2011
08.31

Squaddie ‘chops off Taliban fingers’ – Scot probed over digits stash

The Sun
By Nick Sharpe, Chief Reporter, and Lynn Davidson
Published: 08 Aug 2011

A Scots squaddie has been accused of slicing off the fingers of dead Taliban fighters.
The soldier, from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, is under investigation over claims he kept the digits from mutilated corpses in Afghanistan.

A source revealed: “The allegations have rocked the battalion.”

Go here to read the full article in The Sun

‘We need Our Boys aggressive to do job’
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By ANDY McNAB

“What we have to remember is that this is not a knitting circle — these lads are trained killers and we need them to be aggressive.

You want the lads to get sparked up, to get excited, because that’s what allows them to do things they would never do in normal life.

In turn, though, the officers who are in charge of them have a huge role to play when situations like this one arise.

They are told in training that they have to ‘grip’ the soldiers — they have to curb their worst excesses as soon as they arise.

This guy should have been quickly sat down and told that what he was doing was out of order.

Whether the officers didn’t know about it or were too weak to stop it doesn’t matter — there has clearly been a failure of the command structure here.

I’ve seen people take ears and fingers from dead enemy.

Generally it was because they wanted a souvenir.

But a few days later they are going to look at it and think ‘What the hell did I do that for?’.

Most likely that is why this guy was doing what he did.

Sometimes it’s the trigger finger of the dead enemy that gets chopped, to send a message to those of them who are left behind.”