Iranian Embassy SAS hero John McAleese was ‘being investigated over alleged child porn offences’by THEUNHIVEDMIND, theunhivedmind.com
September 19th 2011
Iranian Embassy SAS hero John McAleese was locked in a secret extradition battle to bring him back to the UK to face child porn allegations before his death last month, it has been claimed.
McAleese, the SAS man who Margaret Thatcher later said made her ‘proud to be British’, became a national hero in 1980 after blasting open a window so his elite unit could storm the Iranian Embassy building in West London.
Five terrorist gunmen were killed during the 17-minute raid and all 26 hostages saved as millions watched the dramatic raid on television.
The 61-year-old SAS hero died on August 26 of a suspected heart attack in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he had been living.
His family said he died of a broken heart after passing away the day before the second anniversary of the death of his soldier son Paul, who was killed by a Taliban roadside bomb.
According to the Sunday Mercury newspaper, McAleese had been locked in an extraordinary legal battle with the country for whom he once fought so valiantly.
The former decorated soldier, who guarded three Prime Ministers during a distinguished career, spent the last year of his life refusing to return to the UK to answer allegations that he had downloaded child pornography.
McAleese was photographed fighting back tears at his son’s funeral at Hereford Cathedral on September 14, 2009.
Just four days later he was arrested and questioned by West Mercia Police officers on suspicion of downloading indecent images of children to his home computer in 2007.
He was released and bailed until a later date. McAleese is understood to have attended the police station by appointment.
Sources who knew McAleese say he had been previously contacted by British police as early as 2007, and had promised to speak to them when he returned to the UK.
After the questioning, McAleese returned to Greece where he was living with his second wife.
But he failed to answer his next bail appointment and when police contacted him in Greece he is said to have refused to return to the UK.
The authorities then began formal proceedings aimed at trying to bring McAleese back to Britain.
A hearing to obtain an international warrant for his arrest took place at Hereford Magistrates Court on March 17, 2010.
Magistrates approved the move and it is believed the warrant was sent to the Greek authorities around last November.
Senior legal sources have confirmed that extradition papers in McAleese’s name were prepared. However, they would not normally have been issued until such time as the former SAS man had been arrested in Greece.
It is not known why, but it is believed Greek police never arrested the 61-year-old. And at the time of his death the outstanding international arrest warrant remained in place.
McAleese spent 23 years in the Army, 16 of them in the SAS. He joined the elite unit in 1975 and moved to Hereford.
During the height of his action-packed days in the Army, the veteran was said to ‘know no pain and feel no fear’.
But it was his breathtaking bravery in the final moments of the six-day siege at the Iranian Embassy in West London in May 1980 that shot him to international acclaim.
Millions of people around the world watched the rescue live on TV as McAleese, dressed in black overalls, balaclava and gas mask – and carrying a sub-machine gun – abseiled down ropes on the balcony.
John McAleese’s son Paul died in a Taliban roadside bomb blast aged 29
Commercial aircraft had been asked to fly much lower than usual to mask the noise caused by drills used by troops to insert listening and viewing devices in the walls.
Perched on a ledge, he then placed explosive charges to blow out the Embassy’s front window.
The explosion caused half the balcony to collapse but McAleese, known to colleagues as John Mac, seemed to effortlessly dodge falling masonry before firing CS canisters into the blown-out window.
His tall, macho figure was then seen leaping into the building through a hail of gunfire. He led more than 30 masked troops to storm the building.
The five-storey embassy had been taken over by six armed Iranian dissidents who had 26 hostages, most of them staff, but also including a number of visitors.
Their ’cause’ was to demand freedom for a small oil-rich area of West Iran. During the 17-minute raid, five of the gunmen were killed and one was arrested.
All the hostages were saved. The daring rescue raid was the first time an SAS operation had ever been filmed.
The live broadcast catapulted the previously shadowy regiment to one with international status. It also made a national hero of McAleese, who was dubbed The Man On The Balcony.
The veteran later told a 2008 documentary: ‘We knew what those guys were like. They kill people. They’d killed others. They’re baddies. They were on our home soil and it was like they were the invaders.
‘My only job at this point was to get on the balcony, place the charge, get back, blow it, turn around and go back in through the window.’
Describing how he had killed one terrorist brandishing a grenade, he added: ‘I could tell by the look on his face that he knew he was dead.’
On the night of the raid, the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited some of the SAS team who had taken part in the raid.
But when she walked in front of a TV screen replaying the rescue footage, McAleese reportedly yelled ‘F***ing sit down, Maggie, I can’t see!’
Mrs Thatcher later said the SAS made her feel ‘proud to be British’.
McAleese also worked as a bodyguard to three prime ministers during his distinguished career.
After the siege he went on to serve in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, and was awarded the Military Medal for his work there.
He was discharged from the Army in 1992. McAleese later worked as a private security consultant in Iraq and Afghanistan and as an instructor in Airsoft, an outdoor war game using realistic weapons but non-lethal ammunition.
He hosted the 2003 BBC series SAS: Are You Tough Enough and also ran a pub in Hereford for a while.
Two years ago McAleese was devastated by the death of his 29-year-old son Paul, a sergeant in the 2nd Battalion, the Rifles, who was killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan while trying to rescue a colleague.
John McAleese’s funeral will take place at Hereford Cathedral on Thursday. It is thought he will be buried alongside other fallen SAS comrades. Hereford Magistrates Court would not comment on the case.
A Ministry of Justice, spokeswoman said she was also unable to make any comment because she was unable to check the relevant court records.
West Mercia Police was also unable to comment on the matter.
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