Ex-SAS 'led dogs of war'

This is from todays (12/03/2004) Herald Sun newspaper:

A former SAS officer has been threatened with execution for allegedly leading a group of mercenaries caught in Zimbabwe.

Simon Mann, 46, was arrested in Harare after a plane with 64 suspected mercenaries and military equipment was seized at the city's airport.

The Old Etorian, who runs a private security firm in South Africa is accused of plotting to overthrow the Government of the oil-rich central African state of Equatorial Guinea.

Mr Mann, a former SAS troop commander who also served in the Scots Guards, is said by Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's regime to have arrived in Harare before the plane.

The 65 foreigners were to appear in court in Harare overnight.

"They are going to face the severest punishment in our statutes, including capital punishment," Zimbabwean Foreign Minister Stan Mudenge said.

The Harare arrests on Sunday came after the authorities 3200km away in Equatorial Guinea announced they had detained 19 mercenaries believed to be an advance force.

Equatorial Guinea's President, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, claimed foreign countries had conspired to overthrow him and replace him with an exile living in Spain.

"In the course of questioning we have found they were financed by enemy powers, by multinational companies, by countries that do not love us," Mr Obiang said.

Zimbabwe's Home Affairs Minister, Kemob Mohadi, said Mr Mann was detained with the passengers after the pilot was found to have filed an incorrect passenger list.

Mr Mann helped set up security firm Executive Outcomes in 1993, specialising in recruiting ex-military and Special Forces.

Its brochure offers "a highly professional and confidential military advisory service to legitimate governments".

Seven years ago, the company was called in by the Government of Sierra Leone to put down the powerful Revolutionary United Front. Within a month, the Government was back in control.

The Channel Islands-based operator of the Boeing jet held in Harare insisted the aircraft. sold by a firm in the US a week ago, had merely been flying security men from South Africa to guard mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Although there is no suggestion the arrested men were part of any attempt to overthrow Mr Mugabe's government, the incident is embarrassing for Britain.
What do you guys & girls reckon?
Mmmmmmmmm - you don't need to stop in Zim to refuel - could have flown straight to Congo - if you were going to sneak into the Congo Angola or Tanzania would be a better option - but if you were going to overthrow Mugabe you wouldn't do it with 65 blokes..............


Maybe they were on a Team Building day and were going white water rafting with a few oil drums......... :lol:


At least the took off and went somewhere.. if they had been flying Crab Air they would still be kipping down in some hanger without food while a few spotty faced grossly overpromoted and self important Air Mover dweebs sat around giving out conflicting imformation about the flight that has just been cancelled/diverted/rerouted/reconfigured etc etc.......

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