• Germany's news in English

KSK special forces involved in Kunduz strike

DDP/The Local · 10 Dec 2009, 11:39

Published: 10 Dec 2009 11:39 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Citing Bundeswehr sources, the paper said Col. Georg Klein was in charge of the secret Task Force 47 the night he ordered the attack near the northern Afghan city of Kunduz on September 4. The special ops unit reportedly has its own command structure at the nearby German base and KSK soldiers make up about half of its ranks. Their duties include hunting Taliban and terrorists in the region.

Bild said that according to NATO’s rules of engagement, Klein only would have been able to call in the deadly air strike as the commander of TF47. A KSK officer from the unit telephoned with an Afghan informant around seven times the night of the attack on two fuel trucks hijacked by the Taliban. The informant identified four Taliban leaders at the scene.

The paper said members of Germany’s parliamentary defence committee were first informed of the existence of TF47 on November 6, the same day that Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said the air strike had been “militarily appropriate.” He has since admitted the attack was a mistake due to the high number of civilian casualties.

Following the resignations last month of the Bundeswehr's chief of staff and his predecessor at the Defence Ministry, Franz Josef Jung, Guttenberg vowed a thorough investigation into accusations German defence officials withheld information about the air strike.

But new revelations are putting Guttenberg under increasing political pressure for his initial assessment of the incident.

Weekly magazine Stern said on Wednesday that the minister had access early on to report by the International Red Cross that deemed the bombardment contrary to international law and responsible for the deaths of at least 74 civilians.

The Red Cross also said it was “unlikely” that the fuel trucks ever could have been converted into rolling bombs to attack German troops in Afghanistan and there was no “imminent threat” for the German base near Kunduz.

Greens MP and parliamentary defence committee member Omid Nouripour told daily Berliner Zeitung on Thursday he was concerned the German government might have attempted to influence the findings of NATO’s investigation into the incident.

Story continues below…

“Was there political influence from the German side in order to massage the report? The NATO report is still clear enough to determine the attack was not appropriate,” Nouripour told the paper. “Guttenberg should have noticed that then.”

A parliamentary inquiry looking into the matter will take up its work next week.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:20 December 10, 2009 by LancashireLad
Got to agree with you there Oblomov.

Mind you as stated above:

"But new revelations are putting Guttenberg under increasing political pressure for his initial assessment of the incident."

His initial assessment.

As the CIA (and MI5 or 6 can never remember which is internal and which external) have proved on numerous occasions, the decisions and assessments you make are only as good as the information you are allowed to have .... admittedly also the information you claim you had.

The question is "how much information did Guttenberg himself have at the time of his initial assessment"?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to defend him, but let's not forget that the whole reason for NATO being there is through misinformation.

Works against us plebs too.

We were told initially that the US pilots wanted to fly over to scare civillians off. If what we read above is true, we now it would also have scared off the taliban commanders - which *may* have been a deciding factor.
18:33 December 10, 2009 by Frenemy
this media...."revelation" is bloody disaster (the repercussions of which are impossible to know at this point in time). And when did sacrificing national security at the alter of "democratic transparency"/"freedom of the press"/the public's alleged "need to know" become standard operating procedure in Western society?!

Not only does the sensationalist/ADD/tabloid-loving general public not have the need to know certain things, most are incapable of grasping the raw truth to begin with!!! Call me an elitist/monarchist/etc if you will, but democracy is for the dogs! (I'm not looking forward to the day that I will be proven correct in this matter....cuz its probably gonna suck for all of us)

[oh yeah, and taliban "commanders".....haha! Good stuff.]
22:52 December 10, 2009 by Thames
Omid Nouripour has conflicted loyalties and his assertions should be taken with more than a grain of salt.
17:15 December 11, 2009 by Henckel
The Announcement that the KSK Task Force 47 was present and operational at Kunduz is a major blunder on the part of the German media, unnecessarily giving notice that German Special Forces are operating in the region, and exposing German personnel to unnecessary risk. This is the very region why personnel when captured are to give only "name, rank, service number", and not the individual's unit, hometown, etc. Revealing the name of his unit could be prejudicial to the military operation, and even the enemy's knowledge of a soldier's hometown could be misued by the enemy in attempts to place him under psychological pressure to reveal more information.
18:00 December 11, 2009 by Frenemy
....yep. precisely (couldn't have put it better myself. pretty much textbook (FM) spec op description of why this sucks so much...+1)
15:54 December 12, 2009 by Salpeter
The problem with the KSK is, that it¦#39;s an army within the army, which refuses ¦quot;democratic¦quot; control through the Bundestag.
18:10 December 12, 2009 by Frenemy
...dispensing with all the German political red tape is what makes these boys militarily effective (and why they are not sitting around on some derelict base, preoccupied with defending cold-war era equipment from the horrors of dust accumulation)
02:16 December 27, 2009 by wenddiver
We have it all backwards, first you wipe out the bad guys then apologize, then re-build and pay for the mess.
Today's headlines
Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd