By Brett Gillin
Ahmed Gul was a 46 year old Colonel with the Afghan Air Force when, on April 27, 2011, he murdered eight US Air Force personnel and a civilian contractor inside the Afghan Air Force headquarters. To date, at least three official investigations have been launched into this incident, and although the reports are heavily redacted, many details seem to, at least in some way, contradict one another. Now, with an independent investigation concluding from TheBlaze TV’s For the Record, shocking new claims have surface, including that Gul was paid a huge amount of money before the killings.
Back in January of 2012, a 436-page report was released by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. That report, which was the culmination of an eight-month investigation by the US Air Force, drew the conclusion that Col. Ahmed Gul had acted alone in his killing spree before finally killing himself. That report also claimed that there was no evidence that the attack had anything to do with a Taliban attack or conspiracy, according to this article in the Washington Post.
That report detailed that Gul had become radicalized in recent years, attended extremist religious ceremonies, and regularly told close friends and relatives that he wanted to kill Americans. Although Afghan military leaders claim that they were alarmed by the change in Gul’s attitude, there was no evidence that they ever did anything to intervene or let others know of his increasingly-radical views.
Then, on April 27, Gul acted on his plan, pulling out a pistol from his flight jacket and opening fire on US Air Force soldiers. The report details that Gul shouted “Good Muslims – please stay away,” and “Muslims, don’t come close or you will be killed,” during his rampage. Then, at one point during the chaos, Gul reportedly dipped his fingers in blood and scrawled “Allah is one” and “Allah in your name” on two walls before shooting himself in the chest, thus ending his life.
This report from The Blaze does little to refute most of the facts detailed above, but is damning in the perceived incompletion of the investigation, as well as inconsistencies between the other official investigations. For example, the article points out that two of the investigations into the shooting were headed by U.S. Central Command, but each of them drew slightly different conclusions as to how long the attack took place and how Gul eventually died. For instance, the initial report claimed that Gul shot himself in the chest, committing suicide after the rampage, but a subsequent report, obtained by The Air Force Times, claims that he was “most likely killed by a member of the Afghan quick reaction force.”
Perhaps the most explosive claim put forth by The Blaze is that Gul, while he acted alone, may have acted on behalf of a criminal network, and may have been paid handsomely to do so. In the course of their investigation, The Blaze found that Gul had received an extremely large deposit in a family bank account, and that all of his outstanding debts had been officially wiped clean just one week before the attack.
Thomas Creal, a lead expert for an investigative Task Force that looked into the funding, told reporters with For The Record that he found overwhelming evidence suggesting that Gul was connected to a criminal network.
“There was extensive corruption inside the Afghan military and investigations were cut short, hampered by ranking personnel at the State Department and military,” he told reporters. “The insider killings don’t need to continue. We can take steps to mitigate these suicidal hits, but we can’t do it if evidence is ignored.”
Creal claims that along with a traceable $50,000 deposit into Gul’s account mere days before the attack, there is evidence (which is sitting behind classified documents) that and additional $200,000 in loans and gambling debts were also forgiven in exchange for Gul carrying out the attack.
When contacted for information regarding the payments and alleged cover-up, US officials responded to For the Record’s request by stating “At the time of the CENTCOM investigation, there were no known investigations into Afghan corruption and we are not aware of any such investigations since, but I would refer you to the Afghan government for additional details.”