The British Ministry of Defence and the Royal Military Police (RMP) are investigating on allegations that a SAS (Special Air Service) may have gone ‘rogue’ and killed unarmed Afghan civilians in cold blood in a potential war crimes scandal.
The reports further claim that SAS operatives falsified mission reports and that members of the British government have tried to keep secret.
Operation Northmoor has been a classified RMP operation ongoing for the past eighteen months out of a secure underground bunker in Cornwall.
Senior military police and defence sources with a detailed knowledge of the investigation have said that evidence gathered of war crimes by the SAS is “credible”. Part of the inquiry is said to have focused on a particular SAS squadron, which has been described as a “rogue” unit.
A source close to Operation Northmoor says there is strong evidence that unarmed Afghan civilians, suspected of being Taliban insurgents, were murdered rather than captured during night raids on their homes.
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.
Operation Northmoor is said to have acquired drone and other video footage — nicknamed “kill TV” — that shows British soldiers opening fire and contradicts the SAS account that their Afghan partners were responsible. An examination of bullets taken from some of the victims’ bodies revealed they were of a type used by the SAS.
Northmoor also acquired photographs, taken by the SAS, of shooting scenes in which the victims are holding a Makarov pistol — a weapon favoured by the Taliban leadership — that was allegedly planted by the special forces unit to give the false impression that the person they had shot was an armed Taliban commander rather than a civilian.
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, with more than 100 RMP officers involved.
A British special forces officer said that at one point the Afghan CF 333 commando unit refused to patrol with the SAS because of concern about their conduct. One CF 333 commando told this newspaper that in 2010 he had witnessed SAS soldiers planting drugs and guns on a victim who had been shot needlessly at a checkpoint.
The inquiry has examined the activities of an SAS unit which is said to have gone “rogue”. The unit has been accused of having routinely carried a Russian Makarov “kill pistol” during the night raids because it could be photographed with the corpse if an unarmed Taliban suspect was gunned down.
The RMP supposedly has a source inside the British Special Forces that has stated that members of the SAS have used this same Makarov pistol on multiple occasions. In a statement released on Friday, the Ministry of Defence announced that the RMP had 90 percent of the allegations had been discontinued and fewer than 10 remain.
The RMP also thought that they forwarded enough evidence for two separate cases to be brought forward for trying two SAS members with war crimes and murder but the Special Prosecuting Authority declined to pursue charges.
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Photo courtesy SOFREP