January 17th, 2012
05:32 PM ET

Airmen killer spoke of hatred of US

By Adam Levine

The Afghan air force officer who killed eight U.S. airmen and a civilian contractor in an April 2011 shooting at the Kabul headquarters of the Afghanistan Air Force acted alone, a U.S. Air Force investigation has concluded.  But the exhaustive report describes a shooter who was radicalized and vocally anti-American at times but at other times interacted with American mentors and trainers in his capacity as a pilot.

A copy of the investigation report was posted on the Air Force website on Tuesday.

"While the investigation did not determine a conclusive motive for the killing, the attack appeared to be premeditated." The investigation suggested he had "personal issues that were possibly compounded by alleged financial problems."

The April 2011 incident was one of the worst attacks on U.S. military in the 10-year war. The shooter, Ahmed Gul, walked into a conference room in the Afghanistan military wing of the Kabul International Airport and fired on the military trainers in the room before exiting and continuing to fire.

Gul is described by witnesses as standing quietly upon entering the room, as if listening to the ongoing conversation. Suddenly, his "facial expression turned to anger" according to one account. Another said "facial expression got very mad." All witness names were censored in the report.

Then, Gul removed a pistol from his uniform and opened fire.  He shot each of the Americans in the room multiple times "including one shot to each of the deceaseds' heads," the report said.  All but one died on the scene.

As Gul moved through the building, he "wrote in blood on opposite walls of the hallway, 'God is one' and 'God in your name' in Dari" before going to the lobby area, sitting down on the couch and shooting himself in the "torso and chest." Gul died of wounds suffered in the incident.

Gul is described as transforming from a party boy to radical Muslim between the '80s and last year.  One person told investigators that Gul "drank alcohol, partied and was not a religous person" in the early '80s. Another said he kept his distance from Gul when they first joined the military in the '80s because of Gul's hashish use.

In the late '80s things changed for Gul, one person said. Gul became more religious and stayed that way through the '90s. In 1995, with the rise of the Taliban, Gul became sympathetic to them and was a very strict Muslim.

"He attended mosque for each prayer time, grew a beard," the investigators found. Gul "practiced an authoritarian approach when seeing other individuals who did not practice Islam to his liking."

In 2001, Gul's behavior began to change and he was described by one person as a "chameleon" because "he would change his attitudes to suit his surroundings."

He "was very authoritarian but would change depending on who he was interacting with," the person said.

Gul expressed interest in moving to a northern European country but when that was not possible he moved to Pakistan, stating "he was upset that foreigners had invaded his country."

While in Pakistan he frequented a mosque in Hayatabad and "developed a very close relationship with an unidentified prominent figure" he met at the mosque. "Attendance at the Mosque radicalized him," the investigators were told.

There were rumors Gul wanted to become a suicide bomber but one person said that was discounted because of his chameleon-like attitude.

One person told investigators Gul "showed signs of depression but was not schizophrenic."

In 2008, Gul moved back to Afghanistan. He told some "he wanted to kill Americans" but investigators were told that was not believed.  But Gul's behavior shifted again. He "appeared to relax his religious attitudes but still argued his religious opinions."  Gul cut his beard, stopped wearing a religious headdress and "acted as though he embraced the ideas" of the administration of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.

But Gul had financial problems. He lived in his vehicle after selling his home to pay off debts.

His behavior in the military was outside the norm. Gul was described as perennially late by multiple people.  Gul's supervising officer said he "did not follow the normal military standards; he was irresponsible, stubborn and insistent.  He would get mad if things were not going his way."

"He had become more religious and had drastic changes in his Islamic views," the supervising officer told investigators, adding that Gul's views "were boiling over and extreme to an extent."

Gul attended a mosque that was "extremely anti-American and pro-Pakistan" and he came and went as he pleased. His supervisor suspected he was connected to a higher-up in Ministry of Defense.

Even so, his supervising officer noted Gul would "look at pornographic materials on the Internet."

Another Afghan military official, who had known Gul since 1983, said Gul "was a very vibrant and happy person in his younger years." But upon returning to his military post in Kabul, "approximately five to six months earlier, subject became very quiet and generally kept to himself."

Even so, for someone who at times had talked of killing Americans, Gul "displayed no disrespect, hostility nor arrogance toward his Coalition Forces mentors," the official said.

Another said Gul was "unusual and reserved," noting he "would say hello to everyone to include the U.S. mentors."  While his fellow military members would joke around, conduct small talk and "high five" the mentors, Gul "was not disrespectful, just quiet toward the mentors," investigators were told.

