A British Special Air Service sniper saved hundreds of innocent lives when he took out two bomb-carrying ISIS
terrorists with a single shot last month in Libya, sources told AMI
Newswire. The shot was all the more remarkable because it was against a
moving target at a distance of 1,000 meters.
"It was a phenomenally successful shot, and a
credit to the SAS," said a British Army officer who is on active duty
in Britain and cannot speak for attribution.
The shot also was confirmed by a U.S.
intelligence source who read a report on the incident and who similarly
cannot speak on the record.
The incident unfolded, the sources said,
when SAS operatives serving in conjunction with local forces in Libya
received a tip that ISIS planned to bomb a civilian market in Tripoli.
According to the tip, the terrorists intended to park their booby-trapped vehicle in a high traffic area, and to detonate
their bomb so as to kill hundreds of innocents. The tip described the
type of car and the road it would travel while advancing toward murder.
The SAS men and their Libyan teammates
waited in ambush for the terrorists' car. The British concealed
themselves 1,000 meters from the road. The distance allowed them to hide
safely but also required them to shoot with precision through wind and
temperature conditions that would affect ballistics.
The vehicle appeared. The sniper and his spotter snapped into action.
"They only had seconds," the British officer said. "If they lost their chance, others would die."
In quick succession, the sniper popped off
two rounds to test the wind and ambient conditions. And then, with
knowledge gained, he fired a single shot.
"The bullet went in through the driver's head, out the other side, and killed the passenger," the officer said. The killers died instantly.
The terrorists' vehicle crashed. Libyan fighters shot up the car. The bomb then detonated.
A month later, the incident already is legend within the U.S. sniper community.
"If I met that guy who took the shot, I
would shake his hand and buy him a beer," said Jim Gilliland, who
completed a record-breaking shot
while serving as a sniper with the U.S.
Army in Iraq. "Not only did he kill a dude and another dude, he took out the bomb that would have killed others."
The resulting explosion of the terrorists' bomb is an added bonus, since it rendered safe the device. "Now they don't have EOD [Explosive Ordnance Disposal] guys going in there and risking their lives disarming it," Gilliland said.
The sniper community takes particular note that the shot found its mark at distance on a moving target.
"A thousand-yard shot in training is a chip shot," said Nicholas
Irving, a former Army Ranger whose 33 confirmed kills earned him
nickname The Reaper. "In combat, it is extremely rare. And the target was moving. I bet his lead time was insane."
Many factors besides wind and temperature come into play when making such a shot, the American snipers said. "You've got to be able to do a whole lot of things right," Gilliland said.
The SAS has a long history of setting the bar for elite fighting. "They're the original tier one Spartans," Irving said. "When you see what they do and how they do their job, it's not human."
The British unit served as inspiration for
the U.S. Army's own Delta Force special operations unit. The Delta Force
founder, the legendary Colonel Charlie Beckwith, once told this
reporter - in colorful terms not suitable for mainstream publication - that the SAS could kick the body parts off of any enemy that had the
misfortune of encountering its operatives in combat.
The two-target takedown is the latest in a string of spectacular kills for snipers within the legendary unit.
In July of last year, an SAS sniper
reportedly saved the lives of an eight-year-old child and his father, by
shooting their would-be executioner and his two cohorts in the middle of
a beheading spree.
In February, another SAS sniper
reportedly shot the head off an ISIS instructor who was in the middle
of a lesson in Syria, teaching 20 jihadis how to decapitate their prey.
All of which goes toward sustaining community pride.
"The sniper community as a whole like seeing
guys be successful," Gilliland said."It shows that the craft is still
alive. We have guys still in the union."
The union is in full swing and to much
effect, said one longtime compadre who has been around the community and its weapons for years.
"Ability to apply the basic principles of
marksmanship with the right optics, weapon and ammo plus a healthy
dollop of luck will get the right results every time," said Robert K. Brown, publisher of Soldier of Fortune magazine.
Neither the British embassy nor the Defense Ministry could be reached for comment by publication time.