Ahmad Shah Massoud: Wikis


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Ahmad Shah Massoud
September 2, 1953 (1953-09-02)September 9, 2001 (2001-09-10) (aged 48)
Nickname "Lion of Panjshir"
Place of birth Bazarak, Panjshir, Afghanistan
Place of death Takhar Province, Afghanistan
Rank Commander, Minister of Defense
Commands held Prominent Mujahideen commander during the Soviet war in Afghanistan,
Defense Minister of Afghanistan,
leading commander of the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
Awards National Hero of Afghanistan and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee

Ahmad Shah Massoud (احمد شاه مسعود- Aḥmad Šāh Mas‘ūd; September 1953 – September 9, 2001) was a Kabul University engineering student turned military leader who played a leading role in driving the Soviet army out of Afghanistan, earning him the nickname Lion of Panjshir. His followers call him Āmir Sāhib-e Shahīd (Our Martyred Commander). An ethnic Tajik, Massoud was a moderate of the anti-Soviet resistance leaders.[1]

Following the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet-backed government of Mohammad Najibullah, Massoud became the Defense Minister in 1992 under the government of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani. Following the collapse of Rabbani's government and the rise of the Taliban in 1996, Massoud returned to the role of an armed opposition leader, serving as the military commander of the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (known previously as the Northern Alliance).

On September 9, 2001, two days before the September 11 attacks in the United States, Massoud was assassinated in Takhar Province of Afghanistan by suspected al-Qaeda agents. The following year, he was named "National Hero" by the order of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The date of his death, September 9, is observed as a national holiday in Afghanistan, known as "Massoud Day."[2] The year following his assassination, in 2002, Massoud was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.[3]


Early life

The son of police commander Dost Mohammad, Ahmad Shah Massoud was born on September 2, 1953 in Bazarak, Panjshir, Afghanistan. At the age of five, he started grammar school in Bazarak and stayed there until second grade. Since his father was promoted to be police chief of Herat, he attended 3rd and 4th grade at the Mowaffaq School in Herat. He also received a religious education at the "Masjed-e Jame" mosque in Herat. Later, his father was moved to Kabul, so he attended intermediate and senior grades at the French Lycée of Al Istiqlal in Kabul. Since his childhood, he was considered exceedingly talented; from 10th grade on, his school acknowledged him as a particularly gifted student. He knew many languages including Persian, Pashto, Urdu and Hindi, and he also spoke French in his early years as a commander.[4] He also had a good working knowledge of Arabic and English..[5]

While studying in Kabul in 1972, Massoud became involved with the Sazman-i Jawanan-i Musulman ("organization of Muslim youth"), the student branch of the Jamiat Islami ("Islamic Society"), whose chairman was professor Burhanuddin Rabbani. This Islamist organization opposed the rising communist influence that became especially evident after the coup d'état that brought Mohammed Daoud Khan to power in 1973: the coup was orchestrated by the Parcham faction of the PDPA, the Afghan communist party. In July 1975, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, then a Jamiat member, organized an uprising against Daoud's government. Massoud was placed in charge of the Panjshir resistance and had some success in this area, but the revolt ultimately failed due to lack of support among the people and Gulbuddin's inability to entice officers of the Afghan army to join the resistance.[6] The ensuing repression greatly weakened the Islamist movement and forced the surviving militants back to Pakistan.

In 1976, the movement split between supporters of Rabbani, who led the Jamiat, and the more fundamentalists members of Hekmatyar, who founded the Hezbi Islami. Massoud, who blamed the failure of the insurrection on Hekmatyar, joined Rabbani's faction.[citation needed]

The Soviet war


The 1978 uprising

In 1978, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (حزب دیموکراتیک خلق افغانستان) came to power, and they began to reform Afghanistan along Marxist lines. These reforms met with resistance, especially as the government attempted to enforce its Marxist policies by arresting or simply executing those who resisted. The repression plunged large parts of the country, especially the rural areas, into open revolt against the new Marxist government. Islamist intellectuals such as Massoud became leaders of these uprisings.

