Ahmad Shah Massoud

The two Arab TV journalists who had been hanging around for weeks to secure an interview with the storied Afghan military commander Ahmad Shah Massoud finally got their chance to speak with him on Sept. 9, 2001. They set up their gear and asked a question about Osama bin Laden. Then one of them detonated a bomb hidden in a camera, killing himself and mortally wounding Massoud. The journalists were, in fact, al-Qaeda assassins, and it was bin Laden who had ordered the hit just before the 9/11 attacks on the U.S.

Historians will record Massoud's assassination as...