News, Culture & Society

Soldier suspected of sniping Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin is friends with The Bachelor Nick Martin

The mysterious organisation Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin’s accused hitman fought with in Iraq and Burma has vowed not to ‘abandon’ him.

War charity Shadows of Hope denied any knowledge of the murder at a drag-racing event in Perth in December, saying its star recruit was on leave at the time.

‘He is one of us, and we do not abandon our members when it becomes inconvenient or dangerous. He will forever remain a brother to us no matter what happens,’ its leader Robert Hoey told Daily Mail Australia on Tuesday.

The former SAS trooper was arrested on Monday after dozens of police stormed his red-brick home on a quiet suburban street in Waikiki, in Perth’s south.

He is still being interrogated by police about the assassination that also injured a child, and charges are yet to be laid.

A former soldier (pictured) arrested over murder Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin with a 300m sniper shot fought in Syria and Iraq for a mercenary ‘charity’

Martin (pictured) was shot in the back at a drag-racing event in Perth in December last year. Police suspect he may have been shot by a sniper from a distance as far as 300m away

Martin (pictured) was shot in the back at a drag-racing event in Perth in December last year. Police suspect he may have been shot by a sniper from a distance as far as 300m away

Unable to return to Iraq to battle the remnants of ISIS due to the coronavirus pandemic, he worked as a BASE jumping instructor in Perth.

The daredevil sport is a lifelong passion and on March 31, 2017, he jumped off a 70-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong with former Bachelor Locky Gilbert.

He and the reality TV star are close friends and were travelling for months before the stunt, which saw them and fellow Perth adventurer Wes Burrows arrested.

It is not suggested that Gilbert or Burrows were in any way involved in the shooting of Martin. 

Mr Hoey said the man, who served in the SAS on tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, was ‘not on a SoH operation’ and was being ‘questioned for the alleged murder of an Australian gang leader’. 

‘We have no knowledge of the alleged crime, and offer no support or judgment of these alleged crimes,’ he said.

‘All SoH members are currently on leave while the world recovers from coronavirus and we do not inquire about the activities of our members while off duty. 

The daredevil sport is a lifelong passion and on March 31, 2017, he jumped off a 70-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong with former Bachelor Locky Gilbert

The daredevil sport is a lifelong passion and on March 31, 2017, he jumped off a 70-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong with former Bachelor Locky Gilbert

They were also arrested after jumping off the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the same trip (pictured at with police in the hotel), but released without charge soon after both stunts

They were also arrested after jumping off the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the same trip (pictured at with police in the hotel), but released without charge soon after both stunts

‘Our members have earned their right to privacy and their actions off-duty do not reflect our organisation.’

Mr Hoey said the arrested fighter served in the Australian SAS and later in SoH ‘in a way very few will understand’. 

‘From working in threadbare medical clinics in Kurdistan under the constant threat of the Islamic State to anti poaching operations in sweltering Burmese jungles, he has done things for humanity that would crush most people,’ he said.

‘He has suffered and bled for those who were most vulnerable and abandoned by all others.’ 

Mr Hoey earlier said his organisation was shaken up and he was still trying to find out what happened before he could say much.

‘This is a very bad day (that one of us has been arrested)… we’re all very shaken up and don’t know what’s going on,’ he told Daily Mail Australia from his base in Las Vegas.

Founder Robert Hoey (pictured) describes the organisation as 'the world's most dangerous and fearless charity' that helps people in conflict areas without government red tape

Founder Robert Hoey (pictured) describes the organisation as ‘the world’s most dangerous and fearless charity’ that helps people in conflict areas without government red tape

Mr Hoey (pictured with a captured ISIS flag) said his organisation was shaken up and he was still trying to find out what happened

Mr Hoey (pictured with a captured ISIS flag) said his organisation was shaken up and he was still trying to find out what happened

The eye-patch-wearing medic started the group in 2013 to work in war zones around the world in combat and by delivering aid and medicine.

He describes the organisation as ‘the world’s most dangerous and fearless charity’ that helps people in conflict areas without government red tape.

Starting by treating wounded on both sides of the war against ISIS, it has since worked in Burma, China, Iraq, Syria, Congo, Philippines, and Papua New Guinea.

Away from the front lines, their tactics include paying river pirates to smuggle medicine, investigating massacre sites, and rescuing child sex slaves. 

The vast majority of its work is medical response in crisis zones, followed by education and reintegration of veterans, anti human trafficking, anti poaching, escorting of journalists, and ‘force multiplication’, Mt Hoey said.