The first instance of open rebellion occurred in Nuristan, in July 1978. Massoud joined the rebels, and was present when they wiped out an armoured battalion sent by the PDPA to suppress the revolt.[7]

Having ascertained that an uprising against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan would be backed by the people, Massoud made his way to the Panjshir and started a new insurrection on July 6, 1979. The fight lasted 40 days, during which the whole Panjshir, Salang, and Bola Ghain were in open revolt against the Marxist government. After these 40 days, Massoud's leg was injured and the troops under his command had no more weapons and ammunition. Despite 600 relief fighters from Nuristan, the government troops finally defeated them.[8] Drawing lessons from this failure, Massoud decided to avoid direct confrontation with government troops and to wage a guerrilla war. He set about creating bases and giving his men training in guerilla warfare tactics.[9]

Resisting the Soviet invasion and occupation

Following the 1979 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by Soviet troops, Massoud devised a strategic plan for expelling the invaders and overthrowing the communist regime. The first task was to establish a guerilla force, supported by the people. The second phase was one of "active defense" of the Panjshir stronghold, while carrying out irregular warfare. The third phase, the "strategic offensive", would see Massoud's forces taking control of large parts of Northern Afghanistan. The fourth phase was the "general application" of Massoud's principles to the whole country, and the final demise of the Afghan communist government.

Massoud's resistance efforts ultimately drew military and other support from the United States during the administrations of Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Under the Reagan administration, U.S. support for the mujahideen ultimately evolved into an official U.S. foreign policy doctrine, known as the Reagan Doctrine, under which the U.S. supported anti-Soviet resistance movements in Afghanistan, Angola, Nicaragua and elsewhere.[10] U.S. support for Massoud and his forces grew considerably in the late 1980s.

From the start of the war, Massoud's mujahideen proved to be a thorn in the side for the occupying Soviet forces by ambushing Soviet and Afghan convoys travelling through the Salang Pass, resulting in fuel shortages in Kabul.[11] To relieve the pressure on their supply lines, the Soviets were forced to mount a series of offensives against the Panjshir. Between 1980 and 1985, these offensives were conducted twice a year. Yet, despite engaging more men and hardware on each occasion, the Soviets were unable to defeat Massoud's forces. In 1982, the Soviets began deploying major combat units in the Panjshir numbering up to 12,000 men, and Massoud pulled his troops back into subsidiary valleys, where they occupied fortified positions. When the Soviet columns advanced onto these positions, they fell into ambushes and suffered heavy casualties. When the Soviets withdrew, they handed over their positions to Afghan army garrisons, and Masoud and his mujahideen forces attacked and recaptured them one by one.[12]

In 1983, the Soviets offered Massoud a truce, which he accepted. He put this respite to good use, extending his influence to areas outside Panjshir, mostly in Takhar and Baghlan Provinces.

This expansion prompted Babrak Karmal to demand that the Red Army resume their offensives, in order to crush the Panjshir groups definitively. However, Massoud had received advance warning of the attack through his agents in the government and he evacuated all 30,000 inhabitants from the valley, leaving the Soviet bombings to fall on empty ground.[13] Eventually, after 1985, no more offensives were carried out against the Panjshir.

With the end of the Soviet-Afghan attacks, Massoud was able to carry out the next phase of his strategic plan, expanding the resistance movement and liberating the northern provinces of Afghanistan. In August 1986, he captured Farkhar in Takhar Province. In November 1986, his forces overran the headquarters of the government's 20th division at Nahrin in Baghlan Province, scoring an important victory for the resistance.[14] This expansion was also carried out through diplomatic means, as more mujahideen commanders were persuaded to adopt the Panjshir military system.

Young fighters of Abdul Rasul Sayyaf in the Sultan Valley of Kunar Province, showing their Soviet captured DShK in 1987.

