Entertainment

SAS hero who battled terrorists in Kenyan hotel siege while off-duty reveals his identity


An SAS soldier who fought terrorists in a Kenyan hotel siege while off-duty has revealed his identity.  

The Special Forces veteran, who uses the pseudonym Chris Craighead on Instagram, shared a photograph showing his face for the first time.

The image shows Craighead leading Kenyan security forces towards the luxury DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi in 2019 before storming the complex and defeating al-Shabaab terrorists.

In previously published pictures, his features were hidden – either by clothing or the blurring of images –  to protect his identity after he ended the terror siege on the hotel which left at least 21 people dead.

But now, Craighead has decided to post an image showing his face because the ‘actions of others have forced my hand’, without detailing who the ‘others’ are.

He added that images of him are becoming ‘increasingly available’ so he wanted to have the power to share the first image of his face.

The Special Forces veteran, who uses the pseudonym Chris Craighead on Instagram, shared a photograph showing his face for the first time. The image shows Craighead (right) leading Kenyan security forces towards the luxury DusitD2 hotel in Nairobi in 2019 before storming the complex and defeating al-Shabaab terrorists

In previously published pictures, his features were hidden so as to protect his identity. Pictured: Craighead and a security officer escort an injured man who was attacked in the terror siege

In previously published pictures, his features were hidden so as to protect his identity. Pictured: Craighead and a security officer escort an injured man who was attacked in the terror siege

He posted on Instagram: ‘I’m doing this earlier than I planned, but the actions of others have forced my hand into prematurely revealing my face.

‘This photo and others like it are becoming increasingly available, so I thought I should be the one to share the first with you.’

Craighead added: ‘Thank you to all those close to me who support, guide, assist, and keep me balanced during this time in my life.

‘Another big thank you to everyone around this planet who supports my page and its message.’

Craighead is publishing a book entitled ‘One Man In: The Explosive Firsthand Account of the Lone Special-Ops Soldier Who Fought Off a Major Terrorist Attack in Kenya’ but the publication date has been delayed from July 2021 after the Ministry of Defence needed to check it over a confidentiality agreement, reports The Sun

Under strict rules, Special Forces troops must not discuss their missions in public or seek to ‘cash in’ on operations.

The rules were introduced following the furore over books by ex-troopers Chris Ryan and Andy McNab which dramatically raised the SAS’s public profile and led to concerns over Special Forces troops leaking sensitive information which could compromise future operations.

Craighead was awarded a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, a bravery medal second only to a Victoria Cross, for his response to the gun and grenade attack by the terrorists

Craighead was awarded a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, a bravery medal second only to a Victoria Cross, for his response to the gun and grenade attack by the terrorists

Images from the scene show the off-duty SAS hero wearing combat gear over a purple shirt and jeans as he entered the complex before emerging with terrified survivors

Images from the scene show the off-duty SAS hero wearing combat gear over a purple shirt and jeans as he entered the complex before emerging with terrified survivors

Craighead was awarded a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, a bravery medal second only to a Victoria Cross, for his response to the gun and grenade attack by the terrorists.  

Images from the scene show the off-duty SAS hero wearing combat gear over a purple shirt and jeans as he entered the complex before emerging with terrified survivors. 

He had been stationed in Kenya to help train the nation’s soldiers and was off-duty when heavily armed jihadis from the al-Shabaab terror group seized the Dusit D2 luxury hotel complex, setting fire to vehicles, detonating explosions and embarking on a mass shooting.

The 19-hour siege left 21 dead, including British charity worker Luke Potter.    

Craighead has previously published photos of himself during the hotel siege, but they have always had his features covered. 

In one image posted on his Instagram account, he can be seen holding up his rifle while inside the hotel complex as he is joined by members of the security forces. Speaking about the image, he said: 'This would have been taken around two hours or so into the incident. By this time I was working alongside members of the security forces, pictured in the foreground'

In one image posted on his Instagram account, he can be seen holding up his rifle while inside the hotel complex as he is joined by members of the security forces. Speaking about the image, he said: ‘This would have been taken around two hours or so into the incident. By this time I was working alongside members of the security forces, pictured in the foreground’

In one image, he can be seen holding up his rifle while inside the hotel complex as he is joined by members of the security forces. 

Speaking about the image, he said: ‘This would have been taken around two hours or so into the incident. By this time I was working alongside members of the security forces, pictured in the foreground.’ 

Craighead also shared an image of him and former U.S. President Donald Trump in 2019 after the President personally thanked the former SAS soldier for his efforts in the siege. 

Craighead, whose lower part of his face is blurred in the image, wrote on Instagram in November 2020: ‘Last year I met the 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump.

‘When he heard from key figures of the administration that I was in town, he took the time to thank me personally for saving American lives.’

The al-Shabaab terror group claimed that the attack was a response to US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Pictured: Craighead storming the hotel

The al-Shabaab terror group claimed that the attack was a response to US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Pictured: Craighead storming the hotel

Craighead shared a photo of himself meeting President Donald Trump on Instagram

Craighead shared a photo of himself meeting President Donald Trump on Instagram

The al-Shabaab terror group claimed that the attack was a response to US President Donald Trump’s controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

At the time, Joshua Kwambai, who rushed out of a restaurant as the terrorists opened fire, said Craighead was one of the first people to get out there. 

Mr Kwambi added that the soldier was wearing a mask but it was obvious he was white – and he could see him speaking with the police and army, who were listening to him.

They had been looking at paper – possible plans of the building, he said.    

Witness Lucy Njeri said the soldier carried out one of the wounded then went back inside to do so a second time.  



Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button