Help Mohammed Gulab start over - Mohammed Gulab is a man of great I just still don't understand why Luttrell hasn't stepped up and He sure painted a rosy picture of the relationship he had with Expert advice, 24/7. The only man to make it out alive, Marcus Luttrell retells the story of Operation Red They attempted to radio for advice, but comms were down. Within a couple of hours, dozens of heavily armed Taliban fighters emerged on a hill. Gulab, the man who sheltered Luttrell, was targeted by the Taliban. Gulab has said Luttrell offered to help him obtain a green card, but the relationship between the two men appears to have become strained.
Slabinski jumped off first but stumbled. The Mako 30 operators again faced withering fire when they alighted from the helicopter. As the aircraft departed, the men split into three pairs. Chapman and Slabinski headed uphill, slogging through the knee-deep snow to reach a bunker from which they were taking fire.
They killed the two men in the bunker, but then machine gun fire erupted from a second bunker nearby. Suddenly, Chapman went down. Slabinski glanced over at him. Moments later, a second member of the team was wounded as enemy fire poured from seemingly every direction. Slabinski had just seconds to get his men out of the crossfire. He looked back toward Chapman.
The laser was no longer moving. The airman, he concluded, was dead. Slabinski ordered his men to retreat, so the SEALs ran and slid down the side of the mountain, pursued by machine gun fire. The SEALs found temporary shelter under a rocky overhang. From there, they called in their location to an Air Force gunship. Then, the five survivors, two seriously wounded, moved about 5, feet in six hours to a position where a helicopter eventually rescued them.
While one aircraft awaited further instruction, the other flew straight to the peak, unaware that two helicopters had already been shot up trying to land there. This time, the militants downed the Chinook, known as Razor 01, with a rocket-propelled grenade as it landed.
In the ensuing day-long battle, three Rangers, a special ops aviator and an Air Force pararescueman were killed before the Rangers finally gained control of the mountaintop. That possibility was first officially raised by Army Lieutenant Colonel Andy Milani, a special operations aviation officer, whom JSOC appointed to investigate the battle.
According to Milani, the footage showed a man in a bunker, engaging at least two other fighters in close combat. The lieutenant colonel laid out two possible explanations: Either Al-Qaeda fighters mistook each other for Americans, or the mysterious figure was Chapman, fighting for his life after the SEALs left him behind.
Milani did not reach a conclusion, but in January the Air Force awarded Chapman a posthumous Air Force Cross for his actions up to the point when Slabinski had said he was killed. In making the case for this award, the Air Force relied heavily on witness statements from three of the surviving members of Mako 30, who all described him in heroic terms. Slabinski, in particular, credited Chapman with saving their lives. John deserves the highest medal we can get for him.
With the casualties buried and the service crosses awarded, Takur Ghar faded from the headlines for more than a decade. Thirteen years after his death, they would get their chance. The topic intrigued James, who was in charge of recommending Medals of Honor to the secretary of defense, who in turn had to decide whether to endorse the recommendations and submit them to the White House for approval.
Because almost all of the seven Air Force Crosses and about half of the Silver Stars awarded to airmen since September 11,had gone to special operators, James ordered Air Force Special Operations Command to investigate whether any awards deserved to be upgraded. Pentagon regulations stipulated that for a lesser award to become a Medal of Honor, new information had to be presented. The new information consisted largely of a careful analysis of the video shot by the Predator of the action on Takur Ghar.
Individuals appeared as little more than black blobs on the infrared footage the drone was transmitting as it circled more than a mile above the mountain. By comparing and combining the Predator footage with video shot by a circling Air Force gunship, analysts were able to isolate the blob that was Chapman and track his movements.
The Air Force then created a picture-within-a-picture video presentation, in which an animated recreation of the fight fills most of the screen, synced to the drone footage playing in a box. The video has never been made public, and Air Force Special Operations Command declined to comment for this story. But a Newsweek reporter was able to view the video and take notes.
As an Air Force officer narrates, the video shows Slabinski jumping from the back ramp of the Chinook, losing his balance and falling into the snow. Next off the helicopter is Chapman, who fires as he charges toward the first bunker, which is about feet away.
Slabinski follows, at one point almost catching up with him.
Marcus Luttrell’s Savior, Mohammad Gulab, Claims ‘Lone Survivor’ Got It Wrong
Then Chapman surges ahead and arrives at the bunker, shooting into it for several seconds before Slabinski reaches him, about 90 seconds after getting off the helicopter. Chapman then opens fire on the second Al-Qaeda bunker, about 30 feet away. Sergeant Chapman killed the enemy fighter, but during this engagement, Sergeant Chapman was shot and went down. It is at this point that Slabinski has said he glanced at Chapman and assessed he was still alive.