Despite almost constant attacks by the Red army and the Afghan army, Massoud was able to increase his military strength. Starting in 1980 with a force of less than 1,000 ill-equipped guerillas, the Panjshir valley mujahideen grew to a 5,000-strong force by 1984.[11] After expanding his influence outside the valley, Massoud increased his resistance forces to 13,000 fighters by 1989.[15] These forces were divided into different types of units: the locals (mahalli) were tasked with static defense of villages and fortified positions. The best of the mahalli were formed into units called grup-i zarbati (shock troops), semi-mobile groups that acted as reserve forces for the defense of several strongholds. A different type of unit was the mobile group (grup-i-mutaharek), a lightly equipped commando-like formation numbering 33 men, whose mission was to carry out hit-and-run attacks outside the Panjshir, sometimes as far as 100 km from their base. These men were professional soldiers, well-paid and trained, and, from 1983 on, they provided an effective strike force against government outposts. Uniquely among the mujahideen, these groups wore uniforms, and their use of the pakul made this headwear emblematic of the Afghan resistance.

Massoud's military organization was an effective compromise between the traditional Afghan method of warfare and the modern principles of guerilla warfare that Massoud had learned from the works of Mao Zedong and Che Guevara. His forces were considered the most effective of all the various Afghan resistance movements.[16]

In July 1983, Massoud created the Shura-ye-nazar (council of supervision), a military council that would eventually coordinate the actions of 130 mujahideen commanders from seven provinces of northern Afghanistan: Parwan, Laghman, Kapisa, Kunar, Badakshan, Takhar, Baghlan and Kunduz . This council existed outside the fold of the Peshawar parties that were prone to internecine rivalry and bickering, and served to smooth out differences between resistance groups, due to political and ethnic divisions. It was the predecessor of what would ultimately become the "Northern Alliance."[17]

Relations with the party headquarters in Peshawar were often strained, as Rabbani insisted on giving Massoud no more weapons and supplies than to other Jamiat commanders, even those who did little fighting. To compensate for this deficiency, Massoud relied on revenues drawn from exports of emeralds[18] and lapis lazuli,[19] that are traditionally exploited in Northern Afghanistan.

To organize support for the mujahideen, he established an administrative system that enforced law and order (nazm) in areas under his control. The Panjshir was divided into 22 bases (qarargah) governed by a military commander and a civilian administrator, and each had a judge, a prosecutor and a public defender.[20]

Massoud's policies were implemented by different committees: an economic committee was charged with funding the war effort. The health committee provided health services, assisted by volunteers from foreign humanitarian non-governmental organizations, such as Aide médicale internationale. An education committee was charged with the training of the military and administrative cadre. A culture and propaganda committee and a judiciary committee were also created.[21]

United States support

Massoud ultimately drew strong support from the United States, especially during the second term of the Reagan administration, which labeled support for Massoud and other Afghan resistance forces "Operation Cyclone". Primary advocates for supporting Massoud included two Heritage Foundation foreign policy analysts, Michael Johns and James A. Phillips, both of whom championed Massoud as the Afghan resistance leader most worthy of U.S. support under the Reagan Doctrine.[22][23]

The Soviet army and the Afghan communist army were defeated by Massoud and the mujahideen in numerous small engagements between 1984 and 1988, but many of these battles remain either undocumented or unknown to outside sources. However, the strength of the Afghan resistance continued to grow in the late 1980s, fueled by increased U.S. support and associated military success of the Afghan resistance forces, causing the Soviet Union to rethink its occupation of the country. In 1989, after labeling the Soviet Union's military engagement in Afghanistan "a bleeding wound", Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev began a withdrawal of Soviet troops from the nation. On February 15, 1989, in what was depicted as an improbable victory for the mujahideen, the last Soviet soldier left the nation.

April 1992: The fall of Kabul

After the departure of Soviet troops in 1989, the PDPA regime, then headed by Mohammad Najibullah, proved unexpectedly capable holding of its own against the mujahideen. Backed by a massive influx of weapons from the Soviet Union, the Afghan armed forces reached a level of performance they had never reached under direct Soviet tutelage and were able to maintain control over all of Afghanistan's major cities.