He claimed SoH is never paid for its efforts, always has permission from local governments, and ‘heavily discourages vigilantism’.

Their adversaries include ISIS, the Islamic State of the Central African Province, various international drug cartels, and African Islamist group Boko Haram.

Suspected assassin’s friendship with BASE jumping partner and reality TV star Locky Gilbert

The former SAS trooper arrested over the murder of Rebels bikie boss Nick Martin is close mates with former Bachelor star Locky Gilbert.

The two Perth boys and their mate Wes Burrows travelled for months in 2017, making at least two BASE jumps that got them arrested.

On March 31, 2017, he jumped off a 70-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong with Gilbert and Burrows, arrested as soon as they hit the ground.

In the footage, a small team can be seen organising equipment and taking selfies before taking the plunge, with the Hong Kong skyline in the background.

Mr Johnson, Mr Burrows, and Mr Gilbert can each be heard proclaiming ‘3,2,1, see ya’ before leaping off the 500ft building.

On March 31, 2017, he jumped off a 70-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong with Gilbert and Burrows, arrested as soon as they hit the ground

On March 31, 2017, he jumped off a 70-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong with Gilbert and Burrows, arrested as soon as they hit the ground

All three have completed 1,000 jumps between them, and the former soldier's last jump was as recently as last week (earlier jump pictured)

All three have completed 1,000 jumps between them, and the former soldier’s last jump was as recently as last week (earlier jump pictured)

As they float towards the ground with their parachutes, the group on the roof rush to meet them downstairs before they’re caught, meeting the trio at a restaurant.

They were also arrested after jumping off the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on the same trip, but released without charge soon after both stunts.

All three have completed 1,000 jumps between them, and the former soldier’s last jump was as recently as last week.

Other social media photos show them going on camping holidays around Australia, and spearfishing and diving.

They jumped off rocks naked into the surf in Dunsborough, in WA’s South West, and relaxed on a boat in Queensland’s Summerset Dam.

Other social media photos show them going on camping holidays around Australia, and spearfishing and diving

Other social media photos show them going on camping holidays around Australia, and spearfishing and diving

SoH profiled the suspect last year, paying tribute to the soldier for his service in Iraq, describing him as their ‘resident thrill-seeker and heartbreaker’. 

‘When the way to save lives is illegal or cast in the shadow of bureaucracy, it takes unorthodox attributes and attitudes to get the job done,’ the group wrote. 

‘He was a natural fit for this role, and his tireless work, courage, and unique humor have given so much to those we serve.

The man was an electronics engineer before serving in two wars, ‘both privately and as a team leader, sniper and combat medic’. 

An oil and gas worker who was a colleague of the man as an engineer said they were shocked that he was arrested in connection with a murder.

‘He was a nice guy, I’ve never seen him angry. Smart and resourceful when I needed help,’ they said.

He is one of many Australians fighting for SoH, with four listed as part of its senior team including two of its top soldiers. 

Mr Hoey put up an ad for new recruits in 2018 describing one of the less sensitive jobs the group was involved in.

‘Its a real easy gig, guard duty at an undisclosed location. We do well here there is a chance to turn this into a full time job paying six-figures doing some real hood-rat s**t,’ he wrote.

‘Looking for any ex-military, you will need to qualify on a few different weapon systems. Combat experience and security clearance preferred.’

This post from a year ago shows the suspect operating on a wounded man in Iraq

This post from a year ago shows the suspect operating on a wounded man in Iraq

Mr Hoey wears an patch of his left eye since 2015 when his retina was ripped off during an ISIS mortar strike in Syria – but he fought on and hit back.

‘I was responsible for bringing down two Daesh fighters. A lucky shot from my RPG got one of their minivans; now they can’t take their kids to soccer practice,’ he told SOFREP.

‘We believe in stopping suffering at the source; we will run out of bandages before they run out of bullets, which is how we justify picking up rifles and doing what we do. It’s the kind of solution that few understand, but it is necessary.’

‘Hawk’ has a similar outlook, challenging extremist organisations to come and get him if they wanted revenge.

‘I’ve taken steps to protect my family and personal life from retribution. It’s important that people see that there are those willing to stand up and fight without fear for those who are considered lost or beyond reach,’ he said.

‘People are forced into the shadows and ignored by the international community. They don’t have a choice. I do. I hope that by standing with them publicly I can inspire others to do the same.

‘Besides, I’d love another crack at ISIS and they have an open invitation to visit me and discuss my views any time they like.’

