Skip to Main Content

One Man In

The Explosive Firsthand Account of the Lone Special-Ops Soldier Who Fought Off a Major Terrorist Attack in Kenya

The gripping and heroic firsthand account—like American Sniper mixed with a real-life version of Die Hard—by an off-duty special forces soldier who battled against a terrorist attack for twenty-two hours, and saved scores of American, Kenyan, and European lives.

After an otherwise ordinary morning of training with his firearms and advising the Kenyan military, British SAS soldier Chris Craighead was just beginning to relax in his new home in the bustling city of Nairobi. Then the phone rang.

It was a friend, a former British soldier. In the background, Chris heard gunfire. The friend gave the address of an upscale hotel and office complex in Nairobi’s affluent Westgate neighborhood. He said it was under attack.

Within minutes, Chris was in his pickup truck with his weapons case in the back seat, dodging vehicles and pedestrians as he raced to the scene. He attempted to reach anyone he could within the British and Kenyan governments to figure out what was going on. Nobody answered. He was on his own, and operating without orders.

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.

Told in white-knuckle, minute-by-minute detail, One Man In is an unforgettable story of heroism from a special forces soldier who happened to be in the right place at the right time—and decided to act.

Chris Craighead joined the Parachute Regiment of the British Army as a sixteen-year-old. He was then selected for the distinguished Pathfinder Platoon—an advanced force that provides reconnaissance in hostile territory for the airborne brigade. After serving with the Pathfinders, he was selected for the British Army’s elite and secretive tier-one special forces unit 22 SAS, which is known for covert reconnaissance, counterterrorism, and hostage rescues. During his time with the SAS he had numerous tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2019, Craighead was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross for his actions confronting a terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya. On September 7th, 2020, he retired from the army after twenty-eight years of active service.