure of the Canopus sensor, which instead required the spacecraft to maintain its orientation using the two Sun sensors.[34]

While passing through interplanetary medium, Pioneer 10 became the first mission to detect interplanetary atoms of helium. It also observed high-energy ions of aluminum and sodium in the solar wind. The spacecraft recorded important heliophysics data in early August 1972 by registering a solar shock wave when it was at a distance of 2.2 AU.[37] On July 15, 1972, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to enter the asteroid belt,[38] located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The project planners expected a safe passage through the belt, and the closest the trajectory would take the spacecraft to any of the known asteroids was 8,800,000 kilometers (5,500,000 mi). One of the nearest approaches was to the asteroid 307 Nike on December 2, 1972.[39]

The on-board experiments demonstrated a deficiency of particles below a micrometer (μm) in the belt, as compared to the vicinity of the Earth. The density of dust particles between 10–100 μm did not vary significantly during the trip from the Earth to the outer edge of the belt. Only for particles with a diameter of 100 μm to 1.0 mm did the density show an increase, by a factor of three in the region of the belt. No fragments larger than a millimeter were observed in the belt, indicating these are likely rare; certainly much less common than anticipated. As the spacecraft did not collide with any particles of substantial size, it passed safely through the belt, emerging on the other side about February 15, 1973.[40][41]

Encounter with Jupiter

Animation of Pioneer 10's trajectory from March 3, 1972 to December 31, 1975
   Pioneer 10  ·   Earth ·   Jupiter
Animation of Pioneer 10's trajectory around Jupiter
   Pioneer 10  ·   Jupiter ·   Io ·   Europa ·   Ganymede ·   Callisto
Pioneer 10's trajectory through the Jovian system
Pioneer 10 image of Jupiter showing the Great Red Spot near the right limb
The moon Ganymede as imaged by Pioneer 10

On November 6, 1973, the Pioneer 10 spacecraft was at a distance of 25 million kilometers (16×10^6 mi) from Jupiter. Testing of the imaging system began, and the data were successfully received back at the Deep Space Network. A series of 16,000 commands were then uploaded to the spacecraft to control the flyby operations during the next sixty days. The orbit of the outer moon Sinope was crossed on November 8. The bow shock of Jupiter's magnetosphere was reached on November 16, as indicated by a drop in the velocity of the solar wind from 451 km/s (280 mi/s) to 225 km/s (140 mi/s). The magnetopause was passed through a day later. The spacecraft instruments confirmed that the magnetic field of Jupiter was inverted compared to that of Earth. By the 29th, the orbits of all of the outermost moons had been passed and the spacecraft was operating flawlessly.[42]

Red and blue pictures of Jupiter were being generated by the imaging photopolarimeter as the rotation of the spacecraft carried the instrument's field of view past the planet. These red and blue colors were combined to produce a synthetic green image, allowing a three-color combination to produce the rendered image. On November 26, a total of twelve such images were received back on Earth. By December 2, the image quality exceeded the best images made from Earth. These were being displayed in real-time back on Earth, and the Pioneer program would later receive an Emmy award for this presentation to the media. The motion of the spacecraft produced geometric distortions that later had to be corrected by computer processing.[42] During the encounter, a total of more than 500 images were transmitted.[43]

The trajectory of the spacecraft took it along the magnetic equator of Jupiter, where the ion radiation was concentrated.[44] Peak flux for this electron radiation is 10,000 times stronger than the maximum radiation around the Earth.[45] Starting on December 3, the radiation around Jupiter caused false commands to be generated. Most of these were corrected by contingency commands, but an image of Io and a few close-ups of Jupiter were lost. Similar false commands would be generated on the way out from the planet.[42] Nonetheless, Pioneer 10 did succeed in obtaining images of the moons Ganymede and Europa. The image of Ganymede showed low albedo features in the center and near the south pole, while the north pole appeared brighter. Europa was too far away to obtain a detailed image, although some albedo features were apparent.[46]

