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The War in Afghanistan (2001–present) refers to the intervention in the Afghan Civil War by the United States and its allies, following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, to dismantle Al-Qaeda, the Islamic terrorist organization led by Osama bin Laden and to remove from power the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist regime led by Mullah Mohammed Omar, which at the time controlled 90% of Afghanistan and hosted Al-Qaeda leadership. U.S. President George W. Bush demanded that the Taliban hand over bin Laden and al-Qaeda leadership which was supporting the Taliban in its war with the Northern Alliance. The Taliban recommended that bin Laden leave the country but declined to extradite him without evidence of his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. The United States refused to negotiate and launched Operation Enduring Freedom on 7 October 2001 with the United Kingdom, later joined by Canada, Australia, France and other mainly western allies, to attack the Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces in conjunction with the Northern Alliance. The U.S. and its allies quickly drove the Taliban from power and captured all major cities and towns in the country. Many Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders escaped to neighboring Pakistan or retreated to rural or remote mountainous regions. In December 2001, the U.N. Security Council established the International Security Assistance Force, to oversee security in the country and train the Afghan National Army. At the Bonn Conference in December 2001, Hamid Karzai was selected to head the Afghan Interim Administration, which after a loya jirga in Kabul in June 2002, became the Afghan Transitional Administration. In the popular elections of 2004, Karzai was elected the president of the new permanent Afghan government, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. (via Freebase)