Nine years ago today, two days before he sent hijacked planes into crowded buildings in New York and Washington, DC, Osama bin Laden engineered the assassination of one Ahmad Shah Massoud in Afghanistan.
You've likely never heard of him, but his death affected how our nation has acted since 2001 in central Asia. Known as "The Lion of Panjshir", Massoud was an educated, secular, Muslim who lead the defeat of the Soviets in his Afghanistan - only to be run out of Kabul by the Taliban and their Saudi backers (including bin Laden) when the US stopped supporting Massoud in the 90's.
Massoud is the Islamic leader we needed in the aftermath of 9/11. I think bin Laden knew that. To say that things would be very different today in Afghanistan and in the world had Massoud had survived, is an understatement.
Someone over at Military Photos has posted a documentary of Massoud's life that's well worth watching.