Afghan Official: SEAL Helicopter Shoot Down Was A Taliban Trap

The London Telegraph is reporting claims by an unnamed Afghan official that, if true, just make the loss of 30 Americans even worse it sounded on Saturday:

A helicopter which crashed killing 30 US troops in Afghanistan was shot down after the Taliban laid a trap to lure US forces into the area, an Afghan government official said on Monday.

“Now it’s confirmed that the helicopter was shot down and it was a trap that was set by a Taliban commander,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official said the commander lured US forces to the scene by telling them there was a Taliban meeting taking place there.

The official said that President Hamid Karzai’s US-backed government “thinks this was a retaliation attack for the killing of Osama bin Laden.”

The Taliban did not make such an assertion when they claimed responsibility for the attack.

Citing intelligence “gathered from the area,” the official blamed Qari Tahir, a Taliban commander, for masterminding the attack. He alleged that four Pakistani nationals helped Tahir carry out the strike.

He said the intelligence also showed that the Chinook helicopter was brought down by multiple shots including “modern weapons” without giving further details.

According to the article, the attack took place in a valley from which there is only one route for a helicopter to approach from, so the Taliban knew where the Chinnok would be coming from. There’s been no confirmation of this from the Pentagon, and I’d surely want to hear from them before fully believing something that some anonymous Pentagon official said. Nonetheless, if this is true it suggests an atypical level of sophistication from the Taliban, and perhaps infiltration of the Afghan military.

H/T Rick Rice

FILED UNDER: Asia, Military Affairs, National Security, Quick Takes, US Politics, World Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    “Nonetheless, if this is true it suggests an atypical level of sophistication from the Taliban, and perhaps infiltration of the Afghan military.”

    And excellent back-channel communications between the Taliban and said unnamed Afghani.

  2. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Doug:

    and I’d surely want to hear from them before fully believing something that some anonymous Pentagon official said.

    seems to be contradicted by,

    A helicopter which crashed killing 30 US troops in Afghanistan was shot down after the Taliban laid a trap to lure US forces into the area, an Afghan government official said on Monday.

    or is something missing? As to this:

    The official said the commander lured US forces to the scene by telling them there was a Taliban meeting taking place there.

    Early reports had the Seals on a rescue mission. Has that now changed?

  3. Jay Tea says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Not in the least.

    Here’s how it works: the Taliban lets slip there will be a meeting in the valley with some very high-value targets. The Rangers go in to raid, and get caught in an ambush on the ground. The SEALS come in via Chinook to back up the Rangers, and the Taliban has its anti-aircraft forces ready along the sole approach.

    And they get revenge on SEAL Team Six, which got Bin Laden.

    The plan is simple, but it requires a level of sophistication and coordination and discipline to pull off. Pakistan or Iran could provide either.

    J.

  4. matt says:

    The plan is simple, but it requires a level of sophistication and coordination and discipline to pull off. Pakistan or Iran could provide either.

    Or the decade or so of training provided by the USA back in the 80s…

    If there’s only one approach it’s actually not that hard to take down a chinook. They are very large slow moving targets with a lot of vulnerable parts that aren’t well protected..

  5. matt says:

    I shouldn’t of even put the 80s in there because lord knows those involved could be former or current afghan military members trained by us..

    Seriously though a Persian Shia would have NO interest in helping the Taliban who are sunni and believe that the Shia are NOT Muslims…

  6. Mike in San Antonio says:

    Next time, just send the cruise missles! Preferably to Hamid’s nest!

  7. Jay Tea says:

    @matt: Yup, matt, because training provided to a select group 30 years ago in a nation that’s been at war ever since is FAR more likely to be effective today than actual aid and assistance and support being offered today.

    J.

  8. matt says:

    @Jay Tea: L2read jay seriously… We’re still in Afghanistan and we’re still training people who defect and join the Taliban or were Taliban the whole time…

    Also I’d like to point out that even till this very day west point and modern military strategists study battles from +1000 years ago

    FYI The CH-47D has been in service since 1982 and the RPGs they are using are basically the same concept as RPGs from 30 years ago (at least from the user’s perspective where as shaped charges and such have changed).