ISIS releases killed Army Special Forces soldier’s helmet cam from Niger ambush

(Mohammed Mahmoud Abu Maali/Twitter)

US Africa Command (USAFRICOM or simply AFRICOM) is currently investigating several social media posts from an individual claiming to have video footage of the October ambush in Niger that resulted in significant US casualties.

Twitter user Mohammed Mahmoud Abu Maali claims to have the footage, and has released screenshots of the incident.

The video, titled (traslated from Arabic), “The Arrival of the Brave on the American Army”, appears to be helmet camera footage from a US Special Forces soldier or their attached support unit, which was allegedly stolen after the soldier was killed.

“[The video] shows scenes from the an [ISIS] attack on American Special Forces in Niger last October,” the post said. “Footage of the American dead and scenes from the battle were taken by a camera installed on the headgear of a slain American soldier and were confiscated by [ISIS].”

The still photo shows what appears to be just that, a soldier’s eye view of a friendly casualty on the ground and a US-issued rifle.

Green Berets Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright were killed in the ambush, which shocked the nation and drew criticism as to how one of America’s higher-tier units could be ambushed and left unsupported. Sgt. La David Johnson, a support soldier attached to the Green Berets, drew quite a bit of publicity after his death and became a political chess piece in a squabble on the Hill in DC.

Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, 35, of Puyallup, Wa. (from l.); Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, 39, of Springboro, Ohio; Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright, 29, of Lyons, Ga, were all killed in the ambush attack in Niger. (U.S. ARMY)

Since the surfacing of the posts, AFRICOM has swung into action to both investigate the issue and show the world they are still tracking the matter.

“USAFRICOM is aware of a post on Twitter purporting to show a U.S. soldier from the Oct. 4 ambush in Tongo Tongo, Niger,” an AFRICOM spokesperson told the Army Times on Wednesday. “We are reviewing the post and determining the veracity of the tweet and the assertions that there is an associated video. We cannot comment further on this issue, or the ongoing investigation related to the Oct. 4 ambush until the investigation is complete.”

Meanwhile, many current and former Special Forces members have quietly begun criticising the current organization, claiming that many of the newer operators lack combat experience and are again being forced to “learn lessons the hard way,” much as they did when the Global War on Terror initially kicked off.

One former Special Forces soldier -whose identity has been verified, but withheld- claims that a considerable percentage of operators who gained experience in Iraq and Afghanistan are either out of the military or getting closer to retirement, leaving young and untested Green Berets to pick up the slack.

“A lot of us were infantry or other jobs and came to SF after already completing a tour in Afghanistan or Iraq,” the operator told Popular Military, on the condition that his identity not be revealed. “We knew insurgency and saw it evolve as we did. These new guys don’t understand the differences and it’s been a real hit-and-miss game of trial and error for many in the community. Africa is a good example of that.”

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