2,348. 9/9/2001

On September 9, 2001, head of the Northern Alliance “Ahmed Shah Massoud agreed to see two Arab television journalists who had been waiting in his camp for nine days for an interview. Massoud was without doubt the greatest of the Afghan commanders. …He was the best hope Afghanistan had of a moderate Islamist alternative to the Taliban. [Al Qaeda second-in-command Aywan al-] Zawahiri’s forged letter had gotten two phony journalists into Massoud’s office. The cameraman’s battery pack was filled with explosives. The bomb tore the assassins apart, killed a translator, and drove two pieces of metal into Massoud’s heart. When [FBI Agent] Ali Soufan heard the news in Yemen, he told another agent, ‘Bin Laden is appeasing the Taliban. Now the big one is coming.’ ”

 – Lawrence Wright, The Looming Tower, Pages 400-401

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