While working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to investigate criminal activity in the Kandahar region of Afghanistan, Afghan National Police officer Ahmad Zubair learned that a covert military operation known as Operation Cerberus was smuggling heroin out of the country into the United States.
Zubair approached his partner, then-Homeland Security liaison Dinah Madani, and was assured protection in exchange for his testimony. Before he could testify, however, the Cerberus Squad captured Zubair and transported him to an unknown location.
After waiting for Zubair to regain consciousness, Cerberus Squad founder William Rawlins proceeded to beat the Afghani officer as his subordinates watched. Zubair told Rawlins he was the only one who knew about the squad's existence, to which Rawlins responded by ordering Frank Castle to shoot him.
Castle did as he was told and, after removing the bullet from Zubair's corpse, helped his fellow squad-mates bury the police officer outside Kandahar.
- "Easiest thing for me now would be to forget Ahmad Zubair and what happened in Afghanistan."
"Why do you think Zubair was killed by our people?"
"I was sent a video file of his murder by an anonymous source. He was interrogated and shot in the head by Americans 'cause they knew he was a cop."
- ―Dinah Madani and Sam Stein
Sometime later, after learning that Lieberman was leaking information regarding Operation Cerberus, Homeland Security operative Carson Wolf tracked Lieberman down and, following a high-speed chase, shot him. Unaware that Lieberman survived the attack, Wolf framed him as a traitor.
The blame of the footage's release was placed on Frank Castle by Ray Schoonover and William Rawlins, who decided to have him killed and blame the massacre as a gang shootout. Though Billy Russo was ordered to go to Central Park, he refused to kill his friend, but didn't stop the event from happening.