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.