This [claim by Al Qaeda military commander Saif al-Adel that Osama bin Laden deliberately provoked the United States into attacking Afghanistan] was a post facto rationalization of Al-Qaeda’s strategic failure. The whole point of the 9/11 attacks had been to get the United States out of the Muslim world, not to provoke it into invading and occupying Afghanistan and overthrowing al-Qaeda’s closest ideological ally, the Taliban. September 11, in fact, resembled Pearl Harbor. Just as the Japanese scored a tremendous tactical victory on December 7, 1941, they also set in motion a chain of events that led to the eventual collapse of Imperial Japan. So, too, the 9/11 attacks set in motion a chain of events that would lead to the destruction of much of al-Qaeda and, eventually, the death of its leader.
Bergen, Peter L. Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad. Crown Publishers; New York. 2012. p. 58-9. Emphasis in original.