In the latest blow to the Naval special warfare community, a SEAL has been taken into custody after reportedly being accused of killing a detainee in Iraq, a Navy official confirmed on Thursday.
- Navy Times first reported on Thursday that the SEAL is under investigation for allegedly killing the detainee with a knife in 2017. The newspaper declined to publish “graphic details of the prisoner of war’s alleged execution,” which it learned from seven unnamed officials.
- Navy officials are keeping tight-lipped about the case. A spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Command confirmed to Task & Purpose that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service is investigating a member of a special warfare unit for “professional misconduct while deployed to Iraq in 2017,” but she declined to say what exactly the sailor is accused of doing. The sailor is currently being held in pretrial confinement at the Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar, California.
- “In order to maintain the integrity of the investigation in this matter no further information will be provided at this time,” Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence told T&P; in an email.
- Lawrence stressed that all special warfare sailors are required to abide by the body of internationally recognized laws that govern armed conflict. “We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and will cooperate fully with investigative authorities,” she said.
- The SEAL community has been rocked by scandals in the past year. Two SEALs were accused of strangling a Special Forces soldier on June 4, 2017 in Mali. According to the Daily Beast, the Green Beret had learned that the two SEALs were stealing money meant to pay informants and other sources. Then, in May, two SEAL leaders from an East Coast-based team were fired due to allegations of sexual misconduct.
- “Naval Special Warfare strives to maintain the highest level of readiness, effectiveness, discipline, efficiency, integrity, and public confidence,” Lawrence said on Thursday. “All suspected violations for which there is credible information are thoroughly investigated.”