A 36-year-old Sandhurst-trained military officer, Lieutenant Colonel Lamin Sanneh (pictured right) has been identified as the mastermind of the attempted coup against Yahya Jammeh of Gambia.
According to a Telegraph report, the military officer, a former commander of the country’s elite presidential guard, was named as one of a number of men who tried to seize control of the tiny west African state while its leader was abroad.
Another officer implicated in the coup attempt is Capt. Njaga Jagne (pictured left).
Lt. Col. Sanneh, who was killed during the coup attempt, was a career soldier who had received extensive training abroad. His military tuition included spells at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and at America’s National Defence University.
He was appointed as commander of the presidential guard in 2012, but is believed to have then left to go the US where he claimed asylum.
Reports in the Gambian media claim that he then teamed up with other Gambian opposition figures in the US and Europe to carry out the bid to end Mr Jammeh’s 20-year rule.
Gambia’s national intelligence agency is now understood to be interrogating “dozens” of people believed to have been involved in the coup, which was foiled by regime loyalists after a brief gunfight.