He was the feared Taliban commander, set to lead the dreaded Spring Offensive which has gotten hammered by NATO, with the Canadians and Brits doing fantastic work.
He was the Taliban's most senior military commander and reported to have been one of Mullah Omar's most trusted advisers. Dadullah joined forces with the Taliban at its formation in 1994, but fell out of favor "after he was accused for a bloody genocide in the central Bamyan province."Two interesting items, however, came to light a little later that made the story so-much-more satisfying, which didn't get much attention.
"Largely known for his brutality on the battlefield, he is labeled a blood-thirsty sadist who enjoys killing and torturing by military analysts," said Dupee. "Hazara residents in the central highlands who endured mass killings and a scorched earth campaign by Dadullah and his men in the late 1990's agree; referring to him as the 'Black Mullah,' a term signifying his dark heart."
The first item was the curious report that Dadullah had been dispatched not by, say, an unexpected bombstrike like Zarqawi, or by a hail of bullet and missile fire like the Hussein boys.
No, he got his 72 raisins from two precise bullet shots to the gut, followed by a third to the back of the head.
That immediately got my attention, for the "double tap to center of mass" followed by a headshot coup-de-grace is the hallmark of the professional warrior, particularly the special forces.
And it meant someone got to rather close range as well, meaning Dadullah knew exactly what was happening, and that his guards had been overwhelmed in a precise well-planned operation.
And the detail about the "back of the head" means nobody bothered to try to take him prisoner -- thanks to the human rights people who would agitate for his release.
So of course I thought to myself, hmm, who did this?
Was it our Delta Force?
Was it the British SAS?
Surprisingly, it was neither, but I was close!
Turns out, the SAS (Special Air Service) is operating mainly in Iraq.
But in Afghanistan, it's the British SBS (Special Boat Service) -- which I had never heard of. They are the Royal Navy's special forces, and their motto is, appropriately (as will be seen below),
By Strength and Guile.And it was their operation, jointly with the U.S. Task Force Orange.
And the second interesting thing, is the whole thing was a devious set-up!
Like many others, I had been dismayed when a few months back, a top terrorist was released in Afghanistan in exchange for an Italian hostage. This seemed like a bad precedent.
But the terrorist released was Dadullah's brother -- and he was tracked as bait by the signals experts of Task Force Orange to see if he'd lead to Dadullah.
And he did:
THE one-legged Taliban commander whose death was hailed as a coup for coalition forces in Afghanistan was killed in an attack by British troops rather than Americans and Afghans as previously claimed.A four-hour battle ensued, of about 50 SBS commandos against 20 jihadists. Facing lightly armed attackers, defenders in a fortified compound can usually expect to hold out against at least 3:1 odds -- but not against the SBS!
Mullah Dadullah, the bearded warlord who lost his leg fighting the invasion of Soviet “infidels” in the 1980s, was cornered by a squadron from Britain’s Special Boat Service (SBS), after a remarkable surveillance operation mounted against his brother. The SBS has been charged with carrying out special operations in Afghanistan while the SAS concentrates on Iraq.
Until now, the killing had been attributed to a joint American-Afghan force of special operation troops but defence sources revealed last week that the US contribution, although a key to success, was limited to intelligence from a secret unit called Task Force Orange, which was monitoring a satellite phone used by Dadullah.
How the task force came to be tracking the powerful mullah’s movements is a story of military cunning and opportunism. It began with an exchange of prisoners which, at the time, had all the appearance of a humiliating setback for coalition forces.
The release of Daniele Mastro-giacomo, an Italian journalist kidnapped by Taliban militants in March, in exchange for five Taliban fighters – including Mullah Shah Mansoor, Dadullah’s brother – raised eyebrows throughout the region.
It was a doubly controversial deal. First, it did not include Mastrogiacomo’s Afghan translator – and to calm dissent in government ranks President Hamid Karzai was obliged to promise that it was a “one-off”. At the same time, the release of such a high-ranking Taliban leader as Dadullah’s brother appeared to go against coalition policy.
Task Force Orange took advantage of the situation by using sophisticated signals technology to monitor Mansoor’s movements. In this way he was followed back to a Taliban training base in Quetta, Pakistan. [The jihad won't end until Pakistan is dealt with. --ed.]
A satellite phone used by Dadullah’s men then came under surveillance and the signal was followed when the group set off two weeks ago from Quetta to Afghanistan. The convoy led by Dadullah – and believed to include Mansoor – was tracked to Brahmcha in the southern Helmand province close to the border with Pakistan.
On the basis of such intelligence, Task Force Orange would normally have summoned Delta Force, the American special operations group, to launch a strike on the mudwalled compound in which the fighters were hiding. Delta was occupied elsewhere, however, and it fell to crack British troops – SBS’s C squadron – to finish the job.
A reconnaissance team in a Supacat 6x6 all-terrain vehicle moved in to watch the compound and work out how best to attack it. It was decided that an airstrike by itself would not be certain of killing Dadullah so the rest of the squadron, in two Chinook helicopters, was called in.
“It was traditional infantry tactics,” said a defence source. “Give fire and run, give fire and run, constantly manoeuvring for the best position.”SBS 20, Taliban ZERO.
Dadullah appeared to have been killed by one of the US-trained Afghan soldiers. The two wounds to his chest and one to the back of his head had all the hallmarks of a classic US special operations shooting – a so-called “double tap” to the chest and a “finisher” shot to the head.
Also among the dead were suspected members of Al-Qaeda, said the sources. The dead were believed to have included Mansoor but this was denied by the Taliban who have named him as their new military leader.
Dadullah’s death was a significant triumph for coalition forces. As a senior Taliban commander, he won a reputation for ruthless-ness after ordering the massacre of thousands of Hazaras in the northern Bamiyan region. More recently he had appeared to try to mimic the actions of hardline Iraqi insurgents such as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi by putting a video of a 12-year-old boy beheading an American spy on the internet. Zarqawi was also tracked down and killed as a result of a Task Force Orange intelligence operation.
Four of the 50 British commandos who took part in the battle were wounded but only one had to be brought back to Britain.