Political map of Russia & the former Soviet Union 13 November 2001 (US invasion of Afghanistan): On 11 September 2001 terrorists attacked the US, destroying the World Trade Center and damaging the Pentagon. NATO and Russia quickly agreed to assist the US in their bid to bring the perpetrators of the attack—Al Qaeda operatives based in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan)—to justice. In October the US launched an offensive in Afghanistan (United States invasion of Afghanistan), allowing its Afghan allies (Northern Alliance) to overthrow the Taliban by the end of the year.