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Military report: U.S. General’s death in Afghanistan could not have been ‘prevented’

Posted at 11:35 AM, Dec 04, 2014
General Harold J. Greene was killed in an attack at a training facility in Afghanistan Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

General Harold J. Greene was killed in an attack at a training facility in Afghanistan Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

WASHINGTON — An investigation into the killing of the most senior U.S. military officer since 9/11 found the incident could not have been “foreseen” or “prevented,” according to a military report out Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Harold Greene, who was leading efforts to train soldiers in Afghanistan, was killed by a member of the Afghan National Army on Aug. 5 during a visit to a military training facility in Kabul.

The report was from the International Security Assistance Force, which serves as NATO’s command over allied military operations in Afghanistan.

Greene, along with more than 90 other US and Coalition personnel, visited the Marshal Fahim National Defense University to take a look at the construction of a site at the school that would serve officers in the Afghan Army.

According to the report, overall security at the site was provided by Danish forces, but there were protection forces from the United States, United Kingdom and Germany also present. But despite “extensive security planning” for the event, the report said “there was no comprehensive plan that incorporated all participating security elements,” as each individual security detachment did their own preparation.

“The threat level that day was assessed as low, with no indicators of unusual activity or concern,” the report said.

ISAF identified the shooter as Rafiqullah, a soldier with the Afghan Army who entered the barracks at the university where the presentation was taking place and positioned himself in a nearby bathroom in direct view of the delegation and fired 27 — 30 rounds in to the crowd.

In addition to Greene, 18 others were seriously wounded. Two Coalition Force Soldiers returned fire and killed the shooter.

“Although there have been many leads, nothing has yet materialized that conclusively links the shooter to any plots, plans or person of interest,” the report said. “It appears the shooting was not pre-meditated, and the shooter simply took advantage a target of opportunity provided by the close gathering.”

The report raised the possibility the shooter may have been “self-radicalized” or suffered from some type of psychological condition.

While visits to the site from various officials are a regular occurrence, the report said the incident appeared to be an “isolated act of a determined shooter without indicators or warnings.”

ISAF made recommendations for greater risk assessment planning of such events and visits in the future, as well as a review of ISAF’s standard on the use of personal protective equipment.