Many individuals and groups have consistently raised concerns over the pattern of killings which have been conducted by the SAS unit in Afghanistan.
Four civilians in Afghanistan were gunned down by the SAS unit. As part of the High Court case around the death of these civilians, internal Special Forces emails were disclosed, which a lawyer for a relative of the deceased described as “deeply troubling”.
A solicitor said that the record number of killings conducted in February 2011 in the Helmand province sparked “immediate and serious concerns”, and members of the British Army expressed alarm at the time about a “pattern of killings by the same unit”.
It was reported that during a three-month period that year, 33 people were killed in eleven raids by one SAS unit. A highest-ranking special forces officer described the allegations he had received as “explosive” and “disturbing”, suggesting “a deliberate policy” among one unit “to engage and kill fighting-aged males on target even when they did not pose a threat”.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “This is not new evidence, and this historical case has already been independently investigated by the Royal Military Police (RMP) as part of Operation Northmoor. It has also been subject to four reviews conducted by an independent review team.
“These documents were considered as part of the independent investigations, which concluded there was insufficient evidence to refer the case for prosecution. The Service Police and the Service Prosecuting Authority, of course, remain open to considering allegations should new evidence, intelligence or information come to light.”
A judicial review has been granted to a young man, Saifullah Yar, into the deaths of four of his family members who were gunned down on February 16 2011. The internal Special Forces emails were disclosed to his lawyers as part of the High Court hearing last month.