Skip to comments.Simultaneous headshots stop 3 suicide bombers
Posted on 11/20/2005 6:39:09 AM PST by veronica
Early on a warm summer morning, a few hours before traffic began to fill the streets, a 16-man SAS patrol took up ambush positions around a Baghdad house, writes Sean Rayment.
The soldiers had been told that the house was a being used as a base by insurgents - and up to three suicide bombers were expected to leave it later that morning.
Dressed in explosive vests, they were fully equipped to hit a number of locations around the city. The bombers' targets were thought to be cafes and restaurants frequented by members of the Iraqi security forces.
The intelligence was regarded as "high grade" and came from an Iraqi agent who had been nurtured by members of the British Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, for several months.
Expectation among the 16 soldiers, attached to Task Force Black (TFB), the secret American and British special forces unit based in the Iraqi capital, was high. Each member of the four four-man groups was a veteran of many missions where the intelligence promised much - only to deliver little.
The plan for Operation Marlborough was simple: allow the three suspected bombers to leave the house and get into the street, then kill them with head shots from the four sniper teams. Each team was equipped with L115A .338 sniper rifles, capable of killing at up to 1,000 yards.
The soldiers, liaising earlier with their commanders, had considered the option of entering the house and killing the terrorists - but that plan was regarded as too dangerous. The confines of the house would intensify the impact of any blast, killing everyone inside.
The SAS soldiers were told that it was vital that the three bombers would have to be killed simultaneously.
If one of them was allowed to detonate a device, scores of people could be killed or injured.
In support of the covert sniper teams was a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), which would provide a dozen extra soldiers within a few minutes in an emergency. The QRF was based in a secure location nearby and a team of ammunition technical officers were on hand to defuse the bombs.
A section of Iraqi police was also attached to the operation - although they were not briefed on the detail of the attack - to deal with any crowd trouble.
Meanwhile, 2,000 feet above the city of five million inhabitants, a CIA-controlled Predator unmanned air vehicle was providing a real-time video feed back to the TFB headquarters deep inside the secure green zone.
Shortly after 8am, Arabic translators, monitoring listening devices hidden inside the house, warned the operations centre inside the militarily controlled green zone that the three terrorist were on the move. The message "stand by, stand by" was dispatched to the four teams.
As the terrorists entered the street, a volley of shots rang out and the three insurgents slumped to the ground.
Each terrorist had been killed by a single head shot - the snipers having spent the past few days rehearsing the ambush in minute detail.
The SAS troopers had been warned that only a direct head shot would guarantee that bombs would not be detonated.
Only three of the four snipers fired, the fourth was to act as a back-up in case one of the weapons jammed or a sniper lost sight of his target.
The message that the terrorists had been killed was sent back to the SAS headquarters and the troops moved forward to check the bodies for life. As they gingerly approached it became brutally apparent that the .338 calibre round - the biggest rifle bullet used by the Army - had done its job.
Operation Marlborough was hailed as a complete success and one of the rare occasions on which the coalition has been able to deliver a decisive blow against suicide bombers.
I know ya'll have probably seen this one before but I couldn't resist posting it.
Somewhere, Kurt Vonnegut weeps...
Good! And those of us who value human freedom, rejoice!
Nothing brutal there, probably looked just like my yard, before I get the pooper-scooper out.
Bravo to the SAS.
Why wait?!!! It's noon somewhere!
Ya think .338 to the head is "enought gun?"
So did they select incendiary or armor-piercing for the head shots? Inquiring minds want to know. :)
Just who in the h3!! cares how many are dead. This is war and if they are in a bomb making operation, "Say goodbye". Too much PC!
[cue the theme from "The Magnificent Seven"]
"Baghdad...is Marlborough Country."
The report is exaspertating in its lack of final detail. Were bomb jackets found on the individuals killed? That's implied, of course, but it needs to be stated explicitly. And was the bomb-making house raided immediately? Were any additional people arrested in the house? Was there anyone else in the house? Had basic reportorial skills been applied, the author would have included that information.