By 1992, however, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the regime began to crumble. Food and fuel shortages undermined the capacities of the government's army, and a resurgence of factionalism split the regime between Khalq and Parcham supporters.[24]

A few days after it was clear that Najibullah had lost control of the nation, his army commanders and governors arranged to turn over authority to resistance commanders and local notables throughout the country. Joint councils (shuras) were immediately established for local government in which civil and military officials of the former government were usually included. In many cases, prior arrangements for transferring regional and local authority had been made between foes.[24]

Collusions between military leaders quickly brought down the Kabul government. In mid-January 1992, within three weeks of the demise of the Soviet Union, Massoud was aware of conflict within the government's northern command. General Abdul Momim, in charge of the Hairatan border crossing at the northern end of Kabul's supply highway, and other non-Pashtun generals based in Mazari Sharif feared removal by Najibullah and replacement by Pashtun officers. The generals rebelled and the situation was taken over by Abdul Rashid Dostum, who held general rank as head of the Jowzjani militia, also based in Mazari Sharif. He and Massoud reached a political agreement, together with another major militia leader, Sayyed Mansour, of the Ismaili community based in Baghlan Province. These northern allies consolidated their position in Mazar-i-Sharif on March 21. Their coalition covered nine provinces in the north and northeast. As turmoil developed within the government in Kabul, there was no government force standing between the northern allies and the major air force base at Bagram, some seventy kilometers north of Kabul. By mid-April 1992, the Afghan air force command at Bagram had capitulated to Massoud. Kabul was defenseless and its army no longer reliable.[24]

On March 18, 1992, Najibullah announced his willingness to resign, and on April 17, as his government fell apart, he tried to escape but was stopped at Kabul Airport by Dostum's forces. He then took refuge at the United Nations mission, where he remained until 1995. A group of Parchami generals and officials declared themselves an interim government for the purpose of handing over power to the mujahideen.[24]

For more than a week, Massoud remained poised to move his forces into the capital. He was awaiting the arrival of political leadership from Peshawar. The parties suddenly had sovereign power in their grasp, but no plan for executing it. With his principal commander prepared to occupy Kabul, Rabbani was positioned to prevail by default. Meanwhile UN mediators tried to find a political solution that would assure a transfer of power acceptable to all sides.[24]

Civil war

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar placed Kabul under intensive rocket bombardment in February 1993. Some sources cite up to 3,000 rockets being fired on Kabul daily[5], killing many civilians. After a series of negotiations in Kabul and Peshawar, arranged by the power players of the Afghan Civil War - Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran - the warring factions failed to find a peaceful solution.

As defense minister of the Afghan government, Massoud ordered a retreat from Kabul on September 26, 1996, after Taliban forces encircled the capital.[25]

Resisting the Taliban

As the Taliban took control of approximately 90 percent of Afghanistan, the warring factions had no choice but to form an alliance, which they called the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan. Because most factions were from the north of Afghanistan, the Western media called them the "Northern Alliance." The alliance consisted of warlords and tribal leaders like Haji Rahim, Commander Piram Qol, Haji Mohammad Mohaqiq, General Dostum, Qazi Kabir Marzban, Commander Ata Mohammad and General Malik. From the east were Haji Abdul Qadir, Commander Hazrat Ali, Commander Jaan Daad Khan and Abdullah Wahedi. From the northeast areas, Commander Qatrah and Commander Najmuddin participated. From the southern provinces, there were Commander Qari Baba, Noorzai, and Hotak. From the western and southwest provinces came General Ismail Khan, Doctor Ibrahim, and Fazlkarim Aimaq. From central Afghanistan Commander Anwari, Said Hussein Aalemi Balkhi, Said Mustafa Kazemi, Akbari, Mohammad Ali Jawed, Karim Khaili, Commander Sher Alam, and Abdur Rassul Sayyaf were members of this union. The alliance consisted of warlords who had been ousted by the locals from all regions of Afghanistan.

