Tiberian Dawn is set in the late 1990s after a meteorite crashed on the Tiber River, Italy, bringing a mysterious but extremely valuable substance, Tiberium. An ancient secret society, the Brotherhood of Nod, somehow acquired the technology to exploit Tiberium's potential ahead of the mainstream scientific community. Led by a messianic leader known only as Kane, Nod eventually came to control almost half of the world's Tiberium. Using the immense wealth and power gained from Tiberium, the terrorist organization began to spread its influence around the globe, especially among the disenfranchised people of the Third World. In response to Nod's growing influence and Nod terrorist attacks, the United Nations Security Council tasked a recently-formed global taskforce, the Global Defense Initiative, with destroying the Brotherhood.