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Former Green Beret charged with murder says he killed suspected Taliban bomb-maker in an ambush
Former Special Forces Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, who was charged with murder after admitting he killed a suspected Taliban bomb maker, claims he "conducted an ambush" when he engaged the unarmed man.
"Over these years, what the Army – particularly this time, the United States Army Special Operations Command – seems to be intent on doing is characterizing an ambush as murder," Golsteyn told Fox & Friends' Pete Hegseth during a Sunday interview. "What Army special operators and regular Army, like infantry soldiers, have done over the last 15 years, those routine combat actions are now being characterized as murder."
Golsteyn initially admitted during a polygraph test for a CIA interview that he had killed an unarmed Afghan man in February 2010 after a tribal leader claimed the man had built a bomb that had killed two Marines. His charge sheet does not provide any details on how Golsteyn shot and killed the suspected bomb maker, who is identified as "Rasoul."
Major Golsteyn's first TV interview since being charged in the death of a suspected Taliban bomb maker
Former Green Beret Officer Matt Golsteyn and wife Julie Golsteyn join the 'Fox & Friends' team for an exclusive interview.
During his CIA polygraph test, Golsteyn said he took Rasoul off base and shot him because the Afghan tribal leader was worried that Rasoul would murder him and his family if released, the Washington Post first reported.
He also said that he buried Rasoul, and then he and two other soldiers dug up Rasoul's body and burned it.
More recently, Golsteyn told the Washington Post's Dan Lamothe that he set up an ambush position off base in case Rasoul tried to walk towards Taliban positions – which is exactly what he claimed Rasoul did once released.
"He had a long walk," Golsteyn told the Washington Post. "He had a long time to figure out where he was going in life."
Phillip Stackhouse, Golsteyn's attorney, said his client has always maintained that the February 2010 incident was an ambush.
Moreover, Rasoul was apprehended with bomb-making equipment and was identified by "a trusted source" as a bomb-maker, whom the Taliban had deployed to Marjah to fight U.S. troops, Stackhouse told Task & Purpose on Sunday.
"The Taliban fighter/bomb-maker was a combatant at the time," Stackhouse said in an email. "He had been released, as required, sometime earlier, i.e., he was not a detainee, and was killed on the battlefield."
Army investigators initially decided there was not enough evidence to prosecute Golsteyn, but the investigation was relo-opened after he admitted to killing Rasoul during an October 2016 interview with Fox News' Bret Baier. He was officially charged with premeditated murder in December 2018.
An Article 32 hearing, the military's equivalent of a grand jury, for Golsteyn's case has been scheduled for March 14 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
A U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman declined to respond to Golsteyn's argument that the Army is mischaracterizing a lawful engagement of an enemy combatant as murder.
"Since recalled to active duty, Maj. Golsteyn has been afforded the respect his rank commands and privileges as any Soldier assigned to United States Army Special Operations Command located at Fort Bragg, N.C.," Lt. Col. Loren Bymer said in an email. "To protect Maj. Golsteyn's rights and maintain integrity of the legal process, it would be inappropriate to comment further on the case prior to the outcome of the Article 32 hearing."
Shortly after Golsteyn was charged, President Donald Trump tweeted that Golsteyn was a "U.S. Military hero" and vowed to review the case.
On Sunday, Golsteyn told Hegseth that his son was encouraged by the president's comment.
"It just gave him a sense of relief on his face that someone was actually paying attention and cared about his dad," Golsteyn said. "It was a real blessing."
SEE ALSO: Trump's Tweet Supporting Green Beret Accused Of Murder Was Not Unlawful Command Influence, Experts Say
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KABUL (Reuters) - The Islamic State (IS) militant group claimed responsibility on Sunday for a suicide blast at a wedding reception in Afghanistan that killed 63 people, underlining the dangers the country faces even if the Taliban agrees a pact with the United States.
The Saturday night attack came as the Taliban and the United States try to negotiate an agreement on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in exchange for a Taliban commitment on security and peace talks with Afghanistan's U.S.-backed government.
Islamic State fighters, who first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north, are not involved in the talks. They are battling government and U.S.-led international forces and the Taliban.
The group, in a statement on the messaging website Telegram, claimed responsibility for the attack at a west Kabul wedding hall in a minority Shi'ite neighborhood, saying its bomber had been able to infiltrate the reception and detonate his explosives in the crowd of "infidels".
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The couple flew the flag of Puerto Rico on the garage of their Kissimmee home. It ticked off the homeowners association.
Someone from the Rolling Hills Estates Homeowners Association left a letter at their home, citing a "flag violation" and warning: "Please rectify the listed violation or you may incur a fine."
Frances Santiago, 38, an Army veteran, demanded to know why.
A West Point graduate received a waiver from the U.S. Army to sign with the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday, and play in the NFL while serving as an active-duty soldier.
The waiver for 2nd Lt. Brett Toth was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter, who said that Toth signed a three-year deal with the Eagles. Toth graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 2018.