Iranian raid kills five Americans. US response? Lawsuit

Posted on: April 3rd, 2015 by Will Rodriguez 8 Comments
Vahid Salemi AP

Twelve men wearing US Army uniforms, armed with US weapons and riding in black GMC Suburbans passed through three Iraqi security checkpoints in Karbala Iraq.  Upon entering the compound of the joint Iraqi-American headquarters, the group moved with precision and purpose.  They attacked a US HMMWV guarding the entrance mortally wounding one soldier and taking two others prisoner.  The rest of the force simultaneously isolated the target building covering the front and rear exits ignoring other buildings and bypassing the Iraqi Police on the compound.  They then entered the joint headquarters using hand grenades and moved directly to a room used as a barracks by the Americans.  There, they secured two US officers and left three wounded US troops.  The group then left the compound.  The action had taken 12-15 minutes and was led by a blond haired man.  The raiders spoke English.

Shortly after leaving the compound US attack helicopters started following the GMC Suburbans.  Iraqi Police also started tracking the assailants after drawing suspicion at a checkpoint.  The assaulters abandoned their vehicles near the town of Mahawil leaving their US uniforms, an M4 rifle two dead Americans who were shot and handcuffed together and third American left executed in the dirt.  The fourth American was found later that day and died of a gunshot wound before reaching the hospital.  The names of the four Americans were CPT Brian Scott Freeman , 1LT Jacob Noel Fritz, PFC Shawn Patrick Falter and SPC Jonathan Bryan Chism.  PVT Jonathon Miles Millican was killed in the initial assault.

The information above was largely furnished by the American Forces Information Service.  The intelligence, uniform, weapon, vehicle support and precise execution of the 20 January 2007 raid pointed at the Iranian Quds force.  A similar raid had been conducted by Hezbollah’s Imad Mugniyah against Israeli forces on the Lebanese border precipitating the 2006 Hezbollah-Israeli war.  The motivation for the Iranian raid was likely the capture of five Iranian agents in Irbil Iraq who were supporting insurgent operations in the region.

On 2 July 2007, CNN reported army spokesman Brig-Gen Kevin Bergner said captured Hezbollah fighter Ali Moussa Dakdouk admitted working with the Quds Force as a liaison between Quds force and the Shia group that carried out the raid.  Fast forward to today, these are the same Shia groups fighting ISIS and still supported, trained and supervised by Iran.  General Bergner went on to say in 2007 that Iran transported in 20 to 60 man groups of Iraqi extremists to three training camps “not too far from Tehran.”  Upon returning to Iraq, they formed “special groups” carrying out attacks, bombings and kidnappings.  Dakdouk had documents instructing the special groups on techniques, including how to attack a convoy and a personal diary detailing meetings with Iraqi militants.  Al-Khazaali the leader of the Shiite group and former spokesman for cleric Muqtada al-Sadr was also captured and had documents detailing 11 separate attacks on U.S. forces.

Dakdouk was released to Iraqi custody as part of the withdrawal of US forces in 2011.  Iraq released him in 2012. In an effort to get justice for three of the murdered Americans, the families of Lt. Jacob Fritz, Spc. Johnathan Chism and Pfc. Shawn Falter filed a lawsuit this week for $200 million saying Iran directed the Karbala raid as retaliation for the arrest of Iranian agents captured in Irbil.

Lawyers seem to be our last line of defense.

Be Respectful, Candid and Pertinent. No Posers, No Trolls…
  • .
    …I don’t know if the courts still have access to any frozen Iranian assets.  If they do and the courts are willing to follow through, look for the U.S. Government to attempt to block the effort, unfreeze the assets… or at a minimum, not support an attempt at justice.  (U.S. Government did not support Wake Island survivor’s efforts against Japanese corporations who used them as slave labor… and Japanese government itself was immune due to treaty…)
    .
    …We signed an armistice with the North Koreans… but first we stopped their troops from crossing the border in large numbers.  For all their many violations, they have never had the huevos rancheros to launch a full-tilt invasion since.  
    .
    …But Iran has been dealing with suckers who came to the table not only with a sigh of relief instead of steely eyes… but no idea of what the hell they were doing… beyond trying to get “something…”  Nothing about Iran’s long history of murder and terror.  
    .
    …Whatever Iran signs is likely to be a bad joke.  How much can they hide?  Will they play the games that Saddam did… forbid inspectors on some pretext while moving everything?  Will our inspections really be aggressive, intrusive, and unannounced…?  What will the U.S. do if they play games… restore sanctions?  Good luck with that… we played hell getting some of our “allies” on board.
    .
    …At least Neville Chamberlain actually believed that he had really achieved “peace in our time…”  The administration wants a signature… a victory announcement… then will leave the consequences to the schmucks that come after them.  
    .
    -YP-

  • LawyerHandle

    I’m pretty sure we still have billions of Iranian assets frozen in various accounts but it’s much easier for civilians to win enforceable, collectable judgments out of those assets than it is for employees of the US government- military, state, intel, etc.
    I was just reading an article about this the other day; I’ll see if I can find it again. It involved the struggles of a former state dept employee injured in an Iranian funded terrorist attacks and how much harder it was for him than it was for is civilians.
    One more thing related to this subject- one of the hostages taken during the 80s on Beirut that was amongst the first group to successively sue Iran in US courts and was awarded millions had to file for bankruptcy a few years back after blowing it all in bad land deals and whatnot.

  • LawyerHandle ,
    .
    …Understood… although the Wake Island survivors were not “employees of the United States Government…”  They were employed by private contractors, and the United States Government for years claimed no responsibility after their date of capture.  
    .
    …A few more years of delay and the Japanese firms can relax.  I was at the Wake gathering last fall.  Only three in good enough health to make it. 
    .
    -YP-

  • LawyerHandle

    Here’s an article about the $1.75 billion judgment against Iran over the Beirut Marine Barracks Bombing.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/9/ny-court-oks-175b-award-in-iran-terror-cases/
    I’m still looking for the article I was talking about in my first post; I’ll add it when I find it.

  • Txazz

    What a sad state of affairs.

  • LawyerHandle

    Anti-Houthis in Yemen claim to have captured 2 Iranian military officers advising Houthi rebels.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/11/us-yemen-security-airstrikes-idUSKBN0N207I20150411

  • LawyerHandle

    Continuing along in the vein of impotent responses, the USS Roosevelt carrier group is heading to Yemen…. I doubt anyone truly believes that Obama is doing this to stop the Iranian flotilla. What concerns me is how Obama would respond to Iranian aggression; the Iranians are known for pushing the envelope around US Navy ships… and this would give them their chance to life out that fantasy of swarming and sinking a U.S. aircraft carrier…
    http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/pentagon/2015/04/20/us-warship-sent-to-block-iran-weapons-off-yemen/26082847/

  • Minou_Demimonde

    Because the last time I checked, Iran was so concerned about lawsuits. This is a tragedy, Will.