Commendations have been pouring in for a British Special Forces soldier who participated in fighting terrorists and rescuing victims during a terrorist attack on a hotel in Nairobi.
MSN news reports that, the elite soldier, who is in Kenya training the country’s special forces, was on an “admin run” when al-Shabaab terrorists stormed the nearby hotel complex, killing 14 people, including a British charity worker
According to media reports, the SAS operative was off-duty, shopping nearby when the incident happened. He dashed to his car, picked up his military equipment and dashed to the scene.
Former British soldier, Chris Ryan, who served in the elite regiment for 10 years, said: “He was out shopping on an admin run.
“He had his equipment in the car, so when it all kicked off he sprinted back to his car and quickly got kitted up before heading straight towards the firefight.
“When he arrived in the hotel he started organising the entire operation, directing the police and army.
“Then he went in there on his own to neutralise the enemy and rescue the hostages.
“His actions certainly saved many lives and shows the manner of these men, who are extremely brave and always ready.”
Pictures and video from the scene show the SAS operative in jeans and body armour, holding a gun, as he escorts bystanders out of the DusitD2 hotel to safety.
The weapon he is seen clutching is a Diemaco C8 Carbine – standard issue for Special Forces soldiers.
Chris, who served in the highly-secretive regiment for 10 years, said footage of the soldier showed he is a highly trained fighter who instinctively knew what he needed to do to save lives.
And he praised his “creativity” in instructing Kenyan forces to block off roads and exits and storm the hotel on his own.
Best-selling author Chris, whose books are inspired by his SAS bravery, said: “That’s just what the guy does, it’s his nine to five job.
“He’s trained to the highest level to react to these types of situations. And counter terrorism operations are just bread and butter to him.
“The calibre of these types of soldiers is such that the other side, al-Shabaab, wouldn’t stand a chance if they came up against this guy.
“He is trained to react to the threat. He will instinctively locate the threat, identify it and then neutralise it.
“His tactic is to shoot the enemy before they get a chance to shoot themselves.
“You can see from the videos that he wasn’t cowering anywhere, he was aggressively moving on to targets, on the prowl hunting these animals down.
“He was dominating the firefight, switching everything from their surprise attack to them being hunted, because they’ve now got a professional solider in the thick of it going after them.”
Chris said he was impressed – but not surprised – at how the soldier took control of the situation, directing the Kenyan police and army as he engaged with the terror gang.
He said: “Because the guy was part a training team out there, he was already up to date on every tactic they use and how to react.
“These guys can read the situation on the ground, immediately without briefings, and then they can adapt to that situation.
“Obviously the guy had all the equipment with him, he had the weaponry, body armour and magazines, so once he was there it was just a case of reacting to the situation, finding the target and putting it down.
“The Kenyan forces reacted first, but when he arrived on the scene he took over and started guiding everyone into firing positions, and then bringing the civilians out to safe havens.
“You saw he was going in and bringing people out then putting them into a safe area and then going back in.
“For him that’s as normal as someone else going in to the office and doing their job. It’s as basic as that.
“He’s going in to an area where he will have trained countless times to engage targets and then cover your flanks and protect your flanks, using buildings, vehicles, and other structures to cover himself.
“But then as soon as he sees a target he will engage that target. And I can guarantee he will be a hell of a lot more accurate with his weapon that the al-Shabaab guy.
“So he will be putting a piece of lead through them and then moving on to the next one. It’s as simple as that really.”
And he said the soldier obviously made a calculated decision to go in alone, believing that it would be better than taking in less professional local troops.
He said: “Clearly the guy is really creative. In every footage I’ve seen of him he’s doing it alone and hasn’t taken any of the local forces to give him back up. He’s taken the fight to these guys on his own.
“He’s very confident, he knows his capabilities, and he will have a very high understanding of who he was going after.
“Sometimes you’re better off working by yourself because around the world certain armies can get a bit fired up, and start firing off rounds. Then you have a big threat of blue on blue.
“So he probably felt safer by placing the local security services, police and army, in places, telling them not to move, and to provide him cover.
“He might have told the security services to maybe block a street off as he goes in, or to cover exits of buildings so when he goes in and flushes anybody out for them to maybe engage.
“That is everything SAS soldiers are training to do, instinctively. It’s second nature to them.”
The Riverside complex that housed the hotel is also the location of the offices of a number of international businesses.
Dad-of-one Luke was among the victims of the attack.
He was working for the charity, Gatsby, and described himself on his company website as loving water-sports, camping, hiking and talking about adventures outside the city. He had only recently moved to Nairobi from Britain.
He was a dual South African/British national.
Another victim is believed to be an employee of LG Electronics.
Other firms based there include Colgate Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser, Pernod Ricard, Dow Chemical and SAP.
The attack started yesterday afternoon came to an end overnight, with all of the militants reportedly killed.
Islamist group al-Shabaab, which has links to al-Qaeda , later said it was behind the killings.
The British Foreign Office said today it was supporting the family of a man killed in the attack.
A spokesman added “We are also supporting a British person who was wounded during the attack and is receiving medical attention.
“We stand ready to help any other British people affected.”
The Ministry of Defence does not comment on Special Forces operations.