A video released on March 16th, showed an Australian Special Air Service (SAS) shoot an unarmed Afghan man three times in the head and chest while he cowers on the ground.
The video was released by Four Corners.
His death took place within three minutes of the soldiers arriving in the village.
An Australian Defence Force (ADF) investigation later ruled the killing was justified because it was in self-defence. However, the available footage shows that the situation was a straight killing of an unarmed man rather than a self-defense case.
The killing was one of a series of cases uncovered by Four Corners that are apparent war crimes.
A former member of the same SAS squadron, who was on the 2012 deployment to Afghanistan and has been shown the vision, described the killing to Four Corners as a “straight-up execution”.
The video, taken by the helmet camera of the patrol’s dog handler, shows the SAS patrol disembarking from one of two Black Hawk helicopters before fanning out near the village of Deh Jawz-e Hasanzai.
The situation in the video takes place in May 2012, and 3 Squadron SAS is looking for an insurgent bombmaker.
The handler, with his dog, follows the patrol scout, who Four Corners has called Soldier C, through a field towards a mud compound.
The helicopters are guiding them to a person who has been spotted in a wheat field ahead.
The soldiers and the dog stumble upon a bearded man in his 20s, with red prayer beads in his hand, who the dog assaulted. The dog is called Quake.
Then a conversation takes place, after the soldier keeps the man at gunpoint for about 20 seconds, asking if he should “drop this c***.”
He asks the commander if he should kill the man, and an inaudible response follows.
The soldier then shoots the man three times.
The SAS soldier who shot Dad Mohammad claimed the Afghan had been shot because he had been seen with a radio. The soldier also claimed he fired from 15 to 20 meters away in self-defense.
The dead man’s name was Dad Mohammad, and he was thought to be 25 or 26 years old.
Braden Chapman was a signals intelligence officer with 3 Squadron SAS on that 2012 deployment, but was not a witness to the killing.
Four Corners showed him the footage.
“It’s just a straight-up execution really,” he said.
“He’s asked someone of a superior rank what he should do, but it comes down to the soldier pulling the trigger. It’s a straight-up execution.”
Four Corners tracked down Dad Mohammad’s father, Abdul Malik.
He said his son was married, with two daughters.
Abdul Malik was away when Dad Mohammad was killed, and said he returned immediately to bury his son.
“His face had wounds. I covered his face and told them to take him to the graveyard,” Abdul Malik said.
“After his burial, I came back to see the place. I saw the wheat field where he was killed, the wheat was flattened all around.”
There is also a video showing the entire investigative report.
According to Four Corners, the soldier is still serving in the SAS. The Ministry of Defense refused to answer questions about Dad Mohammad’s killing and other allegations of war crimes.
In a statement, it said the Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force was investigating “whether there is any substance to rumour and allegations” about possible war crimes committed by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- The UK Covered Up War Crimes In Iraq And Afghanistan
- CIA-trained Afghan Paramilitary Forces Carry Out Frequent War Crimes: Human Rights Watch
- American War Crimes in Afghanistan Exposed by WikiLeaks and a New UN Report