In a new tell-all book titled One Man In, Craighead claims that he single-handedly fought the terrorists.
“For the next twenty-two hours, Chris relied on his nearly three decades of elite military training to win a deadly game of hide-and-seek with a unit of ethnic Somali terrorists who had already detonated one suicide bomb, and were intent on killing as many other people as possible.
“At first on his own, and later as the leader of a small, rag-tag group of soldiers and civilians, Chris moved through the complex where hundreds of innocent hotel staff, guests, and office workers were still trapped. After clearing buildings and shepherding people to safety, he located the terrorists. A battle of guns, grenades, and tactics ensued. Chris and his men made it out. The terrorists did not,” read the summary in part.
Kenyans were, however, not impressed with his take on the events where he claims to have single-handedly saved lives of American, Kenyan, and European natives.
Speaking to kenyagist.com, a survivor, Shem Odhiambo, who was at the hotel when the attack unfolded, stated that as much as armed private individuals showed up in time to save lives, the General Service Unit (GSU) response was immediate.
“The very first people to respond were the GSU officers who were based at the Australian Embassy, a few meters from where Dusit is. They came and started exchanging gunfire with the terrorists.
“After that, came the privately armed civilians who either lived around the area, or were in the vicinity. They started evacuating people. The response was immediate. Chris Craighead was among the first people to arrive,” stated Odhiambo.
He further disputed Craighead’s claims that he had taken part in fighting the terrorists noting that the Recce squad took over the operations after they arrived.
“I saw a lot of armed Wahindis, armed private people. They were not trying to engage the terrorists, but were evacuating people.
“The people who evacuated us were flying squad… By the time the police came and took over the operation, every private person who had a gun, including Chris Craighead, I think, were told to stand down,” added Odhiambo.
Shem was working at Red House Group, an advertising company, on the day of the attack.
Several other Kenyans took issue with Craighead’s reference of a squad that intervened in the attack as a rag-tag team.
“The phrase that caught my eye: ‘He tried to get into contact with persons in the Kenyan government.’ How does a lone nondescript foreigner just believe he can pick the phone and contact government officials in a foreign country is beyond me,” wondered a concerned Citizen.
“Rag-tag group of soldiers? Some people can be so full of themselves,” stated Mumbi wa Gikuyu.
Over 20 people lost their lives during the ordeal.
Craighead’s book will be available on July 20, 2021, and is being published by Simon and Schuster.