Afghan Biographies

Massoud, Ahmad Shah Masood


Name Massoud, Ahmad Shah Masood
Ethnic backgr. Tajik
Date of birth 1953
Function/Grade Commander The Lion of Panjshir
History and Biodata

3. Biodata:
massoud_ahmad_shahAhmad Shah Masood was was born in 1953 in the Jangalak district of Panjsher.  He played one of the most important roles in Afghanistan's modern history. To his admirers, he is known as the "Lion of Panjsher", a name given to him for his successes as a military commander during the war against the Soviet occupation. In fact, his fight against the Soviets was so well known that the Wall Street Journal labeled him as the "Afghan who won the cold war".

After the Communists were defeated, Masood's troops were the first Mujahideen group to enter Kabul, and help establish a Mujahideen government. He served as President Burhanuddin Rabbani's Defense Minister, and engaged in numerous battles to prevent Rabbani's rivals such as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar from taking over the government. Eventually, Rabbani's government fell, and the Taliban with secret financial and military help from the Pakistanis, took over the capital.

Masood and his allies pulled their forces north and worked on defending the north and the central regions from being completely taken over by the Taliban. Masood was chosen as the military leader of UNIFSA when on September 9, 2001, two days before the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, Masood was killed. He was the victim of an Al Qaeda suicide attack. The attackers posed as television journalists, setting off a bomb packed inside their video camera.  In 2001, after the removal of the Taliban by the UNIFSA and US forces, the the Afghan Interim Government under president Hamid Karzai awarded Masood the title of "Hero of the Afghan Nation".

He left his wife Parigul Massoud, six children - one son Ahmad and fife daughters.

Last Modified 2011-04-29
Established 2011-04-25