The other two headed in the opposite direction. The footage shows one of the SEALs who had joined Slabinski on top of a boulder shooting an M60 machine gun before getting shot and falling down, and the three SEALs huddling at the base of the boulder for a few seconds.
Less than three minutes after arriving, the SEALs begin their retreat. Slabinski has said that it was then that he concluded that Chapman was dead. Slabinski declined to be interviewed for this article, directing a reporter to the Naval Special Warfare Command public affairs office, which did not respond to requests for comment. But then the footage captures movement there, even though no one has approached it since the SEALs had fled. The man in the bunker proceeds to move around and fire his weapon for about an hour.
Less than a year later, the U. After several days, they set him free and apologized. Gulab says they continued paying himbut he was no longer allowed on the base.
The Afghan pressed on—he bought another truck and hired workers to haul timber. Inhe again tried to reach out to Luttrell. This time, he traveled roughly 50 miles to a U. Fairchild declined to comment for this story, but the Afghan says he contacted Luttrell for him. To confirm his identity, Gulab says he gave Fairchild a photo a friend took of the SEAL dressed in traditional Afghan clothing during his time in the village, shortly after the battle.
In the five years since he and Gulab had last spoken, the American had served another tour, retired and received the Navy Cross for heroism in combat for that mission in Kunar.
He had also received permission from his superiors to publish his memoir, which he worked on with Patrick Robinson, a British novelist. Little, Brown won the book at auction with a seven-figure advance, according to The New York Times, and it became a major success.
When the Afghan contacted him through Fairchild, the former SEAL was setting up a nonprofit, the Lone Survivor Foundationto help American military personnel adjust to life after war. He invited Gulab to come to the U. In Maymonths before he was supposed to fly to Houston, he stepped outside his home in Asadabad to get some fresh air. As he stood near the doorway, two men on motorcycles pulled up and fired at him with pistols. Gulab stumbled backward and scrambled inside as a bullet ricocheted off a wall and struck him in the upper thigh.
In a futile attempt to hide from the Taliban, who were trying to kill him, Gulab left his village and moved to Asadabad, capital of Kunar Province. For the next two weeks, the Lone Survivor Foundation paid for Gulab to travel around the country with Fairchild and an interpreter. Before they parted once again, this time in Houston, Gulab says Luttrell promised to hold a fundraiser for him and the other villagers who had saved him. Soon after Gulab returned to Asadabad, his life was again thrown into turmoil.
The Taliban stole his timber truck and all the wood it was carrying. With his family in danger, and no way to make a living, he contacted Fairchild and others at the base. They gave him thousands of dollars to help the family move to Jalalabad.
For the next two years, Gulab and his family remained relatively safe. He loved his nephew and felt guilty about his death. At least he had Luttrell, who promised to always come to his rescue. So in earlythe former SEAL sent him an intriguing message through a new interpreter, a fellow Pashtun. Luttrell had consulted on the film and wanted his friend to help with promotion. He was eager to see Luttrell again, and he was proud that the movie would show the world how he and his village had defied the Taliban and saved the American.
But he also knew it would make him a bigger target—especially if he went to the U. He thanked the interpreter for the offer but declined. Gulab says Luttrell kept trying and even promised him money.
With money from the film, he could move to Kabul—even to America, if it came to that. In August, Universal flew Gulab to Houston first class, and he suddenly felt like a celebrity. He walked the red carpet twice and hobnobbed with Hollywood stars. He even visited Las Vegas. Over the course of several months, Gulab saw the film three times. His fondest memory of the trip was meeting Mark Wahlberg, the actor who plays Luttrell in the film. The burly Texas native frequently offered to help him start a business, Gulab says, and the two discussed a market the Afghan said he wanted to buy in Asadabad.
When Gulab began to miss home or worry about his family, he claims Luttrell comforted him, offering to buy him a house in Dubai or get him a green card and build him a home in Houston. Gulab decided against it. Doing so meant he could never return to Afghanistan or reunite with his family, or so he thought. They had something important to discuss. As the three huddled, Gulab claims they hashed out a verbal agreement: Luttrell promised to link him up with Robinson, his co-author, so he could tell his version of how they met, and the Afghan could keep the profits from the book.
