The Pentagon on Thursday will release the final report on the Niger attack that killed four Americans last October, concluding that the Army Special Forces team did not get required command approval for the initial risky mission to go after a high-level insurgent linked to the Islamic State group.
Defense officials said they will lay out how the mission unfolded, leading to the gruesome ambush, and then explain what is being done to correct the problems brought to light by the incident. Families of the fallen troops have been briefed on the investigation, including details of their loved ones’ final moments as they battled as many as 100 insurgents in a fierce firefight.
“The whole thing was a screwed-up mess,” said Arnold Wright, father of Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright of Lyons, Georgia, who was killed in the attack. He said he’s concerned that the Army may be pinning the blame on lower-ranking soldiers and not accepting responsibility high enough up the chain of command.