Nazi flag stunt in Afghanistan linked to individual Aussie

Thursday, June 14, 2018

The photo showing Australian soldiers flying a Nazi swastika flag from their vehicle while on operations in Afghanistan, was obtained exclusively, the Australian Broadcasting Corp says. It was taken in August 2007.

The photograph shows the large swastika emblem hoisted over an Australian military vehicle.

Two separate defense sources have identified a particular soldier as the individual who took the flag to Afghanistan, the ABC says.

The ABC has obtained two separate expert analyses of the photograph.

Both concluded with a high degree of confidence — near certainty — that the image has not been digitally altered.

Other than magnifying the image and cropping its exterior margins, the ABC has not edited or manipulated the photograph in any way.

The ABC has seen a second photograph of the flag, and it is understood that further images of the flag in Afghanistan have also been circulated among Australian soldiers.

One defense source who was aware of the flag being flown in Afghanistan in 2007 said it was a "twisted joke,'' rather than evidence or an expression of genuine neo-Nazism.

The source claimed the flag was up for a "prolonged period.''

Vice Chief of Defense, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs, said appropriate action was promptly taken, ABC reports.

"I think the important thing is the situation was dealt with quickly — the flag was removed," he said. "And, what I can say we've learnt subsequently, is that when the patrol returned to its base, the flag was destroyed."