Britain’s army spy company is investigating the origin of a letter that emerged on social media purporting to be a suicide be aware by a veteran who claimed to have taken his life following the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan, Sky Information has learnt.
Ben Wallace, the defence secretary, instructed Defence Intelligence to look into the be aware amid considerations it is perhaps a hoax, in response to a defence supply.
“That work is ongoing now,” the supply stated.
It’s thought the investigation will doubtless affirm there is no such thing as a file, inside the armed providers of the particular person named because the creator of the alleged suicide be aware, having ever served.
The person additionally claimed to have misplaced his left arm in an assault in Afghanistan.
But the defence supply stated Veterans UK, part of the Ministry of Defence that helps former servicemen and girls, additionally has no file of anybody with that title or date of beginning.
There’s nonetheless an opportunity the be aware is genuine, however no proof has emerged but to assist it, leaving open the query of why anybody would put up such a forgery.
One chance might be a hostile state looking for to inflict injury on Britain’s fame by making a false story a couple of suicide immediately linked to the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan – despite the fact that there are real considerations about such a threat.
One other chance is that it’s merely a put up by some malicious, lone particular person.
The be aware, which has been posted on Fb and on Twitter, was additionally seen by the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
In it, the creator claimed to have been pushed to suicide after struggling trauma from his service in Afghanistan – feelings the be aware alleged had been compounded after the US-led withdrawal from the nation final month and the Taliban takeover.
James Heappey, the armed forces minister, was so involved by its content material that he even talked, very powerfully, about how a former soldier was believed to have taken their very own life in current days, throughout an interview on Sky Information’ Kay Burley present on Monday morning.
Nevertheless, we each know too many veterans have taken their lives while combating psychological well being diseases as a consequence of their service in Afghanistan. My fundamental message that we have to put our arms round these folks & assist them on this tough time stands.
— James Heappey MP (@JSHeappey) September 6, 2021
He then retracted his statement, posting on Twitter in response to a put up I wrote: “Debbie, I am sorry to have stated one thing which may not be true. The be aware referred very precisely to my final tour of Afghanistan with 2 RIFLES in 2009 & I’ve spent weekend fearing colleague had taken their life. Nevertheless, MoD aren’t sure that be aware is actual so wished to make clear.
“Nevertheless, we each know too many veterans have taken their lives while combating psychological well being diseases as a consequence of their service in Afghanistan. My fundamental message that we have to put our arms round these folks & assist them on this tough time stands… Military & MoD working rapidly to ascertain whether or not be aware is actual or not.”
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence stated: “We’re conscious of an alleged suicide letter posted on social media. The legitimacy of this letter is at the moment being investigated by the MOD and Armed Forces.
“We take the psychological well being and well-being of our personnel and veterans very severely and encourage anybody who’s struggling to come back ahead and entry the wide selection of assist accessible.”
Anybody experiencing difficulties can contact Samaritans UK on 116 123, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org