How did Al Qaeda manage to establish its headquarters in Northwestern Pakistan in the first place? This question in crucial in assessing recent Bush administration's commitments to neutralizing the terror network:
The Al Qaeda stronghold was established in the months following the US-NATO invasion of Afghanistan. The military campaign commenced in early October and was completed in late November 2001. The invasion was a war of retribution directed against Afghanistan, for the alleged sponsorship of the September 11, 2001 attacks by the Taliban government. (To this date there is no evidence that the Afghan government had any involvement in these attacks.)
In late November 2001, the Northern Alliance supported by US bombing raids took the hill town of Kunduz in Northern Afghanistan. Eight thousand or more men "had been trapped inside the city in the last days of the siege, roughly half of whom were Pakistanis. Afghans, Uzbeks, Chechens, and various Arab mercenaries accounted for the rest."
(Seymour M. Hersh, The Getaway, The New Yorker, 21 January 2002, http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/HER206A.html ) More...