The trajectory of Pioneer 10 was chosen to take it behind Io, allowing the refractive effect of the moon's atmosphere on the radio transmissions to be measured. This demonstrated that the ionosphere of the moon was about 700 kilometers (430 mi) above the surface on the dayside, and the density ranged from 60,000 electrons per cubic centimeter on the dayside, down to 9,000 on the night face. An unexpected discovery was that Io was orbiting within a cloud of hydrogen that extended for about 805,000 kilometers (500,000 mi), with a width and height of 402,000 kilometers (250,000 mi). A smaller, 110,000 kilometers (68,000 mi) cloud was believed to have been detected near Europa.[46]

It was not until after Pioneer 10 had cleared the asteroid belt that NASA selected a trajectory towards Jupiter that offered the slingshot effect that would send the spacecraft out of the Solar System. Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to attempt such a maneuver and became a proof of concept for the missions that would follow. Such an extended mission was not originally something that was planned, but was planned for prior to launch.[47]

At the closest approach, the velocity of the spacecraft reached 132,000 km/h,[48] and it came within 132,252 kilometers (82,178 mi) of the outer atmosphere of Jupiter. Close-up images of the Great Red Spot and the terminator were obtained. Communication with the spacecraft then ceased as it passed behind the planet.[44] The radio occultation data allowed the temperature structure of the outer atmosphere to be measured, showing a temperature inversion between the altitudes with 10 and 100 mbar pressures. Temperatures at the 10 mbar level ranged from −133 to −113 °C (−207 to −171 °F), while temperatures at the 100 mbar level were −183 to −163 °C (−297.4 to −261.4 °F).[49] The spacecraft generated an infrared map of the planet, which confirmed the idea that the planet radiated more heat than it received from the Sun.[50]

Crescent images of the planet were then returned as Pioneer 10 moved away from the planet.[51] As the spacecraft headed outward, it again passed the bow shock of Jupiter's magnetosphere. As this front is constantly shifting in space because of dynamic interaction with the solar wind, the vehicle crossed the bow shock a total of 17 times before it escaped completely.[52]

Deep space

Pioneer 10 and 11 speed and distance from the Sun

Pioneer 10 crossed the orbit of Saturn in 1976 and the orbit of Uranus in 1979.[53] On June 13, 1983, the craft crossed the orbit of Neptune, at that time the outermost planet, and so became the first human-made object to leave the proximity of the major planets of the Solar System. The mission came to an official end on March 31, 1997, when it had reached a distance of 67 AU from the Sun, though the spacecraft was still able to transmit coherent data after this date.[15]

After March 31, 1997, Pioneer 10's weak signal continued to be tracked by the Deep Space Network to aid the training of flight controllers in the process of acquiring deep-space radio signals. There was an Advanced Concepts study applying chaos theory to extract coherent data from the fading signal.[54]

The last successful reception of telemetry was received from Pioneer 10 on April 27, 2002; subsequent signals were barely strong enough to detect and provided no usable data. The final, very weak signal from Pioneer 10 was received on January 23, 2003, when it was 12 billion kilometers (80 AU) from Earth.[55] Further attempts to contact the spacecraft were unsuccessful. A final attempt was made on the evening of March 4, 2006, the last time the antenna would be correctly aligned with Earth. No response was received from Pioneer 10.[56] NASA decided that the RTG units had probably fallen below the power threshold needed to operate the transmitter. Hence, no further attempts at contact were made.[57]


Timeline of travel
Date Event
Spacecraft launched
Crossed orbit of Mars
Entered the asteroid belt
Start Jupiter observation phase
Time Event
Encounter with Jovian system
Callisto flyby at 1,392,300 km
Ganymede flyby at 446,250 km
Europa flyby at 321,000 km
Io flyby at 357,000 km
Jupiter closest approach at 200,000 km
Jupiter equator plane crossing
Io occultation entry
Io occultation exit
Jupiter occultation entry
Jupiter shadow entry
Jupiter occultation exit
Jupiter shadow exit
Phase stop
Begin Pioneer Interstellar Mission
The US Post Office issued a commemorative stamp featuring the Pioneer 10 space probe (See image).
Crossed orbit of Pluto, still defined as a planet at the time (Pluto's irregular orbit meant it was closer to the Sun than Neptune).[58]
Crossed orbit of Neptune, the furthest planet away from the Sun at the time, to become the first human-made object to depart the Solar System.[59] By dialing 1-900-410-4111, one could access a recording provided by TRW that was made by slowing down and converting Pioneer 10's data feed to analog sounds.[60]
End of mission. Contact is maintained with spacecraft to record telemetry.[61]
Voyager 1 overtakes Pioneer 10 as the most distant human-made object from the Sun, at 69.419 AU. Voyager 1 is moving away from the Sun over 1 AU per year faster than Pioneer 10.[61]
Successful reception of telemetry. 39 minutes of clean data received from a distance of 79.83 AU[62]
Last successful reception of telemetry. 33 minutes of clean data received from a distance of 80.22 AU[62]
Final signal received from the spacecraft. Reception was very weak and subsequent signals were barely strong enough to detect.[62]
Unsuccessful attempt to contact spacecraft[62]
Pioneer 10 was projected to be 89.7 AU, traveling at a velocity of 12.51 kilometers/second (28,000 miles/hour), which is approximately 0.000041 the speed of light.
Projections indicate that Pioneer 10 reached 100 AU. At this point, the spacecraft is approximately 271,000 AU from the nearest star (other than the Sun), Proxima Centauri.[63]

