The Pentagon is preparing to release its report on the deaths of four U.S. special force soldiers in Niger in October after a nearly 5 month investigation.
The soldiers were ambushed by militants during a joint patrol with local troops outside the village of Tongo Tongo, near the border with Mali.
An ISIS-linked media channel recently released a propaganda video that includes helmet camera footage purportedly taken from one of the soldiers. The video appears to show the last few minutes of their efforts to repel the attack, and gruesome images after their death.
The incident in Tongo Tongo highlighted how U.S. troops are being put into harm’s way to go after targets in Africa as part of the war on terror. It’s also raised questions about whether 9/11-era authorizations of force should apply in places where there’s seemingly little direct threat to the U.S.
VICE News went to Niger to find out more about the suspected mastermind of the attack — and head of the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara — as the debate over U.S. involvement in the region deepens.
This segment originally aired March 5, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.