MESOP LATEST : SAS & US special forces forming hunter killer unit to ‘smash Islamic State’

Aug 27, 2014 20:11 By Aaron Sharp – Daily Mirror – Task Force Black will aim to “cut the head off the snake” by hitting the command structure of the Islamist terror group responsible for a trail of destruction

Prime Minister David Cameron and President Barack Obama are determined not to send large numbers of ground troops, so the use of small teams of special forces working with local militias is their only option. Downing Street has revealed that Britain will send “non-lethal” equipment including night-vision equipment and body armour to Kurdish fighters this week.

Work has already begun creating a network of spies and informers who will supply Task Force Black with ­high-grade human intelligence. British and US spy planes will eavesdrop on ­mobile phone calls and pinpoint the location of IS commanders. Operations will also be mounted to snatch middle-ranking IS commanders for interrogation by CIA analysts. US Navy Seals showed that intelligence gathered over years can be used to mount a kill operation when they shot dead Osama bin Laden in 2011.

The new task force plans similar surprise attacks in which ­sophisticated “silent” helicopters land troops.

The SAS, Seals and Delta Force worked together on many operations in Afghanistan and share intelligence. One source said: “Intelligence will be key to our operations. We have to build a network to defeat a network. “The brutal tactics of IS mean a lot of people want to see them gone.“They have people fighting for them who are too frightened to leave. “Young men joined IS believing they were fighting tyranny but what they saw was mass executions and beheadings. “The CIA will offer them money and a new life – but they’ll have to deliver information first.”

There are also moves to revive a defunct Iraqi special forces unit called the Apostles, which was ­created by the first Task Force Black a­fter the Iraq War. Meanwhile Mr Cameron is under growing pressure over an alleged failure to deal with home-grown radicals. Pictures of him surfing in Cornwall at the height of the crisis are said to have raised eyebrows even in his Cabinet.

Politicians of all parties urged action to stop radicalisation of young British Muslims and tougher restrictions on those ­peddling extremist views.And there were renewed calls for security services to get greater powers to monitor extremists online.It emerged that recommendations to toughen controls made five months ago by David Anderson QC, the Government’s own adviser on terrorism laws, have yet to be acted on.In another move, Lieutenant General Sir Simon Mayall, the Government’s senior defence adviser on the Middle East, is being sent to liaise with Kurdish commanders.