Current status and future

Position of Pioneer 10 on February 8, 2012

On January 3, 2019, Pioneer 10 was predicted to be 122.594 au from the Earth (about 11.4 billion miles); and traveling at 11.947 km/s (26,720 mph) (relative to the Sun) and traveling outward at about 2.52 au per year.[66] Voyager 2 is expected to pass Pioneer 10 around April 2023. Sunlight takes 14.79 hours to reach Pioneer 10. The brightness of the Sun from the spacecraft is magnitude −16.3.[66] Pioneer 10 is currently in the direction of the constellation Taurus.[66]

If left undisturbed, Pioneer 10 and its sister craft Pioneer 11 will join the two Voyager spacecraft and the New Horizons spacecraft in leaving the Solar System to wander the interstellar medium. The Pioneer 10 trajectory is expected to take it in the general direction of the star Aldebaran, currently located at a distance of about 68 light years. If Aldebaran had zero relative velocity, it would require more than two million years for the spacecraft to reach it.[15][67] Well before that, in about 90,000 years, Pioneer 10 will pass about 0.23 pc (0.75 ly) from the late K-type star HIP 117795.[68] This is the closest stellar flyby in the next few million years of all the four Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft which are leaving the Solar System.

A backup unit, Pioneer H, is currently on display in the "Milestones of Flight" gallery at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.[69] Many elements of the mission proved to be critical in the planning of the Voyager program.[70]

Pioneer plaque

Pioneer Plaque

Because it was strongly advocated by Carl Sagan,[11] Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 carry a 152 by 229 mm (6.0 by 9.0 in) gold-anodized aluminum plaque in case either spacecraft is ever found by intelligent life-forms from another planetary system. The plaques feature the nude figures of a human male and female along with several symbols that are designed to provide information about the origin of the spacecraft.[71] The plaque is attached to the antenna support struts to provide some shielding from interstellar dust.

Pioneer 10 in popular media

In the film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, a Klingon ship destroys Pioneer 10 as target practice.[72]

In the speculative fiction 17776, one of the main characters is a sentient Pioneer 10.

See also

Heliocentric positions of the five interstellar probes (squares) and other bodies (circles) until 2020, with launch and flyby dates. Markers denote positions on 1 January of each year, with every fifth year labelled.
Plot 1 is viewed from the north ecliptic pole, to scale; plots 2 to 4 are third-angle projections at 20% scale.
In the SVG file, hover over a trajectory or orbit to highlight it and its associated launches and flybys.


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External links

4 October 2003

The Maxim restaurant suicide bombing Israel kills twenty-one Israelis, both Jews and Arabs.

Maxim restaurant suicide bombing
Part of the Second Intifada militancy campaign
PikiWiki Israel 438 maxim restaurant haifa מסעדת מקסים בחיפה.JPG
The Maxim restaurant in 2009
Israel outline northwest.png
Red pog.svg
The attack site
LocationHaifa, Israel
Coordinates32°48′46″N 34°57′20″E / 32.81278°N 34.95556°E / 32.81278; 34.95556
DateOctober 4, 2003
Attack type
suicide bombing
Deaths21 civilians (and 1 bomber)
Perpetrators1 Palestinian (Hanadi Jaradat). Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Maxim restaurant suicide bombing was a suicide bombing which occurred on October 4, 2003 in the beachfront "Maxim" restaurant in Haifa, Israel. Twenty-one people were killed in the attack and 60 were injured. Among the victims were two families and four children, including a two-month-old baby.

