View Full Version : Robin Moore: The hunt for bin Laden

12 Feb 04,, 19:27
Learned of this book an ARFCOM. And I'm carrying the review and sample chapter by Johnny Reno over here. Fitting end for some of those responsible for 9/11.

I have been reading a very good book titled The Hunt for Bin Laden (non-fiction). Rather than try and make a clumsy attempt at summarizing what you will find in it, I will quote verbatim an excerpt from the book:

Tonight’s passage will be from pages 8 - 11 of the paperback edition. The excerpt opens with Special Forces on the ground with the Northern Alliance troops fighting against Taliban and al-Qaida fighters somewhere in Afghanistan.

“Tell them if they can hang on another ten minutes, I’ve got a B-52 on the way!” Leinhard shouted to his partners over the roar of the battle as he held his ear to the radio headset.

“Hoo-ah!” shouted Sergeant Elmore, unable to contain his excitement, and then he relayed the message to the cowering muj (Northern Alliance fighters) hunkered down behind them.

“It better be quick,” Sergeant Evans replied, “because we’ve got enemy troops in the open out here!”

The Green Berets were carrying the M-4, a special version of the M-16 assault rifle, shortened, with a collapsible stock and outfitted with a scope, laser designator, and an improved 5.56mm boat-tailed 70-grain bullet. It was a twenty-first century version of the old XM177E2 the SOG (Studies and Observation Group) recon teams had carried in Vietnam.

A stream of charging Taliban began running down the enemy hillside toward them. The two Green Berets returned fire, picking off Taliban fighters, who tumbled down the slope like rag dolls after being hit by the special operators’ bullets. Ten minutes seemed to stretch into an eternity as the wave of charging Taliban grew closer. The terrorists were closing the gap, now running up the front of the friendly hillside, less than two football fields away from the American’s position.

The Green Berets looked to their rear, and saw that the muj behind them starting to beat a hasty retreat back toward the east, to their original position. The Northern Alliance commander waved for the Americans to follow and grabbed some of the Green Berets’ equipment, throwing it on his horse and galloping away. It appeared now as though the muj were scared of both Dostum (previously mentioned Northern Alliance commander) and the Taliban, and with good reason.

At that instant, the B-52 bomber checked in, and Evans smiled skyward and gave a thumbs-up. He mouthed the phrase “Bombs away!” and dove for cover. The two other special operators hastily followed his example.

The earlier set of explosions was puny compared with the devastation that was unleashed as the rolling thunder of twelve 500-pound bombs carpeted the hillside with a cascade of brilliant fireballs. The shock wave bounced the three special operators up off the ground, and covered them in dust and debris. For the first time in what seemed like forever, the enemy fire began to subside. As the dust settled, the scrambled back up the berm at the crater’s edge to assess what had happened.

Having assumed that the banzai charge of the frenzied Taliban would be stopped completely by the B-52 strike, they were amazed to see a large number of enemy soldiers still advancing up the hill. They were so close now the Americans could see their faces: some Arab, some Chechen, some Pakistani, but all fighting under the banner of Osama bin Laden’s Taliban and al-Qaida network.

The close air support team emptied the thirty round magazines in their M-4s before deciding to follow their partisans down the hill to the east. Glancing backward as they ran, they saw the first of the Taliban and al-Qaida fighters were already cresting the hill, standing of the position the Americans had just abandoned. Elmore, Evans, and Leinhard ducked behind a boulder, and Leinhard got on the radio once again. A Navy F-14 Tomcat checked in with the team, and the Air Force sergeant quickly explained the situation to the pilot.

“We’re about to be fucking overrun....I need ordnance quick!” Leinhard shouted into the radio.

The F-14 pilot responded by saying he could see plenty of enemy troops out in the open, advancing on their position. He could also see several trucks, and tracked enemy vehicles coming out of hiding in covered positions, starting to roll down the ridgeline toward them. The pilot announced to the team that he would do a “gun run” for them. A gun run is low sweep over the enemy, in which the fighter strafes the enemy with cannons, rockets, machine guns, and everything else it can turn loose, all at once.

The Tomcat swooped down out of the sky in a roar, destroying everything in sight with a volley of automatic cannon fire. After three more high-speed passes form the F-14, every single one of the enemy vehicles was reduced to a smoking hulk of twisted metal.

With the Taliban offensive momentarily halted, the three special operators took the opportunity to run down the hill and into the riverbed, taking temporary shelter behind a rocky outcropping, where the CAS team took up a defensive position and caught their breath for a minute. Sergeant Elmore glanced at his watch. It was 1400 hours (2 P.M.) already. The sun was high in the sky, and the shade of the outcropping felt good.

A short whistle drew their attention to the rocks on their left. A Northern Alliance soldier was hiding behind an adjacent boulder, holding the tethers to three Afghan horses. He waved the trio over and they jumped on the horses, following the stay-behind muj down a ravine and up an incline toward a ridgeline adjacent to the one that had just been overrun by the Taliban. The two Green Berets and their Air Force sergeant smiled at him and then went back to business. They again set up their spotting scope and laser marker, staring out at their previous and hastily abandoned observation post (OP). The place they had just evacuated was now swarming with Taliban fighters.

Sergeant Elmore called out to his partners, “Holy shit, we were just on that ridgeline. We must still have the GPS coordinates of where we just were on the computer.” Evans punched a few buttons on the GPS and cried out triumphantly, “Got it!”

Matt Leinhard opened a channel on his radio and was informed that the B-52 Stratofortress was still in the area. The B-52 navigator asked Elmore to be sure that they no longer in or near the coordinates. “We wouldn’t want to drop an egg on where you happen to be standing right now,” the navigator explained.

Leinhard cringed at the concept and asked if they had any satellite-guided bombs on board.

“Roger that,” the bombardier called back over the headset.

Sergeant Evans smiled again, and repeated the coordinates of the ridgeline position from which they had been surveying the enemy until they had to retreat.

The B-52 bombardier radioed to the team over their radio that he was on station and called out, “Bombs away!”

As they waited for the necessary two minutes it took the bomb to impact, they watched the Taliban and for the first time realized just how many there were, scurrying around like ants trying to dig bodies of their fallen comrades out of the rubble with their rifle butts.

The three special operators watched as the two-thousand pound satellite-guided bomb detonated exactly fifty feet over the heads of the Taliban.

“Holy shit! Un-fucking-believable!” one of the Americans screamed. He couldn’t believe his eyes; it was amazing. They witnessed a tremendous explosion in the air and the bodies of maybe a hundred Taliban and AQ troops drawn from the ground upward, arms and legs kicking for a fraction of a second before disappearing into a pink haze without a trace of solid matter left of their bodies or clothing. America’s enemies had literally been obliterated.

That single bomb killed everybody on the hill, as well as the Taliban fighters behind it. Not one enemy soldier was left alive. Most of the bodies were completely vaporized by the intensity of the explosion.

The Northern Alliance soldiers stormed back up over the ridgeline, retaking the smoky, ruined hilltop and cheering in victory, With only three special ops personnel, they had just won their first key battle over the Taliban without sustaining any major casualties. They had never seen anything like it. The muj congregated around the three Americans, patting their back and praising them.

About the author:

In January 1964, Robin Moore went to Vietnam. He had attended Jump School at Fort Benning - with the special approval of President John F. Kennedy - and was the first and only civilian ever allowed to go through the grueling Special Forces qualification course at Fort Bragg. The result was The Green Berets, a bestselling book about a unique and remarkable group of fighting men.

The Hunt for Bin Laden can be purchased here: