Documentary: French troops had Bin Laden in their sights — twice — in ’03

posted at 4:29 pm on December 19, 2006 by Allahpundit

But those cowardly Americans called off the hit both times.

It must be true. It’s Reuters.

“In 2003 and 2004 we had bin Laden in our sights. The sniper said ‘I have bin Laden’,” an anonymous French soldier is quoted as saying…

Razavi said the soldier told them it took roughly two hours for the request to reach the U.S. officers who could authorize it but the anonymous man is also quoted in the documentary as saying: “There was a hesitation in command.”

Razavi told Reuters several sources told them the sightings were six months apart and they declined to be more specific.

French armed forces spokesman Christophe Prazuck said “that never happened” when asked about the bin Laden sightings.

On a serious note, Greg Tinti thinks we might have gotten a big break in the hunt for OBL today. He could very well be right.

Update: Ace says “waterboard him.” The Pakistani, I mean, not the French soldier. Although he should be probably be waterboarded too. Just because.

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I really hope that we just kill him on sight if we do find him. None of this bring-him-back-alive Zacharias Mossaoui crap.

mikeomatic on December 19, 2006 at 4:33 PM

Honestly. How hard would it be to kill him when we get him? I don’t want him brought back alive – it’d put too many people on our side in danger. Just a nice quiet field execution, with not even a video to memorize it.

mikeomatic on December 19, 2006 at 4:35 PM

I knew it! If it weren’t for the Americans holding back the French military, we’d have peace in our day!

frankj on December 19, 2006 at 4:40 PM

I think we like OBL just the way he is: whereabouts and status unknown.

1. If we kill him and publicize it, he’s a martyr and the jihadis go crazy with revenge killings.

2. If we capture him and publicize it, jihadis the world over start rounding up (and probably beheading) hostages demanding his release.

If nobody knows if he’s alive or dead, he can’t be replaced as AQ’s figurehead and “spiritual leader”.

flipflop on December 19, 2006 at 4:50 PM

Hmmm, who to believe; a couple of anonymous surrender monkeys and a couple of outfits with anti-Bush agendas to push or a surrender monkey who at least is willing to put his (or is it her; I can’t tell with French names) name out there.

steveegg on December 19, 2006 at 4:50 PM

And as for Osama’s status, he’s in the same “stable condition” he’s been in since roughly December 2001. He might not be able to get up, but he gets around.

steveegg on December 19, 2006 at 4:52 PM

Those wild frenchmen, you can’t contain their fighting instincts. If only we had not landed on Normandy, Hitler was in their sights.
BTW, AP has both names. They are Jamil Huessain, and Jamail Huessain, born Arab but live in France.

right2bright on December 19, 2006 at 4:56 PM

Damn those aggressive Frenchmen!! All of them – they are all warmongers.

Rick on December 19, 2006 at 5:02 PM

What utter claptrap from the french.
On the other hand, looks like a BIG grab by Afghani forces. I agree with Ace, do ANYTHING to this guy to make him sing like a bird (or at least like Khalid Sheik Mohammed).

labwrs on December 19, 2006 at 5:06 PM

If that story had had ANY truth to it, we’d have known about it long before now. A segment would have aired on Al-Jazeera in 2003 praising Osama for his magnanimous acceptance of the French surrender.

CyberCipher on December 19, 2006 at 5:09 PM

I would not be surprised. Same kind of crap happened in Viet Nam, we would be sent on a mission but have to call some suit in DC to complete. In the mean time the mission would fall apart. The US is not capable of winning a war any longer. Too many suits and no leaders.

Wade on December 19, 2006 at 5:10 PM

Showing my ignorance here…

Why does a French soldier need an OK from the US? Is there no one in the French chain of command who could authorize the use of deadly force?

I just find the picture of a French soldier with his finger on the trigger waiting for permission from the US to fire, a little weird in many regards.

taznar on December 19, 2006 at 5:10 PM

Not ignorance, a reading disability (skimmed too fast).

To answer my own question, “France has roughly 200 elite troops operating under U.S. command near Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan.”

I didn’t realize they were directly under U.S. command.

taznar on December 19, 2006 at 5:14 PM

Yeah I’m with you all, “I got Bin Laden” should be what you call to tell someone after you shoot him or capture him or need backup to do the aforementioned actions.

Dash on December 19, 2006 at 5:15 PM

Huh! What qualifies as a French “elite” troop? Cooking or sewing merit badges?

Benthoven on December 19, 2006 at 5:38 PM

Huh! What qualifies as a French “elite” troop? Cooking or sewing merit badges?

Benthoven on December 19, 2006 at 5:38 PM

Sewing, of course, with the requirement being making a surrender flag out of tree bark.

steveegg on December 19, 2006 at 5:43 PM

Drag his ass to gitmo. Prosecute him as a soldier guilty of war crimes.

Use emminent domain to take over Ground Zero for a half hour.

Hang him there.

Cut him down, and send the corpse to a hog farm.

Kristopher on December 19, 2006 at 5:55 PM

Huh! What qualifies as a French “elite” troop? Cooking or sewing merit badges?

They know how to say “I surrender” in 6 languages.

