Trump personally thanked Brit SAS hero for ‘saving American lives’ after he led charge against Nairobi hotel terrorists
DONALD Trump personally thanked a British SAS hero for "saving American lives" during the siege of a hotel in Kenya in January 2019.
The soldier, who uses the pseudonym Christian Craighead, was hailed for his bravery after storming the Dusit D2 luxury hotel complex in Nairobi when it was attacked by jihadists from the al-Shabaab terror group.
Craighead, who has reportedly served in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, was in Kenya to help train the country's special forces when the attack began.
Dramatic photos from the day show him running into the building alone, armed with an assault rifle, and leading hotel guests to safety.
He is reported to have shot dead two of four attackers and to have helped save hundreds of lives.
Posting to Instagram on Monday, Craighead shared a photograph of himself with outgoing US president Donald Trump.
The picture, which shows the pair shaking hands and talking, was captioned: "Last year I had the privilege of meeting the 45th President of the United States Donald J. Trump.
"I'll leave this with you: This wasn't a planned meeting, there was nothing for him to gain from it.
"When he heard from key figures of the administration that I was in town, he took the time to thank me personally for saving American lives."
A total of 21 people were killed in the attack, including one Brit and one American, but an estimated 700 were rescued.
Following the attack, al-Shabaab said in a statement that it had been carried out "in response" to the president's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
The group had also opposed Kenyan involvement in the Somali Civil War.
'NO DOUBT' HE SAVED LIVES
The attack began just before 3.30pm on January 15, when a suicide bomber blew himself up outside the Secret Garden restaurant, part of the hotel complex.
Around the same time, a car pulled up at the entrance and four men armed with grenades and AK-47s got out.
They blew up three cars then split into pairs before heading through the complex, firing indiscriminately at locals.
The Kenyan security forces were on the scene with ten minutes and were being supported by members of the US Navy SEALs.
Craighead is reported to have entered the compound alone while the SEAL team waited for clearance to move in.
Following the attack, one senior insider said: “No hesitation, no flinching, no thought for his own safety, straight into the eye of the storm.
“Within minutes he’d dropped the first terrorist."
Craighead then reportedly shot dead a second gunman before Kenyan security forces cornered the other two in a part of the complex.
A stand-off developed and the siege last overnight, but was declared over by the Kenyan president at 11am the following day.
Craighead was later honoured with the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, the second-highest honour in the British Army.
Another source said at the time: “The SAS don’t miss. There’s no doubt his actions saved lives.”
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