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This article's subject relates to Season 1 of 24.This article's subject relates to Season 3 of 24.This article's subject relates to the 24 expanded universe.

Operation Nightfall was a secret mission authorized by Senator David Palmer to assassinate Balkan war criminal Victor Drazen. A Delta Force team, led by Jack Bauer, was organized by Robert Ellis for the mission. Bauer was ordered to assemble a six-man operation detachment team that would infiltrate Kosovo by air, eliminate the threat posed by Victor Drazen, and move to a distant extraction point where they would be extracted by a Pave Hawk helicopter.

However, when Tony Webster of the CIA discovered Nightfall, he leaked it to Drazen and set up the operation for failure so that his own conflicting mission to extract Drazen alive would succeed. Drazen survived the air strike, but his wife Elena, daughter Martina, and body double were killed. Of the incursion team, only Jack Bauer and Stephen Saunders survived the disaster.

The Operational Detachment team[]

The Mission[]


The destroyed Drazen Compound

The mission began in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, before Jack led his men into Kosovo and to Drazen's bunker. Jack watched a man he believed to be Victor enter the bunker, after which he set off a bomb which destroyed the building leaving no survivors. ("Day 1: 10:00am-11:00am", "7:00pm-8:00pm")

Unbeknownst to either Jack Bauer or Victor Drazen, Elena and Martina Drazen had returned home from vacation a day early. They were killed in the blast that was meant to kill Victor. ("Day 1: 8:00pm-9:00pm")

During the mission, most of Bauer's team were killed. He believed that they all died during the mission, however Stephen Saunders survived and was captured. Jack returned home from the mission 2 weeks after he left, blaming himself for the loss of his men and becoming more distant from his wife, which eventually lead to their separation. ("Day 1: 9:00am-10:00am")

Saunders was tortured by the Bosnian secret police for years, before he returned to the US more than four years later to exact revenge on both America and Jack Bauer for being left behind enemy lines. ("Day 3: 5:00am-6:00am")

From the Congressional Investigation[]


During Day 1, Team leader Jack Bauer was shocked to find out that Victor Drazen was still alive

Intelligence sources had located Victor Drazen's compound in a Kosovar village called Dakovica. Under instruction from NSA agent Robert Ellis, Jack Bauer put together a six man team charged with eliminating Drazen.

Drazen's bodyguards had stolen military equipment, such as anti-aircraft guns, to defend the compound against attack.

The team's escape was hindered due to jamming of their digital radio frequency, preventing communication between Bauer and his men and the Pave Hawk rescue helicopter. All of Bauer's team were killed but he managed to escape.

Bauer claimed that the mission was set up to fail and, with he and his team killed, Drazen would then be captured, held in the DoD's secret prison complex and used for intelligence purposes. Jack suspected the activities of a traitor high up in the intelligence community and well above Nina Myers.

Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Jason Newton of the DoD was called to the committee to provide further information about Operation Nightfall and the detention facilities.

The following details are a selection of his comments:

  • Intelligence suggested that Drazen was plotting to develop a new international terrorist organization, using wealth acquired through his criminal activities.
  • Robert Ellis sought authorization from Senator Palmer, (as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee), to undertake Operation Nightfall.
  • As soon as it was discovered that Drazen has survived the attack a second covert operation was actioned to snatch him.
  • Unbeknownst to the Senate, the NSA and the UN, Drazen was then held in the secret prison network.

Newton issued a specific denial that the radio frequencies used by Bauer's team were provided to Drazen's men.


Background information and notes[]

  • The team members that were listed in Findings at CTU do not coincide with those that appear in the Nightfall mission, or even the number of people on the team photograph seen during Day 3.
  • The version of the mission given in the comic 24: Nightfall does not fit with the facts given by the show. The show states that Jack watched a body double enter a bunker before he set off a bomb himself, causing an explosion that no-one survived; the comic has Victor Drazen not using a body double, Jack calling in an airstrike to destroy the bunker, and Drazen surviving the explosion.