Former SAS soldier gagged from releasing his book on how he defeated Kenya’s Islamic terrorists because judge thinks it will expose forces’ tradecraft
- Christian Craighead helped defeat terrorists who attacked a Nairobi hotel
- He was awarded a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross after the incident in 2019
A former SAS soldier has been gagged from releasing a book on how he defeated Islamic terrorists in Kenya.
The soldier, who uses the pseudonym Christian Craighead, wanted to publish his account of the day that five terrorists stormed the Dusit D2 hotel complex in Nairobi in January 2019 where 21 people died.
He was awarded a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, a bravery medal second only to a Victoria Cross, for his response to the gun and grenade attack.
Craighead launched a legal challenge against a ban imposed by the Secretary of Defence and claimed that such an move was in breach of his freedom of speech.
But he has now been prevented from releasing the book after the High Court ruled that the ban should remain in place to protect the SAS’ tradecraft in the interest of national security, according to The Telegraph.
A soldier (pictured), who uses the pseudonym Christian Craighead, has been gagged from releasing a book on how he defeated Islamic terrorists in Kenya
Craighead (pictured after the incident) wanted to publish his account of the day that five terrorists stormed the Dusit D2 hotel complex in Nairobi in January 2019 where 21 people died
Mrs Justice Steyn said during a private hearing in the High Court: ‘He has only been prevented from giving an account of an operation, the Dusit incident, in which he engaged as a member of UK special forces,’ she added.
‘On the other side of the balance are the interests of the community reflected in the defendant’s evidence.
‘Those community interests entail the protection of lives, the protection of national security, the maintenance of the morale and efficiency of UKSF and protecting relations with defence partners.’
‘On the evidence before me, the interests of the community substantially outweigh the claimant’s interest in publishing a memoir about the Dusit incident (even when buttressed by the interest of the public in receiving the information he wishes to disclose, and by the interest of his publisher).’
The book entitled ‘One Man In: The Explosive Firsthand Account of the Lone Special-Ops Soldier Who Fought Off a Major Terrorist Attack in Kenya’ was expected to be published this year.
Craighead appeared on Evan Hafer’s Black Rifle Coffee Podcast Referring last year and briefly spoke about confidentiality issues.
He said: ‘I’m working with the Ministry of Defence as we speak to do it properly, to release this book so there’s no sense of information or anything.
‘So that’s as far as I’m willing to talk about my life in the 22nd Special Air Service regiment. I should add that the book is just about that one day, so for anyone on the edge of their seats it doesn’t talk about anything I did while serving in the unit.
‘It just talks about one thing I did that we all know I did.’
Craighead was awarded a Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, a bravery medal second only to a Victoria Cross, for his response to the gun and grenade attack.
Under strict rules, Special Forces troops must not discuss their missions in public or seek to ‘cash in’ on operations.
The rules were introduced following the furore over books by ex-troopers Chris Ryan and Andy McNab which dramatically raised the SAS’s public profile and led to concerns over Special Forces troops leaking sensitive information which could compromise future operations.
Craighead had been stationed in Kenya to help train the nation’s soldiers and was off-duty when heavily armed jihadis from the al-Shabaab terror group seized the Dusit D2 luxury hotel complex, setting fire to vehicles, detonating explosions and embarking on a mass shooting.
Images from the scene in Nairobi show the off-duty SAS hero wearing combat gear over a purple shirt and jeans as he entered the complex before emerging with terrified survivors.
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