Socialist Worker

SAS murders in Afghanistan are covered up at least twice

Issue No. 2562

A Russian Makarov pistol, favoured by the Taliban - and the SAS

A Russian Makarov pistol, favoured by the Taliban - and the SAS (Pic: Andrey Mironov)


Members of Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS) covered up evidence that they killed unarmed Afghan civilians in cold blood.

They also falsified mission reports in a scandal that the government has tried to keep secret.

The allegations have emerged in a classified Royal Military Police (RMP) investigation, Operation Northmoor.

Afghan civilians were murdered rather than captured during night raids.

In one 2011 case under investigation, special forces soldiers are alleged to have handcuffed and hooded some of the victims before later shooting them dead.

Top secret SAS mission reports had been doctored to make it look as if Afghan special forces, rather than the British soldiers, had carried out the shootings.

This meant the killings were not investigated at the time.

Operation Northmoor is said to have acquired drone and other video footage— nicknamed “kill TV”—that shows British soldiers opening fire.

An examination of bullets taken from some of the victims’ bodies revealed they were of a type used by the SAS.

Photographs, taken by the SAS of shooting scenes show the victims holding a Makarov pistol—a weapon favoured by the Taliban leadership.

It was repeatedly planted to give the false impression that the person they had shot was an armed Taliban commander.

Operation Northmoor, set up in 2014, was investigating dozens of alleged unlawful killings between 2010 and 2013 by special forces and had become one of the largest military police investigations.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has ordered the inquiry to end its investigations by the end of the summer.

Sir Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, slashed the inquiry’s workload from an initial investigation into 52 deaths to one case of unlawful killing.

That one case is an investigation into the shooting of four family members during a night raid on their homes in southern Helmand province in February 2011.

It is the only case of the 52 alleged killings which is currently subject to a civil claim and the details are expected to become public.


Ruth Davidson has accused opponents of whipping up the “hostile and vitriolic tirades” that greeted her appointment as honorary colonel of her former British Army regiment.In the whiny 35 messages posted on Twitter she expressed outrage that the army gig was seen as in any way politically driven. Or just weird.


NHS staff stopped from joining an NHS protest

Hospital staff were ordered not to go outside to join a campaign to save their own A&E—in case they spread superbugs such as MRSA.

Protesters campaigning to save the unit at an Essex hospital also wanted to present medics with a cake to mark the 69th birthday of the NHS.

A hospital worker said, “We were told we couldn’t go out in our uniform. We couldn’t go out and support the cause.”

The hospital claims threats of disciplinary action against staff were because of its infection control policy on wearing uniforms outside.


The fight to stop savage school funding cuts angered the Sun newspaper.

An editorial called for schools to be “stopped from sending out thinly-disguised campaign leaflets for Labour”.

This follows a number of head teachers sending letters to parents alerting them to the impact that Tory cuts would have in their schools.


No such thing as free Tory lunch with May

The Tories banked £160,000 by renting out the prime minister at a posh party fundraiser.

One wealthy Tory supporter, whose identity has not been revealed, paid this sum for the privilege of dining with Theresa May.

An audience with Boris Johnson was flogged for just £15,000.


Theresa May has hired a BBC executive as her chief spin doctor at No 10.

Robbie Gibb is the second Beeb editor in six years to bag the director of communications job. He is the brother of schools minister Nick Gibb.

David Cameron poached Sir Craig Oliver to replace former News of the World editor Andy Coulson after the phone-hacking scandal at the newspaper.

Gibb, the executive editor of the Andrew Marr Show and head of BBC Westminster, paid tribute in a tweet to the “impartiality” of the corporation.


Get that animal off that horse

A police officer allegedly called in sick three times to visit racecourses and see his horses compete.

PC Jonathan Adams is accused of gross misconduct over the visits to Royal Ascot and Nottingham Racecourse.

Gloucestershire police force claims that in 2015 and 2016 Adams took sick leave, but went to Nottingham to watch Little Lady Kate which he part-owned. Also in 2016 he allegedly saw a second horse, Quiet Reflection, race at Ascot. It won the Commonwealth Cup. A full hearing into PC Adams’ case due is later this month.


Cops’ bid to halt boozing teens led to a mini riot. Police launched Operation Exodus in Newquay, Cornwall.

That night a “dry” under-18s event for the campaign ended with hundreds of young people holding a “running battle” outside.

The cops said there were no reports “of any offences being committed”.


Lord Adonis slams himself

The Labour peer who brought in tuition fees for Tony Blair has called for them to be scrapped.

Lord Adonis said the charges were now a “Frankenstein’s monster” saddling graduates with loans they would be paying off into their fifties.

He declared, “Fees have become so politically diseased, they should be abolished entirely.”

Lord Adonis admitted he was responsible for ex-PM Tony Blair’s education reforms in 2004.

But he said rocketing bills were mainly the result of university chiefs’ “opportunism and greed”.

Latest figures show that three in four students paying the highest fee of £9,250 a year will never clear their debt.

The Government has warned that scrapping the fees would be “mindbogglingly expensive”.


The things they say

‘There is a sense that if we screw this up, a Marxist government steps into the breach’

A senior Tory MP quoted in the Financial Times newspaper last week

‘That is way above my pay grade’

Professor Anthony Forster University of Essex’s vice chancellor asked for his views on higher education funding. His salary is almost £240,000

‘Party leaders want her out as leader—though not yet’

Conservative Home website’s Paul Goodman

‘Selfish’

Former prime minister—and millionaire—David Cameron on lifting the public sector pay cap

‘There is no obvious frontrunner’

The Financial Times on the Tories’ alternatives to May

‘The winner would have no direct mandate and might inherit a party in a state of nervous disintegration’

The Financial Times says the Tory crisis is likely to continue


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