New details on Marine deaths in attack on Prince Harry

Prince Harry in faux action at Camp Bastion in November 2012. (AP photo)

Prince Harry in faux action at Camp Bastion in November 2012. (AP photo)

Details of a Taliban suicide mission designed in part to kill Britain’s Prince Harry that resulted in the death of two U.S. Marines and the worst loss of military aircraft since the Vietnam War appear in the September issue of GQ magazine.

The attack at a British airbase, Camp Bastion in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province, happened almost one year ago while the prince, known as Capt. Harry Wales in the military, was stationed at the base for a three-month tour flying an attack helicopter.

News of the attack isn’t new, but the Daily Mail plays up the assassination angle with a Tolstoy-length headline: “Revealed: How Prince Harry was whisked to safe-house as US Marines battled Taliban suicide-squad who infiltrated base in assassination attempt.

Third in line to the British throne at the time, Prince Harry surely made an appealing target to the enemy. “We have informed our commanders … to eliminate him,” the Taliban told the Daily Mail two days before the attack.

A NATO spokesperson said the threat was “not a matter of concern” because Camp Bastion, the largest overseas airbase Britain has built since World War II, was considered impregnable to any assault the Taliban could muster.

But, on the night of Sept. 14, 2012, a group of 15 Taliban soldiers wearing stolen U.S. Army uniforms crawled through the base’s defenses armed with rocket propelled grenades and assault weapons.

GQ reports the British had assigned security to a group of soldiers from the tiny island nation of Tonga.

Soon, the suicide squad was firing RPGs at grounded U.S. warplanes — creating huge fireballs in the night sky — and a team of U.S. Marines trained to serve as plane mechanics became the first line of defense.

As more planes exploded, an officer that rushed to the scene, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Raible, asked for volunteers to “take the fight to these guys.”

The mechanics of the Third Air Wing swapped their wrenches for M-16s.

The base’s immense size worked against it. More than 30 minutes into the attack no support from British or U.S. forces had arrived.

As the mechanics waged war, an RPG killed U.S. Marine Sgt. Bradley Atwell.

Another Marine officer, Major Robb McDonald, was awoken by the explosions and ran a mile to the maintenance shed the mechanics were trying to defend. He found his commanding officer, Raible, dead from a shrapnel wound to his neck.

An hour into the battle the Americans had attack helicopters in the night sky, but smoke from the explosions and the continuing battle made it difficult to determine which group of combatants should be fired upon.

McDonald radioed a helicopter pilot and told him to fire on his own position, which ended the fight.

After rushing Prince Harry to a secure location, the British arrived from their position two miles away. But by then 14 of the 15 Taliban were dead. The 15th was captured alive.

Two Marines were dead and more than a dozen U.S. and British soldiers were injured. Six Harrier jets and a C-130 were smoking ruins. Other planes were heavily damaged. The net loss of military hardware was estimated at $200 million.

Al Jazeera reported the attack was in response to the anti-Islamic film, “Innocence of Muslims,” which had sparked protests, and that Prince Harry was the target of a “high-value plan.”

The attack left many questions concerning military security.

“Why would we entrust a tiny Third World country [Tonga] to safeguard our Marines?” asked Donnella Raible, who is now raising three kids on her own.

A good question. Other good ones might be “Why does England send members of the Royal Family into combat zones?” and “Why does the U.S. try to coordinate military actions with nations that are not that helpful?”

28 comments Add your comment

Obama=Chicken Feces

September 5th, 2013
8:18 am

This story should remind us all that it’s a good thing for Prince Harry that he never goes into a 7-11.

He's safe

September 5th, 2013
10:26 am

So, Obama is going to send troops into Syria. Oldest ploy in the book of politicians. Economy is still in
a bad place, about to go in the tank again when Obamacare costs hit us. No real job growth other than part time work, thanks to aforementioned Obamacare. Send the boys off to war, defense spending will stimulate the economy temporarily and turn the official White House version of Prada, CNN, attention away from the inescapable fact that our nation has been turned into one of ‘ask not what I can do for my country, but rather what can the country do for me’ in only 6 years by our Fascist in Chief. Then
he can state that it was Congress, not he, that sent our boys off to war and an inability to find any chemical weapons in Syria will be blamed on the Republicans who somehow cause the buildup to be too lengthy and gave Syria time to hide the weapons. In other words, the same arguments the right used against the left during the buildup to Gulf War II when Hilary, John Kerry, and most other left leaning Congressional members voted with those across the aisle to send troops to Iraq,only to have a mass case of memory loss when it became apparent that we were looking for a needle in a stack of hay, allowing them to blame the entire affair on Bush and the right side of the aisle. And the worst part? We, the idiots of the US fall for this ploy every time.


September 5th, 2013
10:33 am

Kudos to the Marine mechanics, who have gone through boot camp but aren’t advanced combat trained. They “dropped their wrenches and picked up M16s” and fought so well they killed almost all the insurgents.


September 5th, 2013
10:35 am

Hey ‘He’s Safe’,
So is that why Bush invaded Iraq?