I think they were worried about SAS being dead - and we better care about that - highly prized assets.
We did a war game years ago, where the SAS attempted to infiltrate our base. Glad it was just a game. [gulp]
"The first round takes care of the pick-up truck or lorry by shattering the engine block and, as the Taliban fighters try to find out what's going on, they're taken out by the sniper. At 1,200 metres, with the shot echoing around a valley, they won't have a clue what's going on.
Probably looked something like this:
Splitting the engine block might be stretching it a bit but penetrating the cylinder wall will freeze it up.
The DemocRATS and their "human rights" groups aren't going to like this. These three jokers weren't read their Miranda rights prior to being dusted.
Other than the fact that he's dead of course.
I think you're just reading into that what you want to see.
First of all- The Telegraph is the best newspaper in the UK, end of story. They are not a Pro-USA paper nor would I want them to be. They are thoroughly British and report from a British perspective- which is exactly as it should be. They are not afraid to paint the US in a good light but they are also not afraid to report a story that US conservatives might deem negative- which is also exactly as it should be.
At any rate... Nowhere did it say US Intelligence. This is often the story with intelligence anyway. Intelligence isn't 'US intelligence' per se. It's tidbits that come from the ground- i.e. Iraqis who think they might have heard about something or think they might know about something that is going down. How often do you think they're accurate?
Don't be so sensitive.
Another important story ignored by the traitorous MSM.
Excellent story. Not finding their promised virgins will be a big disappointment to the scumbags.
Great news..great shooting!
I will pass on asking if a sniper ambush meets any kind of "Global Test" and instead join in the drinking (at noon,or whenever) of a toast to these brave troops.
I'll second that! It sure beats the heck out of most of the bird cage liners here in the US. Check it out online sometimes. I only wish I could still get it delivered. Before the blogs it was my best intelligence on the story behind the story when the klintons were reigning.
Y'know, Tex, my philosophy is that somewhere, somehow, it noon some place on this earth.
Don't they though ? I'm just feeling all warm and fuzzy ;-)
ok 4 things.
1: Dawn of the Dead? do only headshots drop jihadist zombies?
2: GREAT JOB!
3: I wonder how many mud hutts that bullet went through before it finally stopped? I bet it just kept going until it hit the nearest mountain!
4: Way to instill the fear of god into those bastards!
This kind of story makes my day. Thanks!
As I understand it, the desired aimpoint is the brainstem, which is about the size of an apricot. Only a bullet placed there will immediately and completely incapacitate a terrorist so that he is unable to trigger an explosive device.
Sniper's motto (or it ought to be):
Don't run, you'll only die tired."
This is totally awesome!
[[Each terrorist had been killed by a single head shot - the snipers having spent the past few days rehearsing the ambush in minute detail.]]
Not so, Starfish. I happen to know several ( now former ) members of the SAS and none of them came from gunslinging backgrounds.
A win for the good guys bump!
I read about this yesterday on another thread that had this cool graphic showing the "team" configuration. Whew, I'm glad I keep my nose clean since I STILL haven't received my container of SMAW-NE urban burp guns.
Check out post # 36 he has it posted, truly awe inspiring.
"The .338 Lapua is a darn fine round, but talking about it 'splitting engine blocks' is crap."
Sounds like it would make an excellent deer hunting rifle though.
Read slowly (and stop with this is a PC war BS!).
The concern was over causalities for those on OUR side (SAS specifically) - Meaning if the "go" was given on a direct assault / raid and one of the bombers inside managed to detonate themselves it would have the chance / probability of killing the SAS operators conducting the assault.
"Clean up on isle three"
Break out the squeegee and the wet-dry vac.
Well, it's past noon-thirty already......
Just wait. Wont be long before the UN says it is to devastating and should be banned.
Well, it's not as if the bombers' dispositions had altered themselves at all. In fact, they never knew the difference.
That's gotta put a little "hesitancy" and damper into future suicide bomber activities.