The Gambia op in the rear-view

Back in 2014, a group of four American citizens with ties to the West African country of The Gambia decided to overthrow President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia, whose official state website at the time listed him as “His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh,” among other titles.

The would-be revolutionaries had military backgrounds to one degree or another to include one, Papa Faal, 47, of Minnesota, who was a long-time veteran of the U.S. Army and Air Force that included recent combat service in Afghanistan.

The plot involved shipping semi-auto AR-15s, NVGs and assorted sundry banana republic gear to Africa secreted in 55-gal drums.

Once on the ground, Faal led ground assault team of a two other Americans and dozen ethnic Gambians from the UK and Germany in an attack on the Presidential Palace that was supposed to be supported by a sympathetic company of Gambian troops.

One of two cars used in a 2014 attack on the Gambian State House during a coup attempt in The Gambia. Several naturalized Americans from the West African nation helped plan and carry out the failed coup, violating U.S. federal law. (Photos: FBI)

Well, the turncoats never turned and Faal and the boys were left assed-out, only barely managing to break off the attack and beat feet out of the country, leaving most of their comrades and two shot up rental cars behind.

Back in the U.S., Faal and three men were quickly charged in 2015 with Conspiracy to violate the Neutrality Act and Conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence. In the end, they plead guilty and in exchange picked up paperweight sentences of between six months and 366 days in federal prison–except for Papa Faal who got off with time served.

Anyway, I covered the coup details extensively in my column at here, here and here.

But the FBI just released more information on the story here, including some great images.

I can’t believe these guys went to gun shows and stocked up on this thin receiver stuff when they could have bought true Type 56 Spikers and FALs all over Africa for a song…You can tell this was not a CIA op…

In their investigation, agents identified more than 20 weapons purchased by Americans. They also examined the cars used in the attack as well as the safe houses, and they took DNA samples from the two dead Americans.

But the whole thing started off like a page from a Mack Bolan book:

Two Americans were killed in the failed coup on December 30, 2014. The next day, distraught Gambian-American Papa Faal entered the U.S. Embassy in neighboring Senegal.

“He said, ‘I need to get back to the United States. The Gambians are looking for me,’” said Special Agent Jeffrey Van Nest from the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office. “When embassy staff asked why Faal said he was part of the attempted coup. That’s when we got involved.”


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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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