7 Sep 2012

Taliban: ‘We will kidnap Prince Harry at any cost’

Senior Taliban commanders have vowed to kidnap Prince Harry at any cost – or kill him.

Prince Harry (Reuters)

On the day that Prince Harry returned to Afghanistan, where he will spend four months flying Apache attack helicopters, senior Taliban commanders said they would use Afghan army recruits to either kidnap or assassinate the prince.

Speaking on the telephone from Helmand, Maulvi Ahmadullah Ahmadyar said: “It’s good news for us as we are always in search for such precious birds.

“Our priority will be to kidnap him at any cost as we have our informers at the military base being used by the British troops here in Helmand.

“And if we don’t succeed then obviously we would like to eliminate him through our Afghan friends working with British troops.”

He added that he knew “tricks” to recruit people within the Afghan army to target foreign troops.

Another commander, Mulla Burjan, threatened to target Harry in his helicopter with rocket-propelled grenades.

“We will be happy to see him here as we heard he will be flying Apache helicopter,” he said. “I will love to hit his chopper with my RPG.”

No media blackout

The prince arrived at Camp Bastion in Helmand in the early hours of this morning. It is his second deployment by the Ministry of Defence.

For his first deployment, in 2008, a news blackout was imposed in order to prevent additional risk to Harry and his colleagues. His service was cut short in 2008 after news that he was in Afghanistan was leaked.

However, this time no-such black-out has been imposed. The military have said his safety is less under threat because he is flying helicopters, not on the ground. Taliban fighters have never managed to shoot down an Apache helicopter.

Speaking about his deployment this morning a St James’s Palace spokesman said: “He’s approached the deployment with a range of emotions like any other soldier and feels both pride and anticipation as he deploys for a job he’s trained for, for so long.”

Watch Carl Dinnen’s report on Prince Harry’s deployment below.