Prince Harry Taliban comments made Coronation a ‘nightmare’

Prince Harry’s comments about killing Taliban members in his memoir means his appearance at the Coronation will “add to the likelihood of a significant incident” as the Duke has made himself a “very favourable target”, a security expert has claimed. Harry’s book has provided “fodder for hate”, the expert said, adding that it could incite extremist groups to violently retaliate.

Former US law enforcement officer and now associate professor at Stephen F Austin University in Texas, George Franks Jr., described the security of the coronation as an “amazingly complex task”.

Yesterday an expert exclusively told of some of the “credible threats” facing the King during the historic event.

But Mr Franks said Harry’s claim that he killed 25 members of the Taliban had added to the potential dangers.

Harry wrote that “in the era of Apaches and laptops” it was possible to establish “with exactness how many enemy combatants I had killed. And it seemed to me essential not to be afraid of that number. So my number is 25. It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me.”

He later added that he dehumanised those he killed, saying: “When I found myself plunged in the heat and confusion of combat I didn’t think of those 25 as people. They were chess pieces removed from the board. Bad people eliminated before they could kill good people.”

Anas Haqqani, the leader of the Taliban movement, responded: “The ones you killed were not chess pieces, they were humans; they had families who were waiting for their return. Among the killers of Afghans, not many have your decency to reveal their conscience and confess to their war crimes.”

Writing for former British Army Commander Colonel Richard Kemp said letting it be known how many fighters he killed “will re-kindle jihadist animosity against him and incite some who want to take revenge.”

And now the coronation approaches, his comments may have created security concerns, Mr Franks told, saying: “Were his claims exaggerated and misrepresentative of his fellow members of the armed forces? Most likely, but it becomes fodder for hatred.

“In my opinion, the insistence and compromises made to have Harry participate in any part of the Coronation add to the likelihood of a significant incident.”

He added: “Some history here supports the view that Harry has made himself a very favorable target. The execution of Lord Mountbatten greatly impacted Charles because of their close relationship.

“Imagine the impact on King Charles III of having his son executed during this event. The effect would be evident in the future activities of all remaining Royal Family members.”

The security expert said however that Harry was not the only one whose outspokenness had created risks for the coronation.

He said: “King Charles has been vocal enough in his early reign to provide fodder for hate.

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“Harry has created this complex situation where he is both the catalyst of hatred for his family and armed forces members but also for himself.”

Prince Harry will be attending the coronation while his wife Meghan remains in California with their children Lilibet, one, and Archie, three – whose birthday is on the same day as the coronation.

In an interview with psychologist Gabor Maté, the Duke further discussed the trauma of struggling in the royal family as well as going to war – with commentators praising his “bravery”.

In the UK, his memoir Spare set a record for first-day sales of a nonfiction book, selling 400,000 copies, including pre-orders. has contacted the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for comment.

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