Marcus Luttrell’s Savior, Mohammad Gulab, Claims ‘Lone Survivor’ Got It Wrong
Gulab also maintains that Luttrell promised him a split on whatever he made from the movie. Later, the villager claims, he asked the interpreter if Luttrell and Universal would draw up a contract. For days, the British novelist and the Afghan villager chatted as the interpreter translated.
Most of the differences were minor. The militants, like many others in the area, heard the helicopter drop the Americans on the mountain, Gulab claims. The way Gulab heard it from fellow villagers, when the militants finally found them, the Americans were deliberating about what to do with the goat herders. The insurgents held back. After Luttrell and company freed the locals, the gunmen waited for the right moment to strike.
The battle, Gulab claims, was short-lived. A Navy spokesman declined to comment on the matter. But the Afghan claims the villagers and American military personnel who combed the mountain for the bodies of the dead SEALs never found any enemy corpses. Andrew MacMannis, a former Marine Colonel who helped draw up the mission and was on scene during the search and recovery effort for the dead SEALs and other military personnel, says there were no reports of any enemy casualties.
While Luttrell wrote that he fired round after round during the battle, Gulab says the former SEAL still had 11 magazines of ammunition when the villagers rescued him—all that he had brought on the mission. In his book, Victory Pointthe journalist Ed Darack wrote about the 2nd Battalion of the 3rd Marine Regiment in Afghanistan, the unit that planned the mission. He got the name of the operation wrong—it was Red Wings, like the hockey team, not Redwing. Others are more significant: He was the head of a small Taliban-linked militia.
Citing reports gleaned from phone and radio intercepts, Darack estimates only eight to 10 militants attacked the SEALs, not 80 to The timing was more than bad—in a few hours, the two were supposed to sit down with TV anchor Anderson Cooper for a 60 Minutes interview.
Later, he claims the interpreter took him outside to chat: Now Shah was not a threat to the home front. Now there were just 30 to 40 fighters on the mountain. Now he appeared to indicate Murphy alone decided to let the goat herders go. His lawyer, Tony Buzbee, said in a statement: Everything he wrote in his book is absolutely true.
I tried to make my way up to him…. I was out in the open, waving my hands. I heard his gun go off and a lot of gunfire in his area.
I was trying with everything I had to get to him, and he started screaming my name. I need help, Marcus! All I wanted him to do was stop screaming my name…. And I put my weapon down in a gunfight while my best friend was getting killed. So that pretty much makes me a coward….
I broke right there, I quit right there. They treated him well, he says, but the interpreter was rarely around. He had little money and no way to travel on his own. Gulab asked the interpreter to call Luttrell several times but says he never got through. But about a month after his last conversation with Luttrell, Gulab says the interpreter abruptly announced it was time to return to Houston, and they did.
The next morning, Gulab learned he was being sent back to Afghanistan.
Lone Survivor: Man’s life a nightmare since saving Navy SEAL
He appreciated the money and presents. He says he wanted to stay in the United States, to look for a house in Texas and try and bring his family over. Yet Luttrell, he claims, had dropped the subject. In his statement from Buzbee, the former SEAL disputes this, saying he encouraged Gulab to stay but that he left on his own accord. Shortly before becoming aware that Gulab was making these ever-changing, and false, allegations, the Luttrells, were approached by people claiming to be acting for Gulab, who asked for substantial amounts of money.
Others associated with the Lone Survivor movie and book were also approached with similar requests, at about the same time. On the ride to the airport, Gulab spoke to Luttrell on the phone, and the American apologized for not being there, explaining that he was busy promoting the movie. Gulab had little more than the money in his pocket—and now his life was in greater danger than ever.
Not long after he returned to Afghanistan, Gulab was walking along a path in the woods when the militants detonated an improvised explosive device in front of him. During the day, Gulab slept at home, cradling a Kalashnikov. At night, he left his family and went to a secret location. The threats kept coming. One district commander, Mullah Nasrullah, was livid that his fighters had yet to kill the famous villager from Sabray.
The commander even called Gulab. The question of honor has nothing to do with his religion. Weeks earlier, after a period of silence from Luttrell, he had received the book contract from the interpreter. It not only signed away his rights to review the manuscript but also indicated he had to split the profits three ways. They accused Yousafzai of fabricating the interview, for which Gulab was outraged. To prove it, the second person dialed Gulab into the call.
Static filled the line, and then Spies heard a man speaking in a foreign language as the second individual translated. We also had a signed copy of the book contract. Later, Yousafzai reached out to Gulab and asked what had happened.