Tag Archive | smuggler

Looking for a deal on a cheap AK or thousand?

A U.S. Navy destroyer operating as part of the 5th Fleet came across a stateless dhow in international waters and subsequently discovered a few guns.

CENTCOM currently says the source of the AK cache is “unknown”

According to a release from U.S Naval Forces Central Command, the USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) encountered the vessel last Monday and, boarding the inoperable small craft the following day, discovered the weapons hidden under packages. In all, Dunham’s visit, board, search and seizure team cataloged more than 1,000 AK47 pattern rifles, most shown wrapped in plastic sleeves stored inside green bags.

The Kalash were hidden under all this crap

Stateless dhow with RHIBs and Dunham showed for scale.

 

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 Guns.com 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.”

 

Gambia undergoes regime change (with a little help)

His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh, is a straight-up nutjob. The problem was, he was also the strongman dictator of the small West African country of The Gambia for the past couple decades.

In case you haven’t heard of this character, he claims to hold a colonel’s commission in Kentucky, an Admiral’s in Nebraska, threatened to cut off the heads of any homosexuals in the country, claimed he can cure AIDS with bananas, survived a dozen attempts to dethrone him both real and imagined, and has had over 1,000 of his subjects citizens kidnapped re-educated after they were accused of being witches.

Back in 2014, a group of four American citizens with ties the country decided to overthrow Jammeh of Gambia, in a story that I covered extensively.

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.

Well, that effort tanked but Jammeh was unsurprisingly voted out in an election last year that he vowed to abide by at first, then ordered the election commission disbanded.

As President-elect Adama Barrow fled the country, Jammeh reportedly imported foreign mercenaries to help provide some extra muscle to help put down Barrow supporters if the 1,600-strong Gambian Armed Forces (GAF) couldn’t be fully counted on.

The outside mercs were reportedly out of work West African rebels and child soldiers (“ex-Ivorian militants and Liberian mercenaries underway, headed by former officers of Charles Taylor” …” 300 to 400 people who have signed up for a fee ranging between $100 to $300 a day”).

Then, the Economic Community of West African States, or ECOWAS– a regional group of 15 West African countries which Gambia is a member of– decided to step in and drop the hammer on 19 January.

As noted by War Is Boring:

As the crisis deepened, more than 1,000 Senegalese troops crossed the border into The Gambia, set to march to the capital Banjul and force Jammeh to step down. The contingent had air cover from combat-loaded Nigerian armed reconnaissance jets, helicopters, and other personnel.

Senegal and Nigeria are both members of ECOWAS. The regional bloc instructed the Gambian military to remain in its barracks.

ECOWAS Senegalese troops hold their position in Barra, across from the Gambian capital Banjul Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, one day after Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh departed from the country. ECOWAS troops are moving in to prepare for the return of newly installed President Adama Barrow.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

ECOWAS Senegalese troops hold their position in Barra, across from the Gambian capital Banjul Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, one day after Gambia’s defeated leader Yahya Jammeh departed from the country. ECOWAS troops are moving in to prepare for the return of newly installed President Adama Barrow.(AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

The Nigerian Air Force contributed a couple surplus German Alpha Jets for air cover as well as some light transport (C-130H, AW109) and ISAR craft as part of the ECOWAS force. As the Gambian military only has a single SU-25 bought from Georgia in static display condition more than a decade ago, the Nigerians were likely to have total air superiority.

Below is NAF Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Baba Abubakar, hyping the contingent up before leaving for Dakar, where they operated from.

As this happened, officials swore in Adama Barrow as the internationally recognized president of the country in the Gambian embassy in Dakar (Senegal).

As the Senegalese troops moved in on Banjul, and Jammeh’s mercenaries lost their interest in taking on the tough British/French-trained and U.S.-equipped regulars who have been France’s watchdogs in Africa for generations (the Senegalese, with the help of a pair of SAS troopers, helped put down a coup in 1981 in The Gambia in less than a week), the dictator decided to split Saturday night, recognising Barrow as leader. Senegal has also had extensive ties to AFRICOM who no doubt provided some behind the scenes assistance.

Gambia’s army commander, Ousman Badjie, made a point of greeting the incoming troops and celebrating with the pro-Barrow crowd, showing that Jammeh was probably right about those mercenaries in the first place.

