Taliban Claims it Has Beheaded Captured American SEAL

Taliban claims it has killed missing U.S. soldier (Reuters)

Taliban guerrillas said on Saturday they had killed a missing American commando they claimed to have captured in Afghanistan. The U.S. military said it had no information to support the claim. “We killed him at 11 o’clock today; we killed him using a knife and chopped off his head,” Taliban spokesman Abdul Latif Hakimi said, adding that the body had been dumped on a mountain in the eastern province of Kunar.

The U.S. military has said it has no information to suggest the Navy SEAL commando, part of a four-man team that went missing during a clash with militants in mountainous Kunar on June 28, has been captured. Asked about the Taliban claim that the man had been killed, U.S. military spokeswoman Lieutenant Cindy Moore said: “I don’t have any information on that.”

US has no proof on Taleban claim (BBC)

The US military in Afghanistan says they have no information about a claim by the Taleban that they have executed an American special forces soldier. A Taleban spokesman said that the group, which claimed to have held the serviceman, had killed him and dumped his body in eastern Kunar province.

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Abdul Latif Hakimi, a man who says he speaks for the Taleban, told some news organisations that the missing soldier had been beheaded in the Shegal district of Kunar province, where the four-man special forces team went missing.

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The governor of Kunar province, Asadullah Wafa, told the BBC his official are checking the Taleban claim. The Taleban say they have been holding the soldier for more than a week, but they have not provided any video footage they said they had filmed of the man, nor of the moment they say they shot down a US helicopter in the same area.

Reports say hundreds of US soldiers and Afghan forces have been scouring the mountains in the province to locate the missing soldier.

Taliban: We killed missing commando (Aljazeera)

Taliban fighters have said they killed a missing American commando they claimed to have captured in eastern Afghanistan last month. […] “We killed him at 11 o’clock today; we killed him using a knife and chopped off his head,” Taliban spokesman Abdul Latif Hakimi said on Saturday from an undisclosed location. He said that the body had been dumped on a mountain in the eastern province of Kunar.

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Hakimi, whose information has often proved unreliable in the past, said the body of the soldier had been left on the top of a mountain in Kunar’s Shegal district. “He is wearing red clothes,” he said. “We got the information we wanted from him during the interrogation.” Hakimi said earlier on Saturday that the man the fighters claimed to be holding was a commando officer and would be killed in two or three days following his interrogation.

The Pakistan-based Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) news agency also quoted a fighter commander in Kunar, Mohammad Ismail, as saying that the commando had been killed. AIP quoted Hakimi as saying the killing followed a decision by the Taliban’s council of religious leaders.

The lack of video, which has been a hallmark of the al Qaeda murderers in Iraq, provides some reason for hope that these boasts are false.

FILED UNDER: Afghanistan War, Military Affairs, Terrorism,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.