International support

The United States had CIA agents working alongside Massoud, offering to help with a joint operation to capture Osama bin Laden following the 1998 embassy bombings.[26]

After the Taliban publicly executed Mohammed Najibullah, Massoud and the Northern Alliance received increasing assistance from India.[27] India was particularly concerned about the Islamic militancy in its neighborhood and consequently provided substantial aid to the Northern Alliance—US$70 million in aid including two Mi-17 helicopters, three additional helicopters in 2000 and US$8 million worth of high-altitude equipment in 2001.[28]

Furthermore, the alliance also received extensive aid from Iran because of their opposition to a strong Sunni Taliban government, and Russia and Tajikistan because of the growing Islamic movements in Chechnya and Central Asia.[citation needed]

In April 2001, Nicole Fontaine invited Massoud to address the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. In his speech, Massoud warned that the Taliban had connections with al-Qaeda and that he believed an important terrorist attack was imminent.[29]


Massoud's tomb in the Panjshir Valley.

Massoud was the target of a successful suicide attack at Khwaja Bahauddin, Afghanistan on September 9, 2001. The attackers' names were alternately given as Dahmane Abd al-Sattar, husband of Malika El Aroud, and Bouraoui el-Ouaer; or 34-year-old Karim Touzani and 26-year-old Kacem Bakkali.[30] The attackers claimed to be Belgians originally from Morocco. However, their passports turned out to be stolen and their nationality was later determined to be Tunisian. The assassins claimed to want to interview Massoud and then, while asking Massoud questions, set off a bomb in the camera, killing Massoud. Investigators later claimed that Jerôme Courtailler provided forged documents to the attackers.[31]

The explosion also killed Mohammed Asim Suhail, a Northern Alliance official, while Mohammad Fahim Dashty and Massoud Khalili were injured. The assassins may have intended to attack several Northern Alliance council members simultaneously.[citation needed] Bouraoui was killed by the explosion and Dahmane was captured and shot while trying to escape. Massoud was rushed after the attack to the Indian Military hospital at Farkhor, Tajikistan, which is now Farkhor Air Base.

News of Massoud's death was reported almost immediately, appearing on the BBC, and in European and North American newspapers on September 10, 2001. However, the news was quickly overshadowed by the September 11, 2001 attacks the following day, which appeared to be the terrorist attack that Massoud had warned against in his speech to the European Parliament several months earlier.

The timing of the assassination, two days before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, is considered significant by commentators who believe Osama bin Laden ordered the assassination to help his Taliban protectors and ensure he would have their protection and co-operation in Afghanistan. The assassins are also reported to have shown support for bin Laden in their questioning of Massoud. The Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Mujahideen leader Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, an Afghan Wahhabi Islamist, have also been mentioned as possible organizers or collaborators of the Massoud assassins.[32] Massoud was a strong opponent of Pakistani involvement in Afghanistan. The assassins are said to have entered Northern Alliance territory under the auspices of the Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and had his assistance in bypassing "normal security procedures."[32]

The French secret service revealed on October 16, 2003 that the camera used by Massoud's assassins had been stolen in December 2000 in Grenoble, France from a photojournalist, Jean-Pierre Vincendet, who was then working on a story on that city's Christmas store window displays. By tracing the camera's serial number, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to determine that Vincendet was its original owner. The French secret service and the FBI then began working on tracing the route the camera took between the time it was taken from Vincendet and the Massoud assassination.[33]


In 2001, the Afghan Interim Government under president Hamid Karzai awarded Massoud the title of "Hero of the Afghan Nation". Massoud is the subject of Ken Follett's Lie Down With Lions, a novel about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Many documentaries, books and movies have been made about Ahmad Shah Massoud. One of the most notable is Fire by Sebastian Junger. In this book, there is a chapter named "The Lion in Winter" in which Junger interviews Massoud. Junger was one of the last Western journalists to interview Massoud in depth. The bulk of this interview was first published in March 2001 for National Geographic's Adventure Magazine, along with photographs by the renowned Iranian photographer Reza Deghati.

The Path to 9/11

The well-known French musician-songwriter-author Damien Saez wrote a song called "Massoud" in 2002. Massoud also was featured in the ABC Television mini-series The Path to 9/11, which aired commercial-free in the USA in 2006, on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The mini-series depicts Massoud warning U.S. intelligence agents of the coming U.S. attack by al-Qaeda[34] and Massoud's September 9, 2001 assassination.[35]


Massoud was married to Sediqa Massoud. They have one son (Ahmad born in 1989) and five daughters (Fatima born in 1992, Miriam born in 1993, Aîcha born in 1995, Zohra born in 1996 and Nasrine born in 1998). His wife and his children live in Iran.

