Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian Sun 22 Aug 2021



Sunday Territorian Sun 22 Aug 2021


Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT






Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

Publisher name

News Corp Australia

Place of publication


File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

News Corp Australia



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

SUNDAY AUGUST 22 2021 NEWS 15 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA fall of afghanistan awards for seven members of the security detail. But the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PMC) never signed off on the recommendation for recognition due to an apparent staff change, controversy over the attack and a Canberra bureaucrat failing to follow through with formalities. This was despite the United Arab Emirates asking the federal government for permission to give the Australian security team a medal for sav KABUL CHAOS NTNEWS.COM.AU ing the lives of two of their diplomats, including senior consul Arif abdullah Nasir al-Tunaiji, who was shot in the stomach and tended to by the Australians, one of whom was a former SAS medic. The oversight by DFAT and PMC follows The Sunday Telegraph revealing last week that another security detail in Iraq also missed out on recognition for their service despite recommendations to recognise the bravery of the squad of 35 men, and appeals by former foreign ministers Alexander Downer and Bob Carr. The documents reveal Ms Tierney sent a formal letter to PMC in November 2011 again nominating the seven men involved in saving people at the hotel for a bravery medal. It is my strong belief that the actions of the security team during the attack directly saved my life and that of several other civilians, she wrote as she asserted their courage and professionalism was due long overdue recognition. I would note that a nomination process for bravery citations for the security team was commenced in DFAT in 2008 and revived in 2009. However, (it) stalled due, to the best of my knowledge, to turnover in staff at DFAT and not because of any adverse decision. DFAT would not allow Ms Tierney to be interviewed. One of the men involved, a decorated Australian Army veteran, said humility was one of the great accolades of the security team he served with and when they received nothing but a thanks, most let it go. There we were where even a foreign government wanted to award us bravery medals if it were not for Australians their diplomat would have died let alone losing our own acting ambassador but that effort was all shelved, the veteran said. Australia only wants to recognise feel-good things like the Thai cave disaster. 18.18HRS Complex attack is taking place with multiple offenders moving about gym. Terrorists were dressed as local police. Norwegian diplomat and foreign civilian shot earlier. Norwegian journalist shot dead. Hotel described smoke, dark, mayhem, screams. Terrorist moves to gym male change room shoots dead a foreign national. Terrorist then opens door to gyms female change room but is distracted and does not enter, instead calls out for those inside to come out. 18.21HRS Tierney located. Tierney and six women including a 62-year-old American Save the Children charity worker, Canadian UN battlefield dressing. Tierney wounds suffered during extraction also dressed. Wounded Kenyan hotel worker also treated. 18.40HRS ADF advised on telephone clients are safe and accounted for. Hotel not secure. Possibility of ADF assistance for evacuation at later stage ADF 2IC Major L. 19.00HRS US Forces medic team treats injured UAE. Afghan Security Forces conduct sweep. ISAF/US Special Forces search hotel, Tierney, Shaw three CPT move to ADF HQ. 19.05HRS US Military arrive 21.00HRS sweep complete 23.50HRS Tierney and Shaw evacuated from hotel by CPT with ADF in convoy. One woman panics and leaves a nd is shot dead in gym Mayhem and screams: Minute by minute report of the hotel slaughter OUR AMBASSADOR Australian security team Afghan-Taliban spokesman Zadihullah Mujahid. Edited extract of Angela Tierneys official personal account of the attack. I went down to the gymnasium inside the hotel at approximately 5.25pm. As I entered the gym area, the manager of the spa was exiting through the same door. We literally bumped into each other and had a quick laugh as we passed. (She would not survive the attack). There were no cardio machines available, so I stood in the cardio room and waited 20 minutes until a stairmaster became available. The American man who had finished on the stairmaster left the room and entered the mens dressing room. (He would not make it out of the change room alive.) I had been working out for 30 minutes when a massive explosion rocked the room. The windows remained intact. Everyone jumped off their machines and started exclaiming in shock about how large and close the explosion had been. Within seconds the initial blast was followed by further blasts and gunfire. At this point it became clear that the attack was against the hotel itself. The gym is located at the front of the hotel, so the blasts and gunfire were right outside. I moved quickly into the womens change room as I anticipated that my CPP team would be en route to the gym and would meet me in the reception of the gym area. At this point the spa manager, who was standing next to me, opened the door leading to the gym reception area. I saw a male of Afghan appearance standing immediately outside the change room door (1.2m away). He was wearing a dark green army or police uniform. He had his back to me. I was surprised that Afghan Security Forces had arrived so quickly. I told the spa manager to wait inside the locker room, however she exited the door. (We later learned the terrorists had arrived in ANSF uniforms and it is likely this man shot the spa manager after she exited the door. She died from her injuries before she could be evacuated from the hotel.) We then heard shouting and gunfire coming form the mens locker room which is separated from the womens change room by a thin dividing wall. (We later learned the insurgent had proceeded into the mens change room where he shot and killed at least one American man). Throughout this period shooting and explosions continued in the areas surrounding the gym area. Serena security was shooting into the gymnasium from the outside, while the insurgent was shooting inside. The women and man in the change room had huddled together in the corner of the locker area. I stood apart from this group as they were too close to the windows and they had taken up a position which made them very vulnerable there was no escape from that corner. Screaming, shouting and blasts continue to come from the mens change room. I stood near the doorway with my hands over my ears waiting for the CPP team to arrive. US troops and, at the rear, an Australian CCP team member, search the hotel for terrorists. worker and one man remain quiet. One woman panics and leaves and is shot dead in gym foyer. KH and DL cant reach gym through lobby or side door, scale fence, move to pool area to retrieve Tierney via gym backdoor. Angela, Angel Tierney, DL says, KH covers door. KH sees suspicious man in hotel south-west perimeter points weapon, orders to stop. The terrorist surrenders. DL retrieves Tierney and others and moves to the secure East Wing. Embassy secured and reinforced. KH and SH move forward back into melee to retrieve UAE diplomat. Shot in abdomen, is in duress. JH and DL provide life saving He did not make it out alive Angela Tierney Suicide bomber damage outside the hotel.