The restaurant, which is located at the seafront near the southern boundary of the city of Haifa, was frequently attended by both Arab and Jewish local populations, and was widely seen as a symbol of peaceful coexistence in Haifa.

Militant organization Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. It was condemned by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. The restaurant's interior was destroyed by the blast (it was completely rebuilt seven months after the attack).


The Maxim restaurant is a beachfront restaurant located near the south entry to Haifa. It is co-owned by Jews and Christian Arabs, and is known for being a symbol of co-existence.[1][2]

The attack

Oran Almog, who was ten years old at time of the bombing, was blinded by the blast, lost two of his grandparents, his father, his brother and his cousin.[3]

On October 4, 2003, the 28-year-old Palestinian suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat detonated the explosive belt she was wearing inside the Arab-Jewish Maxim restaurant in Haifa. 21 Israelis (18 Jews and 3 Arabs) were killed, and 60 others were wounded.[4] The bomb included metal fragments packed around the explosive core, that sprayed around the restaurant, maximizing lethal effect.[5] According to Haifa police sources, the aftermath was gruesome, with some of the dead still sitting upright at their tables, while others, including children and babies, were slammed against the walls. Due to the force of the explosion, all that remained of Jaradat was her head.[5]

Among the victims were two families and four children, including a two-month-old baby. Three Maccabi Haifa officials were lightly injured in the bombing.[6]


Five members of the Almog family:

  • Ze'ev Almog, 71, of Haifa, Israeli naval officer[7]
  • Ruth Almog, 70, of Haifa
  • Moshe Almog, 43, of Haifa
  • Tomer Almog, 9, of Haifa
  • Assaf Staier, 11, of Haifa

Five members of the Zer-Aviv family:

  • Bruria Zer-Aviv, 59, of Kibbutz Yagur
  • Bezalel Zer-Aviv, 30, of Kibbutz Yagur
  • Keren Zer-Aviv, 29, of Kibbutz Yagur
  • Liran Zer-Aviv, 4, of Kibbutz Yagur
  • Noya Zer-Aviv, 1, of Kibbutz Yagur


  • Nir Regev, 25, of Nahariya
  • Zvi Bahat, 35, of Haifa
  • Mark Biano, 29, of Haifa
  • Naomi Biano, 25, of Haifa
  • Hana Francis, 39, of Fassuta, head waiter
  • Sharbal Matar, 23, of Fassuta, waiter
  • Mutanus Karkabi, 31, of Haifa, security guard
  • Osama Najar, 28, of Haifa, cook
  • Irena Sofrin, 38, of Kiryat Bialik
  • Lydia Zilberstein, 56, of Haifa, died of her injuries on October 9
  • George Matar, 58, of Haifa, died of his injuries on October 15

Source: "Suicide bombing of Maxim restaurant in Haifa, October 4, 2003". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 21 January 2004. Archived from the original on 13 October 2011.

The perpetrator

The suicide bomber, 28-year-old Hanadi Jaradat from Jenin, (Arabic: هنادي تيسير عبد المالك جردات‎) was the sixth female suicide bomber of the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the second woman recruited by Islamic Jihad.[8]

When she was 21, her fiancé had been killed by Israeli security forces.[9] At the time of her suicide bombing, Jaradat was a law student due to qualify as a lawyer in a few weeks. According to a story in Ha'aretz, based on Arab media and interviews with Israeli and Arab sources, she agreed to the bombing after Israel Defense Forces undercover operatives in Jenin killed her cousin (Salah, 34), and her younger brother (Fadi, 25), both of whom were accused by Israeli forces of being Islamic Jihad operatives, with her cousin being considered to be a senior member of the Al-Quds Brigades group.[8]

Israeli response

The day following the suicide bombing, the Israeli Army demolished the home of Jaradat's family, and the homes of two neighbors who were uninvolved in the bombing.[10] In response to the attack, which Israel claimed was planned in the Damascus headquarters of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an alleged terrorist training camp in Ain es-Saheb, Syria, was bombed by four Israeli Air Force jets. One person was injured, and munitions were allegedly destroyed during the strike.[11]