September 5th, 2013
10:38 am

In answer to your question on why to send royals into battle, I will answer that it is the right thing to do. He trained with his unit, led his unit as a leader, then was told he was not going to be with them when it mattered. I have a great amount of respect for the fact that he refused to let his soldiers carry his load. Maybe if some of our “royals” in the House, Senate, and Oval Office sent their kids into combat, we wouldn’t be in quite so many wars that last so long.


September 5th, 2013
10:43 am

Plain and simple, PH should not have been there. His presence invites attack, like driving through Dallas in a limo with the roof removed did. Gov Connelly took a bullet for that selfish stupidity, not to mention the same threat to Jackie, the Gov’s wife, and countless others, mostly civilians, in Dealy Plaza, just to prove some idiotic point by being seen as brave and audacious. But the Royals have to prove that they’re just like everybody else, so they involve themselves in the military, as if they would ever actually come into harm’s way to any meaningful extent. Constitutional monarchy or not, people are fed up with kings, queens, and princes and princesses, (the British Royals will not last out this century; one wrong move by the highly unpopular Prince Charles alone will torpedo the entire enterprise), so please, let’s do away with royalty and elect our leaders instead. Not that PBO makes a good argument here, but at least we have SOME say in who governs us, and don’t have to bow or courtsey to an equal human being…


September 5th, 2013
10:47 am

Dawg79….Marines are Marines no matter what MOS they have. They go out on routine missions just like everyone else. One of my good friends just retired from the Marines as an E9 and was deployed several times by sea and on ground pulling his fair share of watch and sweeps.


September 5th, 2013
11:00 am

The distinction between being killed by SARIN GAS or being killed by bombs and bullets, IS?

Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama, II (OR IS IT DAVIS?) HAS NO CREDIBILITY!

Moreover, the Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama, II (OR IS IT DAVIS?) administration’s attempting to garner support to attack Syrian government troops is just more irrefutable prove that neither the Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama, II (OR IS IT DAVIS?), nor Valerie Jarrett (the woman behind the Curtain) has ANY confidence in John “LURCH” Kerry, Secretary of State and Susan Rice, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, ability to negotiate a peaceful solution to the Syrian Civil war.

When persons of low self esteem cannot win with words, in frustration, they foolishly try to win with physical force.

“Given the daunting challenges that we face, it’s important that president elect Obama is prepared to really take power and begin to rule day one.”
Valerie Jarrett


Barry Soetoro aka Barack Hussein Obama, II (OR IS IT DAVIS?) would be better suited trying his Imperial Marxism in a African nation such as Somalia.


September 5th, 2013
11:31 am

Peter, please go play in traffic.


September 5th, 2013
11:34 am

Billy, how old are you?

Agree with DapperDan about our “royals.”


September 5th, 2013
12:20 pm

From Peter: “The distinction between being killed by SARIN GAS or being killed by bombs and bullets, IS”

Answer to all who have at least one functioning brain cell: Bombs and bulluets are a normal, accepted part of warfare. Sarin and other similar chemical weapons have been banned from warfare by civilized folks for nearly 100 years now. Even war has its rules, and those who don’t play by them should face consequences.


September 5th, 2013
12:23 pm

Note to He’s Safe: You do realize that the resolution being worked on in Congress specifically prohibits sending in ground troops, right? It also limits any action to 60 days, with the possibility of 30 more. So what exactly is your point?


September 5th, 2013
12:27 pm

Those ragheads sure aren’t as ashamed of admitting they’ll get riled up over a video.


September 5th, 2013
12:35 pm

Putin hit on the head when he said Kerry was a liar.


September 5th, 2013
12:40 pm

I applaud the intentions of Prince Harry, but not the logic. If he himself is a target, placing him in such a place is a daft move, at best. He wants to be with his men? He wanted to go into the service as did his uncle? Nice, but polarizing.


September 5th, 2013
12:56 pm

“Why would we entrust a tiny Third World country [Tonga] to safeguard our Marines?”

An even more intriguing question is what are we paying Tonga for their participation in the Afghan mess. You know they’re not doing it out of some altruistic concern for world peace. Sounds more like they’re just going through the motions to collect a paycheck courtesy of the U.S./British taxpayer.

Diversion Tactic

September 5th, 2013
12:57 pm

Bring to light NOW a story that happened a YEAR AGO is meant to deflect attention so that OBAMA can have his way on Syria. The only reason Obama is concerned with Syria is that his entire domestic agenda / compaigning is in serious peril, so lets play little war games. Obama has cared ZIP about foreign policy until now. Just like Bill Clinton tried to play war games during his Monica days, Obama is creating a diversion. Obama would never cheat on his wife like Clinton, truth be told he is scared to death of her. So …

Some major crap is about to blow up in Obama’s face and this gives him a reason to say that foreigh policy has tied him up. He can’t blame the republicans or Bush on his dying leadership anymore, so this is anyone angle to deflect blame for the way he is destroying by way of Obamacare and the economy domestically.

unbiased big fella

September 5th, 2013
1:03 pm

You President Obama haters are so ignorant with your little stories…

Diversion Tactic

September 5th, 2013
1:04 pm

PS The ad naseum LINKS to Al Jazeera won’t help the network survive here in the US. It will die a faster death than Air America did at liberal talk radio. The agenda to shove AJ down the throats of Americans is perfect timing. Here is a recent event to prove they are BIASED!