Gul is described as having "prayed all night and cleaned his gun" before going to the military headquarters and starting his rampage.

Filed under: Afghanistan • Air Force • Military • Taliban
soundoff (53 Responses)
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    January 18, 2012 at 5:46 am | Reply
    • John Wayne Was A Faggot

      Hey, screaming lunatic; the Afghans killed 15,000 of them you know. We've been there for a decade – don't you think it's about time we 'win' something for a change. Oh, that's right, a primitive culture, bereft of technology is managing to hold their own, not only against us, but NATO forces as well. Must be all that fabulous American weaponry, right? Just another chicken-hawk douchebag who should've trickled down the crack of his mama's ass.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:50 am | Reply
  7. mamoud

    Eeven tho I do not Afghan I amm proud that our glorroius forces managed to keel yet more stupid Ammerikans. Yeah!!!!! AS you all know Iran will beat any invasion and we will conquer the dumb Ammereeikans. Pigs.

    January 18, 2012 at 4:15 am | Reply
  8. Conan the Barbarian

    Here's an idea: Why don't we round up all the lawyers and politicians in the USA and drop them in Afghanistan? We could pull out all our troops and show them what real corruption looks like. We have given billions to the Afghan people to rebuild their country and it is still a shithole. Who's to blame for that?

    January 18, 2012 at 3:15 am | Reply
  9. crusader12

    This guy probably woke up one day and thought "what the hell am I doing? These western scumbags have ravaged my country." Then he had the balls to do what every man on this planet should do...he started shooting the oppressors (American soldiers). Good on him, nothing short of a heroic effort. (Takes a lot more guts than turkey shooting civilians from helicopters and planes)

    January 18, 2012 at 1:43 am | Reply
    • ROD

      you could not possibly be an American, the so called "oppressor" that has "ravaged" Afghanistan is the same people that helped them get rid of the Taliban the real oppressors. Now we are helping them develop their goverment so that they can fight off the Taliban once we leave. What are we oppressing again? we have handed millions to their Afghan people, build infrastructures for them, and have helped train the security forces so that they can help defend their once great nation. Please do some homework sir before you get made a fool with your narrow minded self.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:36 am | Reply
      • yahmez the mad

        Any armed force telling you how you must behave is an oppressor. The American forces are oppressors just as the Taliban are. Until Afghanistan is rid of both, they are not free of oppression.

        January 18, 2012 at 2:53 am |
      • ROD

        yahmez the mad please explain your point when commenting instead of just saying things that you do not know. How did american force tell the Afghan civilians to behave? i am completly ablivious to what you speak of. During my tour in Afghanistan we where not there to tell anyone how to act, dress, feel or what religon to practice. We engaged the population to see what they needed, how their govement was adresssing their needs and also asked about enemy activity and possible insurgents that might wreck havoc on their community, we were very well recieved by the Afghan population as well. Please do your homework and when you post give some facts so that we might understand where you are coming from, we are in no way oppressing any of the Afghan civilian population but the insurgents is another story, they know better than to try to pull anything other than the coward IED or suicide bomber on the worlds most powerful military force. This is in no way a war against Islam and most definitly isnt a war against Afghanistan, we target the bad guys plain and simple. Somehow im starting to feel like this blog is filled with anti american sympathisers but i guess you all have a freedom of speech.

        January 18, 2012 at 5:29 am |
    • paul

      "good on him" ? whats that mean? well good on you to! numbskull

      January 18, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
      • John Wayne Was A Faggot

        It's 'too', you illiterate cunt.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Chris

      Sorry if you don't like what he has to say Rod, but hes right. You wouldn't accept another country in yours. Im an American and can tell you right now that if another country is marching down my street...I will do what I can to protect my country. He's attempting to explain the attitude and mentality behind this. AND HES RIGHT. Sucks that soldiers die, but if anyone is to blame is the government for keeping them over there.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
      • Iranacockuptheirass

        Chris you disgust me. May a 1000 camels jack off on your face while you get slammedfucked by the biggest homo In Iran

        January 18, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  10. Wow

    Disgusting bastard. How can you people sympathize with someone who kills the very people who are giving their lives to
    help them build a better future for their families? Do you have any idea what our troops go through to help these people?

    Holy crap you people must never pay attention to all the great acts of kindness that our troops do on behalf of all of us for the good people in those countries, but if you honestly just look at the country itself and the way it is, you can begin to imagine how hard it is to truly make a difference.

    You people really only pay attention to the stupid stuff a very very low percentage of our troops do and then judge them all the same. They're mostly great, kindhearted amazing Americans who do their best to make a difference for those people who deserve a chance at a better future.

