Thomas Wictor

Quiet professionals save us while we disgrace ourselves

Quiet professionals save us while we disgrace ourselves

The British have described the operation to kill Mohammed Emwazi, the Islamic State terrorist known as Jihadi John. This level of openness is unusual; special-operations units tend to be very quiet. The reason we’re hearing about this is twofold: psychological warfare, and also the Islamic State is under ferocious assault. It likely won’t be around much longer.

Here’s what the British did to find Jihadi John.

The top-secret operation to eliminate the masked British extremist – who beheaded UK hostages Alan Henning and David Haines – was thought to have been conducted entirely from the air without any Western troops. But it was revealed last week that the perilous plan depended on a team of eight men from the Special Forces regiment risking their lives to penetrate deep inside the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa.

The daring mission began on November 11 when two U.S. Chinook helicopters landed at an isolated spot in the Syrian desert. Avoiding all roads, the team of soldiers drove in desert buggies 35 miles south towards Raqqa and – in the middle of the night - they ‘dug in’ five miles outside the city, where they remained undetected.

The following evening, while the rest of the team were on lookout, one man assembled four 3ft nano-helicopters with infrared and night-vision cameras in the nose. They were pre-programmed to fly to Jihadi John’s hideout – a six-storey building in Raqqa.

The first drone set off towards its target, then entered ‘hover and stare’ mode, recording the movements of ISIS suspects at a building near the Sharksa mosque.

It beamed footage by satellite back to SAS HQ in Hereford and the U.S. Central Command in Doha, Qatar, before a second and subsequently third drone took over. The third drone then recorded images of Jihadi John - real name Mohammed Emwazi - and the ISIS executioner was killed by Hellfire missiles as he walked out of the building and into a waiting car.

The British Special Air Service (SAS) was formed in 1941. They drove in jeeps far behind German lines in North Africa and blew the hell out of everything they came across.

Those are aircraft machine guns chosen for their high rate of fire.

I used to wonder how men like that were recruited, but now I know. These men (and women, in many units) simply serve a cause that they think is more important than they are themselves. They see the big picture.

The smallest unit of the SAS is the four-man patrol; therefore two patrols took part in the operation to kill Jihadi John. This is how far they went into Syria.

Needless to say, if these British commandos had been captured, their fate would likely have been unimaginable. You’ve seen Islamic State videos.

But this operation shows what only eight men can do. Currently thousands of the world’s special operators can’t be located.

I’ve found some of them. They’re attached to the Syrian Democratic Forces, a collection of Kurdish, Muslim Arab, and Syriac Christian militia fighting in the north and northeast of Syria.

This video shows Syrian Democratic Forces troops watching as supersonic air-to-surface missiles destroy an Islamic State truck bomb.

The missiles are new technology; you can hear sonic booms at 0:22 and 0:27 in the video, followed by two explosions at 0:40.

This is a special operator attached to the Syrian Democratic Forces.

My guess is that he’s Arab, probably from the UAE. He stands motionless, upright, calm and quiet, making sure that the operation is concluded the way it was laid out. When the war is over, he won’t talk to the press. Instead, he’ll meet with other operators, and they’ll exchange stories.

Quiet and not seeking approval

A lifetime ago, I tried to have a documentary film made about the Hamas military deception (MILDEC) operation that took the lives of Ismail Bakr, Mohammed Bakr, Ahed Bakr, and Zakaria Bakr. The filmmaker insisted that I find a former member of a special-operations unit to corroborate my theory. It was a stupid request.

As a former Navy SEAL told me, “The operators you’d want would never agree to appear on camera, and the ones who would agree aren’t the ones you’d want.”

I already knew that, so I can admit now that I didn’t look very hard. The project turned out to be a con job, so if I’d coaxed someone into corroborating my theory, he or she would’ve ended up looking as foolish as I did. But being ripped off again doesn’t matter. The Palestinians proved that I was right.


Those are mujahid posters for Mohamed and Zakaria Bakr, issued by Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. A mujahid poster is created only for people who were killed during a terrorist military operation. Terrorist organizations don’t give honorary mujahid posters. They may tell you that they do, but it’s a lie. Otherwise they would create mujahid posters for every single Palestinian killed in the many wars with Israel.

The mujahid is specifically a Muslim fighter. A person can be made a mujahid unwittingly or even against his or her will; that’s how Muslim terrorists justify killing their own people.

So I was correct. Hamas killed the Bakr boys as part of an elaborate MILDEC operation. The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades admit it.

Solving the case of the Bakr boys was all I wanted to do. When I was sure that I’d figured it out, I sent the information to people who I thought would best use it. That was the end of my involvement. I now understand that truth allows the quiet professionals to do their jobs and not worry about the flouncing lunacy that so many of us display.

When I was a very small child, I read a comic-book rendition of the downing of the L 70, the most advanced of the World War I German Zeppelin night bombers.

The L 70 was a “Height Climber,” intended to fly so high that British night fighters couldn’t intercept it. The Germans miscalculated; a night fighter shot down the L 70 on August 5, 1918. Zeppelins were filled with hydrogen, so the British used incendiary bullets to set them on fire. The entire crew of the L 70—including legendary Commander of Naval Airships Fregattenkapitän Peter Strasser—was killed.

That was the last German airship raid of the war.

The L 70 was shot down by Major Egbert Cadbury (pilot) and Captain Robert Leckie (gunner).

“Egbert Cadbury” is the perfect name for a British quiet professional; he was also heir to a massive chocolate-company fortune. A millionaire and a fearless warrior.

Cadbury and Leckie flew an Airco DH.4.

In the comic book I read, they were at a party, in black tie and tails, drinking champagne with beautiful women. When the air-raid siren went off, Cadbury and Leckie drove to Great Yarmouth Air Station, threw on their flying togs, and went up to meet the Zeppelin. After they shot it down in flames, they landed; the last panel of the story showed them walking away from the aircraft, their strained faces darkened with gunpowder, their dinner clothing incongruously visible under their open leather jackets.

As a child I wanted to have a life that meant something. It wasn’t until 2014 that my wish came true. That’s why I’m not bothered when deranged social-media addicts attack me.

While Lily and I pound on our keyboards, modern-day Cadbury and Leckies are out there doing things that most of us can’t imagine. The Smelly Ones are marching in vain.

Bombing is the least of what’s happening in Syria. The quiet Cadbury and Leckies are making the terrorists pray to be bombed.

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