Ahmad Shah (nom de guerre Mohammad Ismail; c. 1970 – c. April 2008) was a local (to the Kunar Province of Afghanistan) who commanded a group of fighters operating in eastern Afghanistan and was linked to Gulbadin Hekmatyar.
Ahmad Shah was from the Kuz Kunar District of Nangarhar Province. His full name was "Ahmad Shah Dara-I-Nur" meaning "Ahmad Shah of the Valley of the Enlightened Ones". While he was not part of the Taliban, he sought allegiance with them. He was most closely associated with Gulbadin Hekmatyar. He led a small armed group of Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) fighters who ambushed a team of four U.S. Navy SEALs and then shot down an MH-47 helicopter dispatched as part of a quick reaction force for the SEALs, killing a total of 19 U.S. special operations personnel during Operation Red Wings in late June 2005. In the fire fight with the four SEALs his group had an estimated 35 casualties as a result of a last stand by the four SEALs. The Marine Battalion that conceived and planned Operation Red Wings, the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment developed the operation to disrupt Anti-Coalition Militia (ACM) activity in the Pech District of the Kunar Province with a focus on Shah. Through human intelligence and signals intelligence they determined Ahmad Shah had a force of 10 to 20 fighters. Shah and the fighters under his command exacted heavy casualties to the Navy SEALs and Marines.
Subsequent to the SEAL ambush and MH-47 shootdown, Shah and his men escaped to Pakistan, where they produced a video from footage they shot of the ambush that included weapons and implements captured from the SEALs. In late July 2005, Shah and his men returned to the Kunar Province, and began attacking United States, Coalition, and Government of Afghanistan entities.
Ahmad Shah's cell was destroyed during Operation Whalers, which was planned and executed by the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment. Operation Whalers, like Operation Red Wings, was planned to disrupt Anti-Coalition Militia activity in the region to further support ongoing stabilization efforts to ensure a safe voting environment for the 18 September 2005 Afghan National Parliamentary Elections. After Operation Whalers, Shah was unable to stage attacks in Afghanistan again.
Shah reportedly fought against the Taliban and al Qaeda in 2001. He eventually switched sides and later became a facilitator for foreign fighters traversing and operating in the challenging terrain of the northeast.
Shah was killed during a shootout with Pakistan Armed Forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in April 2008, after failing to stop at a security checkpoint whilst transporting a kidnapped trader. An official from Kunar Province stated that Shah had been the "most wanted terrorist in Kunar province."