Wade on December 19, 2006 at 5:57 PM

I don’t know if this is true, but I could see it happening.

I have seen it happen first hand. This was under Clinton, but still, calling “command” can be an exercise in frustration. That being said, he should have just taken the shot, if it were true. I always operated under the old saying, “It’s easier to ask for forgiveness than persmission.”

Also, after that Taliban funeral debacle, who knows…

reaganaut on December 19, 2006 at 6:21 PM

I don’t know if this is true, but I could see it happening.

I don’t know, but it sounds to me like just another case of the French taking an opportunity to sling sh*t at the US.

flipflop on December 19, 2006 at 7:05 PM

There are long standing orders pertaining to high value targets, kill on site.

French sniper, oxymoron?

Zorro on December 19, 2006 at 8:10 PM

Correction: change site to sight!

Zorro on December 19, 2006 at 8:13 PM

I can tell you this with 100% accuracy that this story is completely false! How? I was there! At no time did they sight, target or remotely see OBL. I can’t get into details of any operations, but my detachment was directly working with this french element during the entire time they were in country

Wellfed on December 19, 2006 at 8:25 PM

Wellfed, we’d love to hear more, but if ya tell us, ya gotta kill us, therefore maybe we should just drop it :-) It’s frustrating knowing somebody who’s been to Afghanistan but they can’t tell us anything, I’d love to hear about it, but don’t be like the NY Times and tell stories ya shouldn’t.

I doubt this story, unless Mushy gave the Frenchies permission to enter the country. But, maybe he did, thinkin’ they’ll just surrender anyway.

Tony737 on December 19, 2006 at 9:00 PM

Sooooo…..the frogs are saying they had Binnie? Could it be they might be suggesting they are pulling their “elite” troops out because the US just isn’t as aggressive as them?

…and US Special Operations forces were where? Delta, the Rangers , Seals and others haven’t found him but these guys did?

This sounds to me like what happened after the first Gulf War. A sailor was on leave in his hometown, and giving an interview to a local paper. One of his claims was to have been a Seal/sniper, with Saddam in his sights, but he couldn’t get the order to take him out.

The Pentagon wasn’t amused.

I agree. This would have been news long ago if true.

91Veteran on December 19, 2006 at 9:34 PM

Story sounds like typical MSM crapola; anonymous source and very vague details. I wonder if they got Dan Rather’s handwriting expert to verify the story or the AP’s Jamil.

Anyway, from a military perspective, all NATO troops (including the French) would have standing rules of engagement that would allow them to take out high value targets (like, say, OBL) without having to wait for specific orders.

An intelligent Reuters reporter (I think that phrase is an oxymoron) would ask SecDef Gates or Tony Snow the “hypothetical”: If a grunt had Bin Laden in his sights, is he clear to engage or does he need higher authorization? It would be a good press club question and would lend more credence to the story (or blow it out of the water).

The fact that Reuters didn’t bother setting up Gates or Snow is an indication that they know its crapola.

cmay on December 19, 2006 at 9:54 PM

Wellfed, we’d love to hear more, but if ya tell us, ya gotta kill us, therefore maybe we should just drop it :-) It’s frustrating knowing somebody who’s been to Afghanistan but they can’t tell us anything, I’d love to hear about it, but don’t be like the NY Times and tell stories ya shouldn’t.

I doubt this story, unless Mushy gave the Frenchies permission to enter the country. But, maybe he did, thinkin’ they’ll just surrender anyway.

Tony737, I was there for 3 French SF deployment cycles which ran aprox. 3 months each. One of my missions besides my other operational missions was to ensure they had unimpeded commmunications with Higher and I can tell you it would of took us about 1 minute or less to get clearance if it was ever needed. The french SF work with mostly HF commo which is not as reliable as our SATCOM radios and they would relay most of their info through us to their Commanders in the rear.

Wellfed on December 19, 2006 at 10:35 PM

Thanks for your service, Wellfed. But tell the truth now, your REAL mission was to make sure that the French didn’t surrender!

This whole story is B.S. Nobody’s gonna miss the chance to drill that guy if they had it. Imagine the bragging rights! Yeah, now imagine B.S. stories – “I once had a fish thiiiiiis big on my line, ah but alas, he got away.” Uh huh, sure pal, ya want your fish wrapped in paper or plastic?

Tony737 on December 20, 2006 at 5:34 AM

Damn, almost forgot: Suggested reading for HotAirHeads interested in the Afghan campaign – “Jawbreaker”. Excellent work by the top CIA guy in country. Green Berets, Air Force Combat Controllers, Northern Alliance fighters. Outstanding work.

Tony737 on December 20, 2006 at 5:40 AM

Huh! What qualifies as a French “elite” troop? Cooking or sewing merit badges?

Benthoven on December 19, 2006 at 5:38 PM

Damn, that is funny!

right2bright on December 20, 2006 at 8:12 AM

Rueters just released a photo of the anonymous French sniper.

B Moe on December 20, 2006 at 8:30 AM

OK…so when did the French get “sights”?

seejanemom on December 20, 2006 at 9:17 AM

You know, if you waterboard the French soldier, it would probably be the closest he’s been to a bath in years.

Phil Smith on December 20, 2006 at 11:03 AM