A recent Marine Corps inquiry into a 2012 insider attack aboard a forward operating base Forward Operating Base Delhi in Garmser, Afghanistan does little to clear up the mystery surrounding Sarwar Jan, a notorious Afghan police chief who arrived at the FOB just weeks before the attack that left three Marines dead.
The three Marines were killed at Forward Operating Base Delhi on Aug. 10, 2012, by Ainuddin Khudairaham, an Afghan teenager described as the servant or personal assistant of Jan, the district police chief.
While Khudairaham was sentenced last year to seven years, six months imprisonment, the maximum penalty for a minor, Jan was questioned during the investigation but not charged. However, he was only fired from his job post for the security breach. and not charged. He would eventually return to power as a police company commander at Lashkar Gah, the provincial center of Helmand province and a population hub in southern Afghanistan.
The report, published in last October and recently obtained by Marine Corps Times, said that no evidence was found to support accusations that Jan engaged in human trafficking or sexual misconduct, though his previous reputation for taking bribes was known by unit commanders at FOB Delhi. Marine leaders, tried to work through coalition channels to exchange Jan for another district police chief prior to his arrival, according to the report, but they were unable to do so. It's not fully clear why Jan was allowed onto the base or whether further efforts were made to get a replacement. Marine officials did not believe him to be a threat, however, the report found.
The inquiry does show that Naval Criminal Investigative agents Jan was questioned Jan at Lashkar Gah about the January 2014 murders. in January 2014 by Naval Criminal Investigative Service. He disavowed any connection to the attacks and said he wanted to kill Khudairaham, and that the youth had destroyed his life and reputation, according to a summary in the report. The agency then made no further effort to track him, according to Marine officials.
Eight months later, responding to a Marine Corps Times request, Marine officials said they could not locate the Afghan cop.
"Former District Chief of Police Sarwar Jan was not implicated in the deaths of the Marines, and his current location is unknown," then-Maj. John Caldwell, a Marine spokesman at the Pentagon, said Aug. 1 via email.
Asked this month how the Marine Corps did not know Jan's location in August 2014 if he had been questioned by NCIS in January, Caldwell, now a lieutenant colonel, said that conditions had changed significantly over the eight-month period.
"Between January and August, Marines were reducing their manpower footprint in preparation for Marine Expeditionary Brigade - Afghanistan's departure," Caldwell said. "The MEB's reach within the area of operations was contracting, by design, while Afghan security forces assumed more responsibility. In August, throughout the conduct of the recent inquiry, and now, Sarwar Jan's whereabouts were and remain unknown."
Caldwell said NCIS reached out to Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, which could provide no information about Jan's location. He emphasized that no evidentiary connection had been drawn between Sarwar Jan and the shooting incident.
"Sarwar Jan was not proven to have a sexual, or otherwise inappropriate relationship with the shooter Ainuddin Khudairaham. A local elder vouched for the shooter, Ainuddin was biometrically registered (which includes checking for previous record of enemy activity), and he was awaiting training at FOB Delhi when the incident occurred," Caldwell said. "The shooter arrived after Jan's arrival and was aboard the base for weeks prior to the shooting."
All these statements are stipulated in the report, which was commissioned by Headquarters Marine Corps Staff Director Maj. Gen. Michael Regner following a public outcry from the family of one of the fallen Marines, Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr. Buckley's father and aunt complained about the sentencing of the shooter, which they said took place without their knowledge, and said they felt "betrayed" by the lack of information provided to them by the Marine Corps.
The Buckley family maintains that Jan was behind the attacks that killed their son, citing the policeman's ugly track record even before he arrived at FOB Delhi.
One Marine officer, Maj. Andrew Terrell, said under oath that Jan was described Jan under oath as "the most corrupt, self-serving, defunct official" imaginable. He had been forced out of a previous position of authority at another Marine outpost in Now Zad two years before arriving at the FOB for unethical activity. According to a statement by Paul Davies, a British civilian who worked alongside Marines in Helmand province in 2012, Janhe had been accused of operating illegal checkpoints, child abuse and abduction, extortion, and selling or supplying police uniforms and weapons to the Taliban.
According to a published 2012 email from a State Department intelligence analyst to Marine Corps Reserve officer Maj. Jason Brezler, Jan had arrived at FOB Delhi and had brought with him nine young personal servants, described in the email as "chai boys" which implies a sexual relationship. The practice of Afghan men keeping adolescent or pre-adolescent boys for rape and sexual abuse has been widely documented in the media.
Brezler believes the deadly attack may have been averted if an emailed warning he sent after receiving news of Sarwar Jan had been heeded. Just weeks before the attack, Brezler sent a classified file of information — "Sarwar Jan: Adbul Rahman Jan's Top Lieutenant and an Enduring Source of Instability in Now Zad" — about Jan's alleged illicit unsavory activities to an operations officer for the unit that maintained FOB Delhi. just weeks before the attack. Brezler would ultimately be recommended for discharge from the Corps at an administrative hearing for mishandling classified information and failing to send the document through proper channels. It has never been revealed whether if any action was taken on his warning.
Brezler He has filed suit against the Marine Corps in federal court in New York, alleging that the administrative proceedings against him were flawed, as was the resulting hearing transcript. of the hearing. His case is scheduled for a hearing at court in Central Islip Jan. 30.
Brezler's pro bono attorney, Kevin Carroll, has long sought more conclusive answers about Jan. The complete report from the NCIS interview was classified, and his Freedom of Information Act request for information about Jan was rejected last year because it involved records concerning a third party and was subject to privacy restrictions.
"Since you have not furnished a release, death certificate, nor public justification for release, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service cannot acknowledge the existence of or release records concerning a third party," Navy Lt. Carin Cozza wrote in a May 1, 2014 letter to Carroll, reviewed by Marine Corps Times. "This would results in an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy."
Carroll said he wanted answers at least on how Jan was allowed back on a Marine Corps forward base after having been fired at a previous post. He also called for answers on how Jan had been allowed to take yet another command position at Lashkar Gah.
"This is both a counter-intelligence failure and a moral failure," Carroll said in a statement. "Who made this decision? And why is Jan allowed to yet again endanger co-located American servicemen, and menace local civilians under color of law?"
It's not clear whether if more detailed answers to these questions are forthcoming. The report Regner requested report found no evidence to pursue administrative action or disciplinary action against any Marine officials at FOB Delhi, Caldwell said.
"No further inquiry is warranted," the report's investigating officer wrote.