British aid worker killed by Americans, not by Afghan “suicide bomber”
According to the original story, British aid worker Linda Norgrove was killed by one of her Afghan captors, who detonated an explosive vest seconds before US forces got to her in a bungled rescue attempt. For example, the BBC reported on October 10:
US troops in Afghanistan were seconds from rescuing a UK hostage when she was killed by a vest bomb held or worn by a kidnapper, the BBC understands.
They reached the building where Linda Norgrove, 36, was held and were “very, very close” to her, the BBC was told.
It is understood tribal elders negotiating her release asked Nato not to intervene so they had more time.
David Cameron has said it was right for the special forces to try to rescue the aid worker, from Lewis, Western Isles.
The prime minister said: “Decisions on operations to free hostages are always difficult, but where a British life is in such danger, and where we and our allies can act, I believe it is right to try.”
BBC correspondent Nicholas Witchell said officials had confirmed Ms Norgrove was killed by an explosion, almost certainly a suicide vest, detonated by one of her captors.
So David Cameron thinks “it was right”, rather like Tony Blair thinks “it was right” to invade Afghanistan and Iraq in the first place, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dead Muslims, thousands of troops dead and tens of thousands injured, and a cost to the U.S. alone of well over a trillion dollars when all is taken into account. What would be “right”, would be to get the $&!% out of there, and quit screwing around with other people’s countries.
It subsequently emerged that the “explosive vest” story was a lie, eagerly propagated by a compliant media.
The death of British aid worker Linda Norgrove was caught on helmet-mounted cameras worn by the officers who mistakenly killed her with a grenade, it has emerged.
It comes as Miss Norgrove’s parents last night demanded to know how the elite U.S. troops sent in to rescue her apparently ended up killing their daughter in the botched Afghanistan rescue bid.
The U.S. yesterday issued an extraordinary apology to Britain over the doomed mission to free the aid worker from the clutches of the Taliban.
American officials initially claimed Miss Norgrove had been killed when one of her captors detonated a suicide vest. But a review of footage taken by helmet cameras raised suspicions that in fact, it was a U.S. grenade which killed Miss Norgrove.
An ashen-faced David Cameron yesterday revealed the tragedy a few hours after General David Petraeus, the American commander of the Nato-led force in Afghanistan, telephoned Downing Street to express ‘deep regret’ about the operation.
But last night urgent questions were already being raised about the true independence of an inquiry into 36-year-old Miss Norgrove’s killing.
It had been billed as a joint U.S.-UK investigation, but will be run by U.S. Central Command ‘in close co-operation with UK authorities’.
Which is rather like having Henry Kissinger or Philip Zelikow in charge of the 9/11 Commission.
Military sources raised particular concern about the training the team had for hostage situations.
There were also questions over why they used lethal fragmentation grenades in a rescue bid – and why they used helicopters which would be heard and alert the gunmen.
‘The last thing we wanted was for her to be passed into the hands of Al Qaeda.
Despite the fierce Taliban resistance, the Seals managed to fight their way towards the Miss Norgrove’s building. And then, with six Taliban gunmen already dead, one of the Seals threw a grenade through the door.
When the Seals entered the room, they found Linda Norgrove. She was still alive, but had terrible injuries caused by the grenade blast.
To cries of ‘medic! medic!’, doctors rushed to the scene. But it was too late. She succumbed to her injuries as she was being airlifted to hospital – the third British civilian to die in Afghanistan in the last three months.
Yet, inexplicably, the U.S. and Nato both claimed that she had died at the hands of a suicide bomber, who had apparently detonated his vest as he stood beside her when the Seals were closing in.
The official statement released on Saturday by Nato, was unequivocal about the cause of death: the blast that killed Miss Norgrove occurred ‘seconds before rescuers arrived. [U.S. special forces] had entered the compound … [but] an insurgent detonated an explosive device that was attached to his person. He was in close enough proximity to Miss Norgrove. She was wounded.’
That statement, we now know, was inaccurate. For three days, the special forces failed to reveal the fact that one of them had apparently thrown a grenade that exploded close to where she was being held, bursting into razor-sharp steel shrapnel.
It was only yesterday morning when their commanding officer reviewed audio and video footage from their helmet cameras that he ‘saw an arm throw a hand grenade’ and confronted his troops.
The report that Miss Norgrove had been ‘killed by an insurgent’ who had detonated his suicide vest as the Seals closed in, was officially announced within hours of the operation taken place. The same information was relayed to Miss Norgrove’s parents – John, 60, a retired civil engineer, and her 62-year-old mother, Lorna.
But in the early hours of yesterday morning, David Petraeus, the U.S. chief of coalition forces in Afghanistan, made a personal call to Downing Street, leaving a message for Mr Cameron to phone him immediately. He had grim news. In military jargon, it was clearly a friendly fire killing.
While shocked, Mr Cameron does not believe the Americans lied. ‘It was wrong information in the fog of war,’ said a source. ‘General Petraeus cleared up the facts as soon as they became clear. It is a tragedy, but tragedies can happen.’