A man arrested over notorious bikie Nick Martin describes himself an adrenaline junkie and describes his Polish girlfriend as his rock

A man arrested over notorious bikie Nick Martin describes himself an adrenaline junkie and describes his Polish girlfriend as his rock

Other posts portray him as animal lover. He's pictured taking a selfie with a quokka

Other posts portray him as animal lover. He’s pictured taking a selfie with a quokka

He was also described as an ‘adrenaline junkie’, with a passion for wingsuit BASE-jumping, which has seen him star in documentaries and ‘compete on the world stage’.   

‘Given his love for leaping off tall structures and mountains, the local Kurds have given him the name Baz, which simply means ‘Hawk’,’ the group wrote online.

‘He has stated to us that while he loves the adventurous life, it is selfish that he pursues these risks simply for his own benefit.’

‘[He said] ‘Anyone can risk their life BASEjumping. But with Shadows of Hope, at least I’m risking mine to help others.’ 

The man portrays himself on social media as a devoted boyfriend with a love for adventure.

Dozens of photos on his Facebook page show the man paragliding, rock climbing skydiving and base jumping from buildings. 

‘Life isn’t about how fast you run, or how high you climb, it’s about how well you bounce,’ a social media post from five months ago states.

The suspect portrays himself as an adrenaline junkie on social media with dozens of photos pf him skydiving

The suspect portrays himself as an adrenaline junkie on social media with dozens of photos pf him skydiving

One of the possible shooter locations previously identified at the Perth Motorplex. A long shot would indicate a sniper, experts say

One of the possible shooter locations previously identified at the Perth Motorplex. A long shot would indicate a sniper, experts say

Martin (pictured) died in the arms of his wife Amanda as she tried to give him CPR. His last words were: 'babe, I've been shot'

Martin (pictured) died in the arms of his wife Amanda as she tried to give him CPR. His last words were: ‘babe, I’ve been shot’

Rebels bikie Nick Martin was riden in to Pinnaroo Cemetery in a coffin covered in pictures of $100 bills (pictured) at his extravagant bikie funeral on December 23

Rebels bikie Nick Martin was riden in to Pinnaroo Cemetery in a coffin covered in pictures of $100 bills (pictured) at his extravagant bikie funeral on December 23

These Docs are super bright and knowledgeable and our aim was to get them thinking under pressure, in stressful environments using limited supplies or support in emergency trauma where seconds count.’

The man also portrays a softer side with a love of animals with posts posing with quokkas and cuddling kangaroo joeys while urging others to consider becoming volunteer wildlife carers. 

Police are still grilling the man over the high-profile execution and are expected to lay charges on Tuesday.

Forensics teams and detectives, including Australian Federal Police, spent all of Monday afternoon sweeping the man’s home in Waikiki.

Police spent a considerable amount of time examining a boat parked out the front and a motorbike before taking both items away.

Other investigators were seen scouring bushland surrounding the salt water flats along Safety Bay Road, in nearby Warnbro, before loading evidence bags into vehicles.

A car and boat were also towed away, Seven News reported.

Police raided the man's home in Waikiki on Monday, seizing several items, with forensic teams scouring nearby bushland at Warnbro

Police raided the man’s home in Waikiki on Monday, seizing several items, with forensic teams scouring nearby bushland at Warnbro

Police seized a boat from his Shoalhaven Place property on Monday

Police seized a boat from his Shoalhaven Place property on Monday

Armed officers formed a ring of steel around the station on Monday night in a bid to protect the man amid fears of a bikie revenge attack.

Shocked neighbours said the man and his girlfriend were ‘model neighbours’ who always looked out for the community.      

Martin, 51, was shot in the back at a packed drag racing event at the Perth Motorplex, Kwinana Beach at 8.30pm on Saturday, December 12.

He died at the scene in front of hundreds of horrified families and children including his own wife and step-daughter.         

After being hit, Martin told his wife Amanda: ‘babe, I’ve been shot’, as she tried to give him CPR while he died in her arms. 

Another man, convicted drug dealer Ricky Chapman, was injured in the shooting at the Kwinana raceway, south of Perth.

Police said the same bullet that killed Martin had passed through to hurt Chapman – and a bullet fragment was recovered from his arm.  

WA Police reportedly tried to work out whether the sniper shot the bikie from an area close to bushland on the edge of the motor complex.

It is thought that surveillance cameras at the complex might yield some clues to the public killing that shocked the nation, with a toilet block 20 metres from where Martin was sitting thought to be the most valuable. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk