What was meant to be an interview with a Taliban commander became a seven-month kidnapping.
To keep up with the competition in journalism, David Rohde wanted to interview a Taliban commander for a book. His opportunity came Nov. 10, 2008.
But when he, Afghan journalist Tahir Ludin and their driver Asadullah “Asad” Mangal arrived at the Logar province for the meeting, the Taliban commander told them he changed the location farther down the road.
A black car was blocking the road ahead. Then two gunmen with Kalashnikov rifles ran toward their car from both sides. Ludin and Mangal moved to the back seat with Rohde, and the gunmen got in the car and continued driving.
“My head was spinning,” Rohde said during Friday’s morning lecture. “I hoped that this was all some kind of mistake — that they had maybe seen me in the back seat and saw a Westerner.”