The family has a great deal of prestige in the politics of Afghanistan. Of his six brothers, Ahmad Zia Massoud is the current vice-president of Afghanistan and Ahmad Wali Massoud is Afghanistan's ambassador to the United Kingdom.

After his death, Massoud was interred in a mausoleum in Panjshir Valley. A larger mausoleum is currently being constructed to replace the current one.

"The Lion of Panjshir"

Massoud's nickname, the "Lion of Panjshir", is a rhyme and play on words in Persian, which alludes to the strength of his resistance against the Soviet Union, the mythological exaltation of the lion in Persian literature, and finally, the place name of the Panjshir Valley, where Massoud was born. The place name of "Panjshir" Valley in Persian means (Valley of the) Five Lions. Thus, the phrase "Lion of Panjshir", which in Persian is "Shir-e-Panjshir," is a rhyming play on words.

See also

Further reading

  • Stephen Tanner: Afghanistan: A Military History from Alexander the Great to the Fall of the Taliban
  • Christophe de Ponfilly: Massoud l'Afghan (in French)
  • Coll, Steve (2004). Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 Penguin Press, 695. ISBN 1-59420-007-6.
  • Peter Bergen: Holy War, Inc.
  • Ahmed Rashid: TALIBAN - The Story of the Afghan Warlords. ISBN 0-330-49221-7.
  • A. R. Rowan: On The Trail Of A Lion: Ahmed Shah Massoud, Oil Politics and Terror
  • Ken Follett: Lie Down With Lions
  • Roger Plunk: The Wandering Peacemaker
  • References to Masood appear in the book A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.
  • MaryAnn T. Beverly: From That Flame (2007, Kallisti Publishing)
  • Gary C. Schroen, 2005, ""First In" An Insiders Account of How The CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan", New York: Presido Press/Ballantine Books, ISBN 978-0-89141-872-6.

External links

Massoud, l'Afghan (documentary film)
The Lion Of Panjshir (Symphony No. 2) for narrator and symphonic band by composer David Gaines
From That Flame (historical fiction)

