They tried to kill him in the morning. They tried to kill him at night. They tried as he bumped over the road in a silver sedan, killing his nephew with a bullet to the brain. They tried with a sniper. They tried with a bomb. They tried with a grenade outside his daughter’s bedroom, the blast hurling shrapnel into her leg. In a rural valley, along a desolate trail, in the doorway of his modest home—in all these places the Taliban tried to kill Mohammad Gulab. But somehow he survived every ambush, every assault.
Gulab’s troubles began in northeastern Afghanistan in June 2005, after he saved a Navy SEAL from a Taliban-linked militia. The SEAL, Marcus Luttrell, went on to write a best-selling memoir, Lone Survivor, which later became a hit film. And his newfound fame proved to be lucrative.