Afghan Kill Squad: 12 US Soldiers Face Charges, Stryker Brigade
Afghan Kill Squad: 12 Soldiers From Stryker Infantry Brigade Face Charges - Killing Civilians And Covering It Up
U.S. soldiers that were stationed in Afghanistan face charges of operating an Afghan Kill Squad, targeting and executing Afghan civilians, in some cases collecting the fingers off Afghan corpses as trophies various news outlets are reporting.
The killings were alleged to have been carried out by soldiers in the 5th Stryker Brigade deployed to Afghanistan's Kandahar province in July of 2009.
Five of the soldiers are charged with murdering three Afghan men who were allegedly killed for sport in separate attacks this year. Seven others are accused of covering up the killings and assaulting a recruit who exposed the murders when he reported other abuses, including members of the unit smoking hashish stolen from civilians.
The killings were said to have occurred between 2009-2010 soon after the arrival in Kandahar of Staff Sgt. Robert Gibbs
Authorities allege Gibbs kept finger bones, leg bones and a tooth from Afghan corpses. Another soldier, Spc. Michael Gagnon II, allegedly kept a skull from a corpse, according to charging documents. Several soldiers are charged with taking pictures of the corpses, and one - Spc. Corey Moore - with stabbing a corpse.
Staff Sgt. Robert Gibbs is charged with lying to investigators about the deaths, saying the civilians posed a threat.
According to CNN, the five soldier who face murder and assault charges are Sgt. Gibbs from Billings, Montana; Pfc Andrew Holmes of Boise, Idaho; Pte. Christopher Winfield of Cape Coral, Florida; Micahel Wagnon of Las Vegas; and Spc. Jeremy Morlock of Wasillia, Alaska.
Windfields' father, says his son warned him about what was happening in Afghanistan.
Christopher Winfield said his son Adam, 22, was so disgusted after the first killing that he sent Facebook messages home asking for help.
Winfield called the Army and a military hot line asking officials to investigate - to no avail.
His son's lawyer said he was ordered to shoot at the third victim but deliberately shot high.
An Army spokeswoman declined to comment about whether the base received any tips about the case.