Jamal Mahadjne, an Israeli-Arab from Umm al-Fahm, was arrested within hours of the attack for driving Jaradat to her destination. Mahadjne had regularly taken fees for illegally driving Palestinians to Israel, taking advantage of his Israeli identity card to cross the border without difficulty. He confessed his actions to Shin Bet agents, and was indicted before the Haifa District Court for being an accessory to murder and for other crimes relating to his illegal activities on November 10.[12]

On November 7, Israel Defense Forces troops arrested senior Islamic Jihad militant Amjad Abeidi, who planned the attack, along with a number of other suicide bombings, during an operation in Jenin. During the operation, Jenin was placed under curfew as soldiers searched homes. One Palestinian teenager was shot dead while climbing a tank, and three Palestinians were wounded. The complex in which Abeidi was hiding was located and searched, and a weapons cache was found. After a grenade was thrown into the cache, Abeidi was lightly wounded and surrendered. As the soldiers left Jenin with Abeidi, Palestinian militants opened fire at them, and the soldiers returned fire. One militant, a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, was killed. Abeidi was handed over to Shin Bet for interrogation.[13]

In 2017 Oran Almog, one of the victims of the attack, addressed the United Nations Security Council to demand that the Palestinian Authority cease incentivizing terrorism by paying stipends to terrorists.[14]

Official reactions

Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon stated that Israel held Palestinian President Yasser Arafat responsible for the attack.[15] Arafat condemned the bombing.[16] U.S. President George W. Bush condemned the attack, calling it a "murderous action"and a "despicable attack".[17]


The memorial built near the restaurant, in memory of the victims of the attack

In response to his daughter's actions, her father Taisir declined all condolences, instead saying that he was proud of what his daughter had done, and that "I will accept only congratulations for what she did. This was a gift she gave me, the homeland and the Palestinian people."[18]

In October 2012, the Arab Lawyers Union awarded their top award to Hanadi Jaradat, and sent a delegation to her family to present them with the award. Ayman Abu Eisheh, who is a member of the Palestine Committee at the Arab Lawyers Union, explained that the lawyers were proud of Jaradat, saying that suicide bombing was "in defense of Palestine and the Arab nation."[19]

Although the interior of the restaurant was destroyed in the attack, it was quickly rebuilt and reopened within several months.[20] A monument was erected near the restaurant in memory of the victims killed in the attack.[21]

See also


  1. ^ Gilbert, Martin (2012). The Routledge Atlas of the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Routledge. p. 216. ISBN 9780415699754.
  2. ^ Arab-Jewish Restaurant Refuses to Stop Serving Its Coexistence Recipe. Haaretz, 17 October 2015
  3. ^ Meotti, Giulio (2010). A New Shoah: The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism. New York: Encounter Books. p. 187. ISBN 978-1-59403-477-0.
  4. ^ "Suicide bombing of Maxim restaurant in Haifa-4-Oct-2003". Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. State of Israel. January 21, 2004. Retrieved October 2, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Cult of the FEMALE SUICIDE BOMBER. The Sunday Times Magazine (Perth, W. Australia). By KEVIN TOOLIS, pp 12–15, September 10, 2006
  6. ^ Eyewitness: 'Dead children and babies. BBC, 4 October 2003
  7. ^ "HM Submarine Turpin". Submarines: Chatham Built. Retrieved 28 September 2011.
  8. ^ a b Arnon Regular,Profile of the Haifa suicide bomber. October 5, 2003; www.haaretz.com.
  9. ^ David Blair, "Revenge sparked suicide bombing". The Daily Telegraph via The Ottawa Citizen, October 6, 2003: A9.
  10. ^ David Blair, "Revenge sparked suicide bombing". The Daily Telegraph via The Ottawa Citizen, October 6, 2003: A9.
  11. ^ Crean, Ellen (October 5, 2003). "Israel Strikes Base Inside Syria". CBS/AP. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  12. ^ "Israeli Arab Citizen Indicted for Part in Maxim Restaurant Attack - Latest News Briefs - Arutz Sheva". Israelnationalnews.com. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  13. ^ "Witnesses: Palestinian Killed in Jenin". Haaretz. November 6, 2003.
  14. ^ "After Halamish attack, Israel demands UN address PA terror payments". Times of Israel. January 25, 2017. Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2] Archived February 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Green, Michele (October 5, 2003). "Female Bomber Kills 19 In Israeli Suicide Strike". Daily News.
  18. ^ Vered Levy-Barzalai, Ticking bomb. October 16, 2003; www.haaretz.com.
  19. ^ Abu Toameh, Khaled (October 13, 2012). "Arab Lawyers Union honors Palestinian suicide bomber". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
  20. ^ "Haifa's Maxim restaurant reopens". Free Public/Jerusalem Post. December 8, 2003. Retrieved February 5, 2018.
  21. ^ "Relatives of victims of Maxim Haifa attack hold memorial". Ynet News. October 4, 2013. Retrieved February 5, 2018.

