Political map of Europe & the Mediterranean 13 April 2003 (War on Terror): On September 11, 2001, the Islamist terrorist organization of al-Qaeda (Al-Qaeda) launched multiple suicide attacks (September 11 attacks) in the United States. The US responded with a a global military campaign (War on Terror) to destroy al-Qaeda and its affiliates. First it overthrew the Taliban (Taliban) in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda's primary hosts. Then, more controversially (Criticism of the Iraq War), it invaded Iraq (2003 invasion of Iraq) (which was hostile to the US but had no clear links to world terrorism).