It's STILL Bush's Fault

September 5th, 2013
1:07 pm

“You President Obama haters are so ignorant with your little stories”

…. Just as You President Bush haters are STILL so ignorant with your little stories.

Ugotta B Kiddin

September 5th, 2013
2:23 pm

There are a couple of people on this board who really need to become ex-pats in Costa Rica. Please I’m begging you if you hate our country and its current leadership that much – LEAVE!
I’m certainly not pleased with everything going on, an adamant against Syrian intervention, but I’m not a crazed lunatic about it.


September 5th, 2013
2:59 pm

Several people have commented on PH being the reason for the attack. Based on the lax security and the high concentration of HVTs, this base was going to get hit regardless. The chance to take out a royal was just an added benefit.


September 5th, 2013
3:01 pm

didn’t really go down like that…..i was there that night, still here now. The planes did get destroyed but there was a reason they got onto the base…….

but the magazine write up make it’s sound like a movie….

You guys are funny, so patriotic but so blind….Flag waving followers.
The current president is no different than the previous. only difference is his skin color. to blind to see the policy’s are the same. all these guy play on the same team, we are just don’t want to believe it….wake up Americans, when will you ever learn? Invaded Iraq on a lie…..going to Syria on another one…..all for freedom right……keep telling yourself that and waving your flag!


September 5th, 2013
3:15 pm

Prospective from a Defense Contractor who protects high value assets.

I am a defense contractor now. I work as a MD, driver, and militant for the U.S. Let’s just say the money is far more lucrative than working in the states. No insurance, taxes, or BS bureaucracy that comes with working in the states.

Most Americans live in a bubble, the world is a very dangerous place. If some of you knew what really went on – you’d never even think about things like Trayvon.

Of course, the Prince is a high asset, because he is, and that happens way more than you think to lots of individuals. Welcome to war. America where “everyone is equal”…guess what – you’re not. Grow up citizens, and wake the F up!

I like what I do today, I get to kill and heal. It’s such a unique position to be in. Before anyone says it, I have zero regrets; and if I die, oh well. I rather die a hero once than a coward one or more times. All Princes to the throne of Britain must serve in the Military. I hope Prince Harry gets the throne, no matter who’s before him, because he deserves it.

I leave for mission in November, and I plan on killing as much as possible. For now, I’m going to drive my Lamborghini that the OBAMA administration paid for me to have…albeit indirectly. Remember we’re your neighbor, we shop next to you, and we do the dirt that our Military can’t do.

Citizens, get mad at tobacco, because it kills more people annually than any war ever -besides the Civil War. Regarding Syria, there is no greater evil than the indifference of good men. Genocide is a war atrocity, and must be addressed aggressively.

Tim T.

September 5th, 2013
3:48 pm

I’m sure there is quite a lot of BS in all of these comments but I like HST’s view the best. Good article Geo.


September 5th, 2013
5:40 pm

What’s the doll or whatever all about in the picture? But to the point — I served alongside the Marines while in the Air Force — tough as nails, good job gentlemen! The moral of the story is — don’t f… with the US military. Our mechanics are good enough to repel the best the Taliban has to offer (equivalent of their special forces). The Taliban might have been trying to make a statement but it backfired on them immensely. God bless the two Marines that made the ultimate sacrifice. President Obama might have sent back the bust of Winston Churchill to the Brits — but acts of bravery and cooperation like this will always ensure the bond that exists between our two militaries, I was stationed in England. Even if the politicians choose to try and ignore it or downplay it — the British people know.

MSU Alum

September 5th, 2013
8:45 pm

Obama is NOT asking to send troops into Syria. Although I don’t really agree with our getting into another war as Bush did that twice and we are still suffering from the losses of human life, the devastating effect to our economy since he never budgeted it and assigned expensive private contractors to provide services without going through the bid process, not to mention that MILLIONS of $ were never accounted for! Aside from all that, many of your fellow Republicans have been pushing for US to get involved, your very own Saxby Chambliss for one! So don’t blame everything on Obama as much as you like to for EVERYTHING that has happened to this country in the last 100 years!!! Haters are haters no matter what the truth!

R. Hughey

September 6th, 2013
3:16 pm

1. Al Qaeda and Sudam Husein conspired to execute the attacks on Sept. 11th. LIE!
2. Iraq and Sadam Husein was/is a direct threat to the United States. LIE!!
3. The conflict in Iraq would be payed for with Proceeds from the Iraqi Oil Fields. LIE!!!
4. Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. LIE!!!!
We found out as soon as Darth Chaney, Condy Rice, and President Gump opened their pie holes that the above was a LIE, and a Damnible Lie at that! I will admit President Obama is a failure WHEN the idiots on the political right “Confess/Admit” that 5000 of our best and brightest died over a lie. not to mention an estimated 1Trillion dollars spent on this LIE.