IT was the decade in which terror changed the world, technology
transformed our lives and reality TV took over our screens.
In a special series this week, The Sun looks back at the events and
people that shaped the Noughties.
Here, we review the major news events of the past ten years.
FROM the devastation of 9/11 to the failed Christmas Day bomb
attack on a packed jet over America, the Noughties were a decade haunted
by the threat of terrorism.
While Mother Nature brought havoc, religious fanatics found their
own cruel ways to massacre innocents.
Terror group al-Qaeda's ruthless campaign, and The West's
response - which has seen 383 British troops killed in Iraq and
Afghanistan - dominated the headlines.
Suicide bombers killed 17 US sailors in a boat attack on the USS
Cole in Aden harbour, as early as October 2000.
The destruction of the colossal Bamyan Buddhas in Afghanistan in
March 2001 was a warning of the medieval ideology of the Taliban, who
were already harbouring Osama bin Laden's terror training camps.
The al-Qaeda fanatics struck with devastating consequences on
September 11 that year, when four commercial airliners were hijacked, to
be flown into iconic American buildings including the twin towers of New
York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing nearly 3,000.
A series of anthrax attacks across the United States followed.
The response from US President George W Bush was to launch a "War
On Terror," starting with the October 7 invasion of Afghanistan in the
As bin Laden evaded capture, fellow terrorists killed 202 by
bombing a Bali nightclub in October 2002.
Against this backdrop of fear and suspicion, the threat of
weapons of mass destruction was used to justify the invasion of Saddam
Hussein's Iraq in spring 2003.
No WMDs were found. Saddam was though - cowering in a hole, in
December. By then, former UN weapons inspector Dr David Kelly had been
revealed as a source of criticism of the Government's flimsy WMD
He was later found dead in a field near his Oxfordshire home,
having apparently killed himself.
As Iraq descended into virtual civil war, the Madrid train
bombings in March 2004 killed 191 and the Beslan School hostage crisis
in Russia, in September that year, ended with the deaths of 344
civilians, ten special forces soldiers, and 31 Ingush and Chechen
Then, on July 7, 2005, as London celebrated being awarded the
2012 Olympics, home-grown Islamic terrorists blew up three Tube trains
and a London bus, killing 52.
An attempted repeat attack two weeks later failed, but innocent
Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by anti-terror police in
Two days later, bombs in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh
The printing of 12 cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in a Danish
newspaper added fuel to the flames of conflict.
was targeted again in June 2007 when two car bombs failed to explode in
central London and terrorists drove a burning vehicle into Glasgow
Almost overshadowed by the rise of Islamic terrorism was the
monumental decision by the IRA to end their armed campaign in July 2005
and the Northern Ireland power-sharing agreement between Dr Ian Paisley
and Gerry Adams in March 2007.
Islamic terrorists bombed trains in Mumbai in July 2006, killing
209, and killed a further 173 with coordinated attacks there in November
In Africa, war in Somalia led to a breakdown in government and
the growth of piracy off the Somali coast. And just three days ago,
another plot to blow up a jet was foiled when Umar Abdulmutallab was
prevented from activating a new type of explosive device by hero
passenger Jasper Schuringa.
Meanwhile, global warming and natural disasters took their own
A heatwave in Southern Europe in 2003 killed more than 37,000
people. That tragedy was dwarfed by the Indian Ocean Tsunami on Boxing
Day, 2004, which killed around 230,000. Earthquakes killed 26,000 in
Bam, Iran, in 2003; 80,000 in Kashmir in 2005; 68,000 in Sichuan, China;
and 307 in L'Aquila in Italy in 2009.
Hurricane Katrina almost washed away New Orleans in the US,
killing nearly 2,000 in 2005, and Cyclone Nargis smashed through Burma
in 2008, killing 146,000.
In Britain, flash flooding devastated the Cornish coastal town of
Boscastle in August 2004. It was a prelude to major flooding which
swamped large swathes of Britain in the summer of 2007 - as it did in
Cumbria this year. Bush fires in drought-struck Australia killed 173 in
February this year.
If the Noughties weather was erratic, so was the economy.
The decade started with the bursting of the dot.com bubble and
ended with the worst worldwide recession since the Great Depression.
The massive growth of China and India had put huge pressure on
oil resources. British motorists had already carried out fuel protests
in 2000 when oil was less than $25 a barrel and there was more anger in
2005 and 2007 as the price rocketed to nearly $150 a barrel by July
By then, investments by banks in high-risk mortgages had led to a
worldwide collapse in credit, first highlighted in Britain by the run on
the Northern Rock bank in 2007 and later necessitating a £500billion
Government bail-out of the banks.
In politics, few events could match the election of Barack Obama
as America's first black president in 2008.
The creeping expansion of Europe continued apace with the euro
replacing 12 of the 15 member countries' currencies in 2002 and former
East European states joining the EU in 2004, sparking a wave of
immigration. The third election victory of Tony Blair in May 2005,
before he made way for Gordon Brown, made sure the decade was dominated
In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe's brutal determination to maintain his
corrupt regime almost brought his country to ruin.
In Britain, Parliament's reputation was brought to its knees by
the scandal of MPs' expenses. In our courts, the decade began with
doctor Harold Shipman being convicted, in January 2000, of killing more
than 200 patients.
And in other non-terrorist crime, within months we had the
terrible disappearance of eight-year-old Sarah Payne, and the appalling
discovery of her murder by paedophile Roy Whiting, sparking a campaign
for parents to be told of paedophiles living nearby.
The country was caught up again, in 2002, in the hunt for missing
Soham youngsters, Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, both ten. Once more,
the search ended in tragedy.
Twenty-three illegal Chinese immigrants drowned while collecting
cockles in Morecambe Bay in 2004, and the Securitas depot robbers who
raided a warehouse in Tonbridge, Kent, in 2006, netted a record
£53million criminal haul.
The same year former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko was
poisoned in London in a murder worthy of a Bond film - he was poisoned
with radioactive polonium.
The summer of 2007
was dominated by the snatching of Madeleine McCann, three, from her
family's holiday apartment in Portugal, and the fruitless worldwide
search that followed.
Later that year, canoeist John Darwin turned up alive, five years
after faking his death. In 2008 another missing child - Shannon
Matthews, nine - turned out to have been the victim of a kidnap plot by
her own mother and uncle.
This was also a decade of health scares. We had the foot and
mouth epidemic in Britain in 2001; the threat of SARS - Severe Acute
Respiratory Syndrome - in 2002 and 2003; the bird flu scares of 2006 and
2007, plus swine flu to end the decade.