Taliban video doesn't show attack on Afghan base
Image from video posted online by a group associated with the Afghanistan Tailban purporting to show last week's attack on Camp Bastion.
September 19th, 2012
05:48 PM ET

Taliban video doesn't show attack on Afghan base

By Barbara Starr

Taliban video purporting to show the aftermath of a brazen attack on American and British troops in Afghanistan isn't what it claims to be, according to an intelligence analysis by coalition forces.

Part of the footage features a coalition helicopter that wasn't deployed at Camp Bastion at the time of Friday evening's attack, according to British Army Lt. Col. Martin Morris, deputy spokesman for NATO forces headquartered at the joint base.

Daylight footage of the CH-53 helicopter is actually four to six weeks old, Morris said. That type of aircraft had not been stationed at Bastion for more than a month, he said.

Additionally, smoke rising near the landing helicopter came from a burn pit where base garbage is incinerated, Morris said Wednesday.

Two U.S. Marines were killed and a half-dozen Harrier jets were left in ruins after the raid at the installation in the remote desert region of Helmand.

The Taliban have claimed responsibility.

The Afghan Taliban's media unit released two clips showing what it claims is video of the attack, according to SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors the online activities of militant groups.

Despite evidence of misrepresentation by the Taliban, the video is an important clue that the Taliban had been conducting reconnaissance of Bastion for some time, Morris said.

British military accounts of the attack say coalition troops fought "pockets of resistance over a period of some four hours" rather than the two or three hours originally reported.

When the attackers reached the airfield, they were targeting tower guards with heavy gunfire.

Royal Air Force units quickly deployed to the site, according to a posting on the Ministry of Defence website.

"The RAF Regiment gunners' aim was to reclaim control of the airfield," the post said.

This is perhaps the clearest indication to date that the airfield was not under full control of allied forces.

British Apache helicopters flew over the airfield to help target insurgents, with about 30 UK armed troops on the airfield for a counterattack. One of the British commanders on the airfield was wounded by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Killed in the attack were U.S. Marines Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, 40, and Sgt. Bradley Atwell, 27. Raible was commander of Harrier Marine Attack Squadron 211.

The attack unfolded when 15 insurgents armed with automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and suicide vests set off explosives at the fence line of the base. There is increasing evidence that attackers found a blind spot in the multiple layers of perimeter security.

"It's pretty clear that it was well-planned. It's pretty clear that reconnaissance was done prior to," said Australian Brig. Gen. Roger Noble, deputy chief of staff for operations for NATO's International Security Assistance Force. "And like any good attack, it's selected an approach, looking for a weakness or a vulnerability in a particular position, and it's exploited those things."

Morris said it seems at this point that all phases of the attack were accomplished without any need for inside help. "There is no evidence to substantiate they had inside help," he said.

Morris noted that although there have been reports the attackers were wearing U.S. military uniforms, their actual clothing was mismatched. Many items had outdated camouflage patterns no longer in use.

Camp Leatherneck, the U.S. side of the joint base, was not affected by the attack, said Maj. Adam N. Wojack, an ISAF spokesman.

soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. krm1007 ©™

    The sacrifices of the following muslim fighters in making this world safe are unmatched and muslim country deserves a seat at the table of the permanent members of The UN Security Council. Support Pakistan for the permanent member of the UN Security Council my friends.

    Osama Bin Laden
    Atiyah Abd Al-Rahman
    Abu Ayyub Al-Masri
    Mustafa Al-Yazid
    Abu Qaswarah
    Abu Laith Al-Libi
    Muharib Abdul Latif Al-Jubouri
    Muhsin Musa Matwalli Atwah
    Baitullah Mehsud
    Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi
    Amjad Farooqi
    Ali Qaed Senyan Al-Harthi
    Ramzi Bin Al-Shibh
    Abu Zubaydah
    Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri
    Muhammad Atef
    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed
    Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso
    Anwar al-Awlaki
    Mamdouh Mahmud Salim
    Ayman al-Zawahiri
    Thirwat Salah Shirhata
    Rifa'i Taha Musa
    Mustafa Hamza
    Mohammed Atef aka Abu Hafs al-Masri
    Saif al-Adel
    Abd al-Aziz al-Jamal
    Abu Zubaydah
    Abu Jafar al-Jaziri
    Abu Musab al-Zarqawi aka Abu Ahmad
    Abu Zubair al-Haili
    Tawfiq Attash Khallad
    Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri
    Abu Hazim aka Khalid Al Bin Ali Al-Hajj
    Abu Mohammed al-Masri aka Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah
    Tariq Anwar al-Sayyid Ahmad
    Mohammed Salah
    Yasser al-Jaziri
    Mahfouz Ould al-Walid aka Abu Hafs the Mauritanian
    Abdul Rahim al-Sharqawi aka "Riyadh the Facilitator"
    Zaid Khayr
    Safwan al-Hasham
    Ahmed Said al-Khadr
    Amin al-Haq
    Abdallah Tabarak
    Saif al-Din al-Ansari
    Abu Ubeid al-Qurashi
    Abu Bashir al-Yemeni
    Saad bin Laden
    Mahammed bin Laden
    Hamza bin Laden
    Saif bin Laden
    Yeslam Bin Ladin
    Saif Alwahid
    Khalid al-Zawahiri
    Thamr Mohammad Sharifi
    Najwa Ghanem
    Abdallah Al-Halabi
    Abdul Rahim Riyadh
    Abu Salah al-Yemeni
    Hamza al-Qatari
    Sheik Mohammed Al Hasan Al-Moayad
    Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed
    Mamoun Darkazanli
    Abu Yasir al-Jaziri
    Abdallah Muhammed Rajab Abd al-Rahman
    Munib Zahiragic
    Enaam Arnaout
    Haroun Abed
    Osailly Darwish
    Allie Darwish
    Ibrahim Bah
    Samih Ossaily
    Aziz Nassour
    Ibrahim Bah
    Youssef Mustafa Nada
    Ali Ghaleb Himmat
    Ahmed Idriss Nasreddin
    Yousuf Abdullah Al-Qaradawi
    Mariam Al-Sheikh A. Bin Aziz Al-Mubarak
    Huta Bin Laden
    Iman Bin Laden
    Ahmed Huber
    Hassan el-Banna

    September 20, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
    • civil disobedience and change does not mean violence and death

      The UN Charter stands for peaceful cooperation, resolution of disputes through understanding and diplomacy and a renunciation of violent means to achieve political objectives. Anyone who pursues political gain through violence is doing the world, their followers and their religion a great, great injustice.

      September 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  2. SayWhaaa

    I remember when insurgents infiltrated PNS Mehran naval base in karachi Pakistan and the entire MSM was calling out the lax security going as far as to doubt nuclear weapons security. Well karma is a @#$%& isn't it. Them getting on the base is astounding let alone destroying six harriers. In 4 hours they did $200mil plus damage.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  3. Andy Wilson

    why was noone patrolling the perimeter?

    September 19, 2012 at 11:23 pm | Reply

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