Sketchy reports
September 23, 2001 9:44 AM   Subscribe

Sketchy reports that British special forces are already on the ground (and possibly shooting) in Afghanistan.
posted by Mid (17 comments total)
Hard to get a read on whether this is legit or just rampant rumors. However, I recall that the British SAS were one of the first military units on the ground in Iraq back in 1991. There was a (sketchy -- natch) story that the SAS had kidnapped an entire Iraqi scud contingent -- missile, soldiers, and all -- very early on in the battle.

Similar stuff going on now?
posted by Mid at 9:48 AM on September 23, 2001

I don't know about that, but I'm damned glad the SAS aren't mad at the US.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 9:52 AM on September 23, 2001

(Foolish me, I misread the text and went looking for a website names "Sketchy".)
posted by rodii at 10:05 AM on September 23, 2001

This report says the SAS know the position of Bin Laden.
posted by dydecker at 10:11 AM on September 23, 2001

I have no idea how trustworthy this source is, but supposedly the Brits claim they found Bin Laden.
posted by muckster at 10:12 AM on September 23, 2001

Sorry. This one

posted by dydecker at 10:12 AM on September 23, 2001

I think we can be certain that this report is bogus. Even if MI6 knew where bin Laden was, they wouldn't announce that fact because then he'd move. They may well actually know, but they sure wouldn't release that to the press.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:19 AM on September 23, 2001

Apologies if I'm talking to Brits here, but for others: this is the kind of thing the SAS does; the report on knowing Bin Laden's location is in the News of the World, which is about the least trustworthy paper around.
posted by andrew cooke at 10:19 AM on September 23, 2001

Isn't News of The World a tabloid?
posted by Hankins at 10:45 AM on September 23, 2001

Bravo Britain if the reports are true. Let's hope American special forces are in there with them, or at least on the way.

This is a great way to go about taking them out. I don't want to know that we've won until after the deed is done. Sneak in the back door, disable their network under their noses and take them out before they realize who's who.
posted by tomorama at 12:58 PM on September 23, 2001

If it's a tabloid, where's the bird with her tits out? ;-S (Note that it links to the same Twin Towers Fund as the NY Post; IIRC Murdoch owns both.)

As for the SAS, note that the British somewhat coincidentally had the largest Royal Navy task force since the Gulf War already in the Arabian Sea for exercises with Gulf States. Notably there have also been indications that something's been brewing for some time in regard to a joint operation being run out of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan in support of the Northern Alliance, which may make the presence of the task force somewhat less coincidental. The CIA's been supporting the rebels for three years running, so I have no doubt that there are already American and probably British special forces working directly among them in the Afghani territory they control from the first days of this new crisis to at the least gather intelligence. Shooting, though, is probably an overstatement.
posted by dhartung at 1:10 PM on September 23, 2001

The News of the World spins news to such a degree that it becomes almost fictional. I can do without all this "our boys in the Gulf" comic-book jingoism.
posted by skylar at 1:57 PM on September 23, 2001

Whereas the US has phenomenal firepower and a very well subscribed force, the UK tends to excel in the area of special forces, so this story doesn't surprise me too much. Now if only we had the SAS the last time Britain fought with Afghanistan ;-)
posted by wackybrit at 2:14 PM on September 23, 2001

I hope that whatever size units the U. S. and Brits send in that they are careful to avoid any of the millions of land mines both the Soviets and the Taleban have strewn all over the country. I've read where they already take a daily toll of 20-25 innocent people.
posted by SteveS at 11:38 AM on September 24, 2001

Wackybrit, the US has a non-trivially large number of special forces, too. You have heard of the Navy SEALS, I presume? And Delta Force?
posted by Steven Den Beste at 12:11 PM on September 24, 2001

SDBeste, get off your horse and drink your milk buddy. You keep waving that flag around and you'll give your position away. They're different tools for different jobs mate. You want a training camp hitting hard? Delta Force are perfect - lots of mobile firepower, quick insertion, blow the shite out of everything, quick extraction before the whole of hell starts raining down.

If you want information on the training camp over the course of weeks trailing it as it moves around, calling in occassional air strikes to keep them moving, then you need the SAS. They did the same job in the Gulf trailing SCUD launchers.
posted by vbfg at 3:33 AM on September 25, 2001

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