    We're the only nation in the world kind hearted and generous enough to help a lot of these small semi-lawless countries. And you and I all know that the people we're fighting are very very bad. Do not tell me that the Taliban give a crap about the Afghan citizen's human rights.

    Sure this is costing us a lot, but why should we give up on the weak?

    January 18, 2012 at 1:40 am | Reply
    • RagMcmuffin

      Now this person "WOW" knows whats happening. Absolutely 100%. Get a clue people.

      January 18, 2012 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • John Wayne Was A Faggot

      Yes, our brave, wonderful apple-cheeked lads who rape, torture and murder helpless citizens, all in the name of "liberation". North Korea's people are treated like garbage by their own, yet I don't see us heading over there to "save" them anytime soon. Oh, that's right – no oil pipeline, no lucrative mineral deposits, not to mention a military which would bleed us dry to the point where we'd have to reinstate the draft. Then we'd really hear some screaming from all you dickless chickenhawk cocksuckers when your turn would come. Suck on that, homos.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
      • Iranacockuptheirass

        This John Wayne Faggot, may 10000 camels rob you of your first homophobic experience so that you may rid the cock of every camel in Iran

        January 18, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  11. KaraOK

    9:5 Slay the unbelievers wherever you find them.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:23 am | Reply
    • ROD

      you my dear sir is the type of people the FBI and CIA need to be looking into, sound just like the skumbag extremist who have nothing but hatred in their hearts. why can you just practice your religion and not bother anyone else with it, the world would be a better place.

      January 18, 2012 at 2:25 am | Reply
      • John Wayne Was A Faggot

        Ram your blood soaked Christianity up your puppet ass.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  12. bob

    it is good we killed many taliban – they are morons like this one

    January 18, 2012 at 1:18 am | Reply
    • yahmez the mad

      @bob You underestimate your opponent. They fought the Russians for many years before America invaded. The Taliban is quite skillful at asymmetrical warfare. Their name translates to "Teachers". They will be there after America bails out on this war, as the Russians did. The Afghan people are the ones that will have to defeat them.

      January 18, 2012 at 3:00 am | Reply
      • Sandman

        That is true. But they need to stand up and fight. The last time these 'teachers' outlawed everything they did not believe in and would kill for any reason. Now if the Afghan people want them, they can vote them into power. Then we would leave them to enjoy what they asked for.

        January 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
  13. ROD

    This man had no justifyable reason to attack our military, He himself was getting trianed by them and and was supposed to be a productive member not only in the Afghan comunity but also helping the Afghan gain the strength to be able to fight off insurgents that will definitly try to come back and take over the country once our troop draw down. I believe most of the people have forgot that we are in Afghanistan to help them get rid of the terrorist organizations that once occupied the country and help keep america save from plots such as 9/11 which were planned in Afghanistan soil. We are in Afghanistan helping the Goverment be able to take care of its own people and spending millions of dollars in the process, they should not be afraid of our presence unless they are the few bad extremist trying to keep Afghanistan from becoming free of tyranny and injustice. he by no means had a reason to attack those helping his beloved country get once back on its feet. and for those who want to bring up the pissing videos remeber that America is not judge by a person or even a group of people and neither is its military.

    January 18, 2012 at 1:04 am | Reply
  14. josh46

    are you guys blind it says the guy killed himself after the rampage!! too bad i wouldve loved to see him waterboarded 256 times

    January 18, 2012 at 12:09 am | Reply
    • Lincoln The Drunk

      Normal people get off watching porn.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:11 am | Reply
  15. Joe

    The Army is partially to blame for this! Their stupid arming stance rules required that everyone kept their guns without rounds chambered and the safety on. Air Force normally carries pistols rounds chambered, safety off. If they had their pistols in the Air Force configuration, one of them would have stopped this guy!

    January 17, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Reply
    • Hmmmm

      um, no. The Air Force, does not have a hot chamber and safety off. The regulations state that in Arming Condition 1 that all personnel must have a loaded weapon, round in the chamber, and safety ON. To blame the Army for not getting this guy sooner is a moot point. And again, the arming condition is set based upon known threats, and what the base commander dictates. When I was there, it was weapon on you and magazines on your person, not loaded, and no round in the chamber unless I were to patrol the base.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:05 am | Reply
      • someguy

        Air Force Security Forces carry their 9mm hot. Round in the chamber and on fire. They are the only one's authorized in garrison type situations to carry like that.