Notes and references

  1. ^ Latham, Judith (March 12, 2008). "Author Roy Gutman Talks About What Went Wrong in the Decade Before 9/11 Attacks", Voice of America News.
  2. ^ Afghanistan Events, Lonely Planet Travel Guide.
  3. ^ Shehzad, Mohammad (May 22, 2002). "Warrior and Peace", The News on Sunday (Karachi).
  4. ^ Accueil
  5. ^ a b Biography: Lion of Panjshir Ahmad Shah Massoud.
  6. ^ Roy, Olivier (1990). Islam and resistance in Afghanistan. Cambridge University Press, p.76. ISBN 0-521-39700-6
  7. ^ Roy p. 102.
  8. ^ "Biography: Ahmad Shah Massoud", http://www.afgha.com/, August 31, 2006.
  9. ^ Isby, David (1989). War in a distant country, Afghanistan: invasion and resistance. Arms and Armour Press. p. 107. ISBN 0 85368 769 2. 
  10. ^ "The Reagan Doctrine, 1985", United States State Department.
  11. ^ a b van Voorst, Bruce; Iyer, Pico; Aftab, Mohammad (May 7, 1984). "Afghanistan: The bear descends on the lion". Time (New York). http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,954295,00.html. 
  12. ^ Roy, p.199.
  13. ^ Roy, p.201.
  14. ^ Roy, p.213.
  15. ^ Isby, p.98.
  16. ^ Roy, p.202.
  17. ^ Barry, Michael (2002). Massoud, de l'islamisme à la liberté, p. 216. Paris: Audibert. (French) ISBN 2-84749-002-7
  18. ^ Bowersox, Gary; Snee, Lawrence; Foord, Eugene; Seal, Robert (1991). "Emeralds of the Panjshir valley, Afghanistan". www.gems-afghan.com. http://www.gems-afghan.com/articles/page26a.jpg. Retrieved August 17, 2007. 
  19. ^ "Le pouvoir des seigneurs de guerre et la situation sécuritaire en Afghanistan" (in French). Commission des Recours des Réfugiés. http://www.commission-refugies.fr/IMG/pdf/Afghanistan-les_seigneurs_de_guerre.pdf. Retrieved August 16, 2007. 
  20. ^ Davies, L. Will; Shariat, Abdullah (2004). Fighting Masoud's war, Melbourne: Lothian, p. 200. ISBN 0-7344-0590-1
  21. ^ Barry, p.194.
  22. ^ Phillips, James A. (May 18, 1992). "Winning the Endgame in Afghanistan", Heritage Foundation Backgrounder #181.
  23. ^ Johns, Michael (January 19, 2008). "Charlie Wilson's War Was Really America's War" (blog).
  24. ^ a b c d e The Fall of Kabul, April 1992, Library of Congress country studies. Retrieved April 2, 2007.
  25. ^ Coll, Ghost Wars (New York: Penguin, 2005), 14.
  26. ^ Risen, James. "State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration", 2006
  27. ^ Peter Pigott: Canada in Afghanistan
  28. ^ Duncan Mcleod: India and Pakistan
  29. ^ "April 6, 2001: Rebel Leader Warns Europe and US About Large-Scale Imminent Al-Qaeda Attacks". History Commons. http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/context.jsp?item=a040601massoudspeech#a040601massoudspeech. Retrieved May 17, 2007. 
  30. ^ Pinto, Maria do Ceu. "Islamist and Middle Eastern Terrorism: A Threat to Europe?". p. 72.
  31. ^ Vidino, Lorenzo. "Al-Qaeda in Europe", 2006. Prometheus Books
  32. ^ a b Anderson, Jon Lee (June 10, 2002). "The assassins", The New Yorker, Vol.78, Iss. 15; p. 72.
  33. ^ "TV camera rigged to kill Afghan rebel Masood stolen in France: police", Agence France-Presse, October 16, 2003.
  34. ^ Ahmad Shah Massoud's warning to the United States, The Path to 9/11 (video clip).
  35. ^ Assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud, The Path to 9/11.
Preceded by
Mohammad Aslam Watanjar
Minister of Defense
June 1992 – September 2001
Succeeded by
Mohammed Fahim


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Ahmad Shah Massoud (c. September 2, 1953 – September 9, 2001) was a prominent political figure in Afghanistan's recent history and played a leading role in driving the Soviet army out of Afghanistan. In September 2001 he was assassinated by al-Qaeda agents. The following year he was named "National Hero" by the order of Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai.


  • We will not be a pawn in someone else's game.
  • I am ready to serve the people of Afghanistan, especially for [the cause of] peace. I am ready for any mission at the service of my people.
  • The future government should be formed through elections by the people. Men and women should take part. The only form of government, which can balance the different ethnicities, is democracy.
  • Our policy was always to have good and friendly relations with everyone. But we never have accepted being oppressed and we will never accept it.
  • We consider this as part of our duty to defend humanity against the scourge of intolerance, violence and fanaticism.
  • If the West does not help us eliminate al-Qaeda, if they do not help us rid our land of those terrorists who have invaded it, there will be a tragedy, a horror visited on you that is beyond comprehension or endurance. Help us, and in doing that, help yourselves.
  • The behavior of Taliban and their extremist conduct do not correspond in any manner to a tolerant Islam. We are and will always be opposed to the tendencies of [an] extremist [interpretation of] Islam. We have not ceased to insist that an Islam of tolerance is advantageous to all Muslims, for the Afghans and the whole world -- and we will always defend it.
  • It is our deep conviction and we have always insisted on the fact that democratic elections are the only solution for Afghanistan. Every individual must have a voice. On the day we are in Kabul, we will organize elections under the aegis of the international organizations.


  • If President Bush doesn't help us, these terrorists will damage the U.S. and Europe very soon.

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