An investigation into the deaths of four US soldiers left dead in Niger last October reveals the military personnel were taking part in unapproved military operations. According to officials, the elite special forces team who were tracking down Doundou Chefou, a militant warlord who is a suspect in the kidnapping of an American aid worker, were acting without approval and without alerting their superior officers. It was this lack of information then that the "officials" (speaking on the condition that their identities remain anonymous) blame on lack of oversight.
The official probe all but blames the deaths of the soldiers on said "lack of authorization" but certainly casts doubt on the original theory that the special forces team were rerouted to target Chefou while on a mission to meet local Nigerian leaders. The soldiers were ambushed after learning that Chefou had just left the area and were on the way home after checking his last known location. Casualties of the attack include Army Sgt. La David Johnson, 25, Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, 35, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson, 39, and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright, 29, who were all killed Oct. 4 in Tongo, Tongo. In addition, four Nigerian troops also were killed, with two other American soldiers and eight Nigerien forces wounded.
ISIS is using video of the attack taken from the helmets of one of the soldiers in propaganda videos So far the Pentagon remains tight-lipped with a spokesman refusing to comment on the investigation which he said is now complete. The final report was being reviewed by Defense Secretary Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis and other ranking leaders in the Defense Department. Another point that has come out of the investigation, also related to authorization and approval, however is the fact that US troops have not yet been authorized to receive "imminent danger pay" when assigned to Niger though the request is now <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/world/africa/white-house-danger-pay-troops-niger-.html">waiting for approval at the national level</a>.