        January 18, 2012 at 12:25 am |
  16. mipolitic

    gitmo hospitalityshould await this scum. may his future life be smashing change compared to his past life.

    January 17, 2012 at 11:46 pm | Reply
    • Lee

      Why because he attacked invaders in his country? I suspect we'd do the same if some other country invaded us. I don't like what he did but I certainly understand it. We have been there 10 years now, it's time we left or at least acknowledge that we're an occupying force in an independant country, much like empires of old.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Reply
      • Bill

        He was attacking "invaders" who were invaded by radical Islam on 9/11/2001. Quit calling us occupiers, We are just hunting the snake in his own burrow. You put all of your claims of killing innocent women and children indiscriminantly, it is not indiscriminant, they are sheep amongst the wolves, who usually support the wolves. It is sad collateral damage. 9/11 probably statisitcally killed a few horrible human beings, but on the whole it was the wholesale slaughter of innocent people. "None of the 19 were Afganii" some of you will say, got it, it isn't national borders that matter for US justification, it is the footprint of radical Islam.

        January 18, 2012 at 1:58 am |
      • Rob

        We really need to invade and "occupy" one of these pootbutt countries to show some of these idiots the difference between being occupied by a foreign force and being assisted by a foreign force. Some people are way too stupid. Do you not believe that the US could just take from you whatever you seem to believe that we are after? We really need to return to the way wars were fought in the past and stop trying to help these losers. I kinda hate it for the poor women and children who will haev to live under those like the Taliban, but none of you deserve one American soldier to die trying to help you!

        January 18, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • Lincoln The Drunk

      You know he's dead, don't you? Oh, that's right, morons can't comprehend.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
  17. D. Darko

    If the script were flippped – if Afghanistan was occupying and waging war in America, how would you feel about those occupiers? Not justifying what he did, but WTF are we doing there, really?

    January 17, 2012 at 11:28 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      Paying a huge portion of our tax base to the private sector to wage an unnecessary and unwanted war that is all thanks to Republican voters.

      January 17, 2012 at 11:39 pm | Reply
    • Sodoff Wanker

      No country wherein Sharia holds sway will EVER be as powerful or as prosperous as the United States, your straw man arguement defies logic.

      January 18, 2012 at 6:46 am | Reply


    January 17, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Reply
    • Illeagle-j1

      When did you realize your were a nada?

      January 17, 2012 at 11:15 pm | Reply


    January 17, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • Lincoln The Drunk

      Whatever you're tripping on, I want some. BTW, you can make your "point" without screaming, you know.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:08 am | Reply
  20. Rob from Hawaii

    This is EXACTLY why Americans shouldn't be over there. When I was there we had lots of Iraqi soldiers turn tail and run. This garbage about "Winning their hearts and minds" is just that....GARBAGE! How can you trust any of them? These airmen died for nothing, and they didn't die for their country. They died because some idiot Islamic maniac wanted to be a martyr. The killer didn’t even have enough guts to suffer the consequences of his actions.

    January 17, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Reply
    • Iranacockuptheirass

      You go Rob you go!

      January 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Reply
    • ORLY

      You have a point there bud. Its not like you can trust any of the ppl whose land you invade. Remember Vietnam? WTF were we there for? And here let me help you with your thought on why an 'idiot Islamic maniac' did what he did. We are in his country pissing on the dead and winning hearts and minds by butchering them. I'ld like to think we would be man enough to do what he did if our land ever got invaded. Im telling u right now, I would be too chicken sh*t.

      January 18, 2012 at 12:03 am | Reply
    • Lincoln The Drunk

      Yeah, how can you trust anyone who's country you occupy by force, who's women and children you indiscriminately kill in the name of "order and democracy"? You are right about "the winning of the hearts and mind" being garbage, though. After all, it didn't work in Vietnam, either – oddly enough (yes, that's sarcasm).

      January 18, 2012 at 12:05 am | Reply
      • Kellz

        Maybe you should look into the war in Afghanistan and actually see what it is. Yes, we while in Iraq part of the goal was to HELP establish a standing government that works. We use democracy becasue it works for the US (The Leader of the Freeworld) We followed these major cells who feld to the Afghanistan mountains to re-group and hide. We didnt go into Afghanistan to establish democracy. Hundreds of thousands of refugees forced into pakistan from their homes in the mountains we part of the reason. If you had terrorist forcing you out of the US into canada by the thousands and you had no place to live, wouldnt you be glad to see a strong force move in help you get back to your home? We cant stop everything or prevent terrorism, but as leaders of the freeworld we are obligated to help those in need. If you dont like it, move somewhere else...

        January 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm |

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