However, the unemployed dictator reportedly absconded with most of what the impoverished country had in the bank:

Underscoring the challenges facing the new administration, [Barrow’s special adviser Mai Ahmad] Fatty confirmed that Jammeh made off with more than $11.4 million during a two-week period alone. That is only what they have discovered so far since Jammeh and his family took an offer of exile after more than 22 years in power and departed late Saturday.

“The Gambia is in financial distress. The coffers are virtually empty. That is a state of fact,” Fatty told journalists. “It has been confirmed by technicians in the ministry of finance and the Central Bank of the Gambia.”

Though the foreign troops will be in place for now, “ECOWAS will halt any military operations in The Gambia and will continue to pursue peaceful and political resolution of the crisis,” noted the group Saturday.

From the U.S. State Department late Sunday:

The United States welcomes the on-going peaceful transition of power in The Gambia and congratulates President Adama Barrow on his inauguration. We applaud the commitment to democracy and the restraint shown by the Gambian people over the past weeks.

We commend the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and other regional partners for their leadership in addressing the situation. We appreciate the decision by Yahya Jammeh to depart The Gambia peacefully and echo President Barrow’s call for Gambians to unite and work together as brothers and sisters for the future of The Gambia.

The United States is proud of our close ties to the people of The Gambia and looks forward to working closely with President Barrow and his team to achieve the aspirations of all Gambians.

As for Jammeh, he says he is only in exile in nearby Equatorial Guinea for now.

In related news, the British Army this month deployed 90 soldiers from 1st The Queen’s Dragoons Guards’ ‘B’ Squadron alongside 25 soldiers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces for a jungle exercise in that nearby (to Gambia) country– the first of its kind in that country. The fact that a company-sized force was within a short airlift away from the former British colony during all this is noteworthy.

Britain recently launched a new Defence Section in Senegal and has had 350 troops in Nigeria where 22,000 Nigerian military personnel have been trained since April 2015.

Here is a look at the UK’s commitment to Africa.

uk-troops-in-africa

Wild Geese, shot down (but only winged slightly on the wrist)

(Not the actual Wild Geese in question, but still a great film. Those UZIs thoe...)

(Not the actual Wild Geese in question, but still a great film. Dat DPM-UZI combo thoe…)

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 lists 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 a long-time veteran of the U.S. Army and Air Force that included recent combat service in Afghanistan.

The plot involved shipping semi-auo 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 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.

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.

There four men charged in 2015 with Conspiracy to violate the Neutrality Act and Conspiracy to possess a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence plead guilty last week 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.

Hmmm, that’s kinda interesting if you ask me. Just saying. Papa Faal, if you are out there, hit me up at egerwriter@gmail.com and let’s talk.

Anyway, more on the coup details in my column at Guns.com where I’ve covered this story here, here and here.

Coups on a shoestring: Fox and Dave play lets kick out Mini Idi Amin

While I was sitting back on Dec. 30/31, 2014 celebrating my 40th birthday (yaay me, still have all my own teeth and hair!), a group of expatriate Gambians were (allegedly, everyone is innocent until proven guilty) fighting for their lives in that West African country’s capital city.

gambia-30455

You see a Gambian-born former U.S. Army (SSGT, Service and Support battalion) vet who had also been in the USAF (in a ARW) then went on to be an IT guy in Minnesota, was leading 10-12 other ethnic Gambians in a firefight with AR-15s he smuggled into the country wrapped in blankets from the Frozen Land of 10,000 Lakes.

This leader of these Dogs of War went by the codename “Fox” while the money-man behind the adventure, an investor from Texas and hopeful for the next spot as President of The Gambia, went by the codename “Dave” who allegedly financed the ill-fated op to the tune of $220K.


(Dave’s not here)

The goal was to relieve this guy:

President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia inspecting Gambian troops the Telegraph

From power.

Here you see one “His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh“, the defacto king dictator President of Gambia since he relieved the last Democratically-elected President of his employment in a 1994 military coup.

In case you haven’t heard of this character, he claims to hold a colonel’s commission in Kentucky, an Admiral’s in Nebraska, threatened to cut of the heads of any homosexuals in the country, claimed he can cure AIDS with bananas, survived a dozen attempts to dethrone him both real and imagined, and has had over 1,000 of his subjects citizens kidnapped re-educated after they were accused of being witches.

Anyway, things didn’t go too well for Fox and Dave who managed to get the fcuk out of the Gambia with their skin while apparently many others did not. However the FBI now has them in custody and the DOJ is throwing the book at them. Seems nobody can take a joke anymore.

The rest in my column at Guns.com

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