Petraeus Orders Probe Into British Hostage’s Killing

British Officials Embarrassed Over 'Botched' US Raid

Gen. David Petraeus has announced today that he is ordering a formal investigation into late Friday’s Afghanistan “rescue operation” by US troops aimed at rescuing aid worker Linda Norgrove, as mounting evidence suggests that the official story of the raid was untrue and that US troops actually killed Norgrove during what British officials are calling a “tactically flawed” raid.

NATO officials had previously lauded the attempt as a “valiant and courageous effort” and claimed that Norgrove had been killed when one of her captors grabbed her and detonated a suicide vest. British Foreign Secretary William Hague insisted that the hostage takers were entirely to blame for her killing.

But today Hague conceded that the story was “potentially likely to be inaccurate” and Gen. Petraeus and President Obama have both called British Prime Minister David Cameron to express “condolences” over the consequences of the raid.

Sadly, talks were said to be ongoing to secure Ms. Norgrove’s release, and indications were that at the time of the US raid local elders were very close to convincing the militants to release her. The end result of the raid was that it undid these efforts, got the hostage killed and embarrassed the British government when they had to admit that the official story the US told them about the raid was untrue.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.