20 April 2004 – Abdullah Shah

Abdullah Shah

Such was Abdullah Shah’s belief in his cause that his animosity spilled over into his private life. He was even prepared to kill his wife. And for that he was executed on this day in 2004.

A true Taliban hardliner, Shah was found guilty of killing more than 20 people. He was part of a team headed up by a commander by the name of Zardad.

London lad

Zardad was an Afghan warlord who bizarrely morphed into a Streatham boy after he escaped from Afghanistan to set up shop in London. It was actually a BBC reporter who outed him and he’s currently serving 20 years courtesy of her Majesty.

Shah was Zardad’s henchman and was said to have targeted people indiscriminately on the road joining Jalalabad and Kabul. But he was one sick man, having killed his own wife by scalding her to death with hot water. He tried to kill another of his wives by dousing her with petrol and setting fire to her, but she lived to testify against him. Even his own children weren’t safe – he apparently bashed his baby daughter against the wall until she was pulped.

On the quiet

These crimes mounted against Shah and yet the president who signed his death warrant was loathed to do so, because of the political ramifications of sentencing someone to death. And human rights activists reckoned he was a key witness who could divulge details of the level of abuse. Nevertheless a bullet was planted in the back of his head in Pul-e-Charkhi jail on the quiet so as not to rouse the attention of the rest of the world.

Also on this day

20 April 1934 – George Dale

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