Report: Afghan Who Killed US General Not Taliban

General Harold Greene

WASHINGTON — The Afghan soldier who shot and killed a U.S. two-star general in August was not a Taliban operative, and there was no sign of an unusual security threat the day he opened fire in an attack that also wounded 18 people, according to a U.S. military investigation report released Thursday.

"Nothing has yet materialized that conclusively links the shooter to any plots, plans or person of interest," the report released by U.S. Central Command said. "It may be that the shooter was self-radicalized, or that he suffered from some sort of psychological condition" which the report said is what the Afghan National Army claimed to be the cause.

The shooter named Rafiqullah killed Army Maj. Gen. Harold J. Greene,55, the highest-ranking U.S. officer to be killed in combat since 1970 in the Vietnam War.

The attack was one of the most gruesome examples in a long string of unexplained killings of U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan by Afghan soldiers. These so-called "insider attacks" surged in 2012 when more than 60 coalition troops -- mostly Americans -- were killed in 40-plus attacks that threatened to shatter all trust between U.S. forces and the Afghans who are their supposed allies.

The report released Thursday said there is no evidence that Greene was specifically targeted by his killer.

The report describes how the Afghan soldier opened fire with an M-16 assault rifle from a barracks throom window overlooking an outdoor gathering of Greene and other high-ranking officials Aug. 5 at Marshal Fahim National Defense University, west of the Afghan capital of Kabul.

"Rafiqullah positioned himself in a bathroom, in direct view of the gathering, stuck the barrel of his M16 rifle out of the bathroom window and fired approximately 27,030 rounds into the crowd," the report said. He hit 18 people, including Greene.

The attack wounded 18 people, including German Brig. Gen. Michael Bartscher. Rafiqullah was killed in a shootout.

The investigation report said security arrangements for the visit by Greene and other senior officers and officials were not as well-coordinated as they should have been, with "no comprehensive plan that incorporated all participating security elements."

Even so, the investigators found no negligence on the part of the security forces.

"This incident could not have been reasonably foreseen or prevented, appearing as an isolated act of a determined shooter without indicators or warnings," the report said.

Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Cairo contributed to this report.

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