External links

19 February 2003

An Ilyushin Il-76 military aircraft crashes near Kerman, Iran.

The 2003 Iran Ilyushin Il-76 crash occurred on 19 February 2003, when an Ilyushin Il-76 crashed in mountainous terrain near Kerman in Iran. The Aerospace Force of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution aircraft, registration 15-2280, was flying from Zahedan to Kerman when it crashed 35 kilometres southeast of Kerman. The aircraft was carrying members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, a special force that is independent from the Iranian Army, on an unknown mission.

Strong winds were reported in the region of the crash when the aircraft disappeared from the radar screens; approximately at the same time, villagers in the area described hearing a loud explosion. There were no survivors among the 275 occupants on board the aircraft
The IL-76 was flying a route from Zahedan Airport to Kerman Airport carrying members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on an unspecified mission. The four-engine Russian transport aircraft with a crew of 18, lost contact with air traffic control at 5:30 pm after flying into poor weather conditions.

The aircraft crashed into the Sirch mountains, southeast of Kerman, about 500 miles southeast of Tehran, killing all aboard. Investigators believe it was a controlled flight into terrain, citing the deteriorating weather conditions and high winds.

Immediately after the crash, members of the Revolutionary Guards and Red Crescent were sent to the accident scene. Two helicopters attempting to reach the scene turned back due to bad weather. A cordon of the area was completed as well, limiting access to journalists and the public.

President Mohammad Khatami’s cabinet sent a message of condolence to families of the victims about the tragic event in which a group of IRGC brothers—Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps—were killed. The Iranian government also blamed U.S. sanctions against Iran for playing a part in the crash since the restrictions make it more difficult for Iran to maintain its aircraft.

There was speculation that the accident was the result of a mid-air collision due to the high number of fatalities. A terrorist organization called the Abu-Bakr Brigades also claimed responsibility for the crash.

9 April 2003

Baghdad falls to American forces during the Iraq war.

The Battle of Baghdad, also known as the Fall of Baghdad, was a military invasion of Baghdad that took place in early April 2003, as part of the invasion of Iraq.

Three weeks into the invasion of Iraq, Coalition Forces Land Component Command elements, led by the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division moved into Baghdad. The United States declared victory on April 14, and President George W. Bush gave his Mission Accomplished Speech on May 1.

Baghdad suffered serious damage to its civilian infrastructure, economy, and cultural inheritance from the fighting, as well as looting and arson. During the invasion, the Al-Yarmouk Hospital in south Baghdad saw a steady rate of about 100 new patients an hour.

Several thousand Iraqi soldiers as well as a small number of coalition forces were killed in the battle. After the fall of Baghdad, Coalition forces entered the city of Kirkuk on April 10 and Tikrit on April 15, 2003.

Prior to the invasion, the US policy was that journalists reporting from the ground should be “embedded”, that is, be stationed within military units. Such reporters were required to sign contracts with the military and agree to rules that restricted what they could report on. Journalists found breaking those rules risked losing their embedded accreditation and being expelled from Iraq.

Black Hawk helicopters from 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) move into an Iraqi city during an operation to occupy the city, April 5.

Iraq, initially issued a statement contradicting western reporters’ accounts of the invasion. Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, head of the Information Ministry, told a press conference on April 7 that there were no U.S. troops in Baghdad, saying: “Their infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad. Be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected. Iraqis are heroes.”