It started with 9/11. After the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., President Bush demanded that Afghanistan turn over al-Qaeda leaders, including Osama bin Laden. He also demanded that the terrorist training camps in Afghanistan be shut down. The leaders of Afghanistan, members of the group called the Taliban, refused. They said that there was no evidence showing that al-Qaeda was responsible for the attacks.
In October 2001, Afghanistan offered to bring Osama bin Laden to trial in its own country. The United States refused that offer.
On October 7, the war began. The United States, with the support of Great Britain and some other NATO countries, began bombing areas where al-Qaeda was located in Afghanistan. At about the same time, Osama bin Laden released a videotape calling for a jihad, or holy war, against the United States.
In the first stage of the war, Kabul, the capital city, was bombed. So was Kandahar, believed to be the home of al-Qaeda leaders. Jalalabad, where training camps were believed to be located, was also attacked.
In the second stage of the war, a ground attack was also waged against the Taliban forces by the Northern Alliance, an Afghan group opposed to the Taliban. Bombings by United States and British forces also continued. By November, the Taliban was forced to flee Kabul.