Military investigation finds series of failures led to deadly Niger ambush
Posted May 10, 2018 11:34 a.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) — A series of failures and deficiencies, including a lack of adequate training, contributed to the October 4, 2017, ambush that resulted in a Green Beret-led team being outgunned and overrun in a remote part of Niger by more than 100 ISIS fighters in a battle that left four US soldiers dead.
The Americans killed were Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson, Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright and Sgt. La David T. Johnson.
"The investigation identifies individual, organizational, and institutional failures and deficiencies that contributed to the tragic events of 4 October 2017," a summary of a months' long military investigation into the incident, which was released by the Pentagon Thursday, said.
However, the document claims that "no single failure or deficiency was the sole reason for the events of 4 October."
"The investigation team examined documentary, photographic, audio, video and testimonial evidence" the summary said, saying that the investigation team, which was led by a two-star general, "interviewed 143 witnesses, including survivors of the attack, one of whom accompanied the team back to the battlefield to explain what happened"
Additionally, the investigation found that prior to starting out on the ill-fated patrol, two junior officers, including an Army captain who remained at the base in Niger and the team leader, falsified a document to get approval for a mission to kill or capture a local ISIS leader. That mission was never approved by the proper chain of command, according to the summary. A much lower risk mission was instead submitted and approved. However, the team was unable to locate the ISIS leader during their unauthorized mission.
This story is breaking and will be updated.