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SAS to assault Bin Laden cave
The Sunday Times (U.K.) ^ | 12/02/2001 | JAMES CLARK, DAVID CRACKNELL AND MATTHEW CAMPBELL

Posted on 12/01/2001 3:17:58 PM PST by Pokey78

BRITAIN'S SAS is poised to lead an attack on the underground fortress in the White Mountains of eastern Afghanistan where Osama Bin Laden is thought to be preparing for a last stand.

The 60-strong SAS Sabre squadron that captured a cave complex near the southern city of Kandahar last month has been told to prepare for the even tougher mission of hunting down Bin Laden in his Tora Bora stronghold.

A senior British defence source said yesterday that the SAS soldiers had "honed and developed unique skills and experience" during the raid, in which 18 Afghans were killed and four Britons injured. The British troops are planning a joint attack with American special forces on Tora Bora, where Bin Laden is reported to be surrounded by hundreds of followers ready to fight to the death.

"It will be in partnership with the Americans, who have some very good people, but what we learnt in the other cave was crucial," the British source said.

The most seriously injured SAS soldier was hit in the leg and abdomen by enemy fire. A 26-year-old married man, he recovered consciousness last Wednesday and is expected to survive, but may lose a leg.

SAS commanders in Afghanistan and Britain are briefing American Delta Force officers on the lessons of the earlier raid in preparation for an assault on Tora Bora, which is likely to follow an exhaustive intelligence effort.

Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the foreign minister of Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, said last night he believed Bin Laden was still hiding in the south of the country, where coalition intelligence agencies thought they had him cornered two weeks ago. However, senior figures on both sides of the Atlantic indicated they were confident Bin Laden had since reached Tora Bora. Planning for an attack intensified as it emerged that Britain is to double the strength of its special forces, partly to cope with an expansion of the war on terrorism in other countries next year.

Geoff Hoon, the defence secretary, will say in a speech on Wednesday that a review of UK armed forces following the September 11 terrorist attacks on America had shown the need for an urgent reorganisation.

Although the SAS and the Special Boat Squadron (SBS) will remain virtually unchanged for fear that their expertise would be diluted if they were enlarged, a new tier of special forces will be formed as part of a £100m initiative.

The defence review has concluded that the Parachute Regiment and Royal Marines have been overstretched by events. Hoon wants entire regiments retrained to similar standards, creating more "elite infantry" to fulfil difficult roles abroad. They could be asked to assist states such as Yemen, whose government has been unable to prevent terrorists from controlling large areas of the country. Under the plans Britain's 2,000-strong rapid-reaction force, dominated by marines and paratroopers, would be bolstered by about 1,800 more elite infantry.

Candidates for retraining and re-equipping include the Hampshire-based Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment and the Royal Green Jackets.

The review will also see an important change in the ethos of the Territorial Army (TA). Since 1996 it has been sent to serve abroad as much as possible. Hoon will say this week that it should make "homeland defence" its priority. The 1997 strategic defence review suggested that the UK did not face the possibility of attacks from the air, a perception transformed by the events of September 11.

The reorganisation to meet new threats will represent a victory for the Ministry of Defence over the Treasury. In recent weeks Gordon Brown, the chancellor, has resisted Hoon's calls for extra money to fund the expansion of special forces. But, after consulting senior military advisers, Tony Blair, the prime minister, has ruled that the expansion should go ahead. He believes the war against international terrorism has demonstrated the need for more flexible fighting forces.

Blair has also written to security and intelligence chiefs, praising them for their work during the conflict. He has told the heads of MI5, MI6, the joint intelligence committee and GCHQ, the communications centre, that "the government and British people are fortunate to be served by security and intelligence organisations whose professionalism is admired by our enemies and feared throughout the world".
Brown, however, is annoyed by a section of the defence review that says MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, as well as military intelligence, will need far more money in next summer's spending round to protect the UK against terror threats.

The review concludes that if the regular army is tied up on home defence, and intelligence services are so overworked preventing attacks here that they cannot focus on the enemy abroad, then the terrorists have already achieved a victory. Instead, it says, the TA should guard the UK while intelligence agencies and elite troops take the fight to the enemy.

The plan may not please many TA soldiers who have seen more action in the past five years than for decades. One senior NCO who returned recently from the Balkans said:

"For some time the TA has been about serving alongside the regular army, and I think that's why a lot of people enjoy it."

More than 80 foreign Taliban fighters emerged alive yesterday from a bunker inside the fort in northern Afghanistan where the bloodiest battle of the war took place last week, writes Matthew Campbell. They included Yemenis, Chechens, Pakistanis, Saudisand one who said he had been born in the United States.

Northern Alliance troops, suspecting that one or two fighters were still in the bunker in the Qala-i-Janghi fort near Mazar-i-Sharif, had flooded it overnight. At 7.30am yesterday 13 Arab fighters were flushed out by the freezing water.

Others remained inside, though it had seemed inconceivable that anybody could have lived through the battle that followed the uprising by prisoners in the fort last Sunday. At 10am, the remainder agreed to surrender, coming out one by one to hand over their weapons and be tied up. Then, in a parade of limping, tattered individuals, the soldiers of Osama Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network were led barefoot down a dirt path towards a red lorry container.



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: binladen; sas; torabora

1 posted on 12/01/2001 3:17:59 PM PST by Pokey78
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To: Pokey78
"The Red Cross tended to the injured and supplied the starving men with fruit. Northern Alliance soldiers were bewildered and angry. "They will eat your apples and bananas and then blow us all up," said one."

Many Amerricans could learn a lot from this NA soldier.

2 posted on 12/01/2001 3:31:27 PM PST by HangThemHigh
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To: Pokey78
At least 84 men emerged, some severely wounded, others apparently unscathed. Most either ignored questions or were too shell-shocked to notice them. But the 44th man stopped and claimed that he had been born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He spoke perfect English with an American accent but was herded away before he could say how he came to be fighting for the Taliban.

Creloe bin Laden!

3 posted on 12/01/2001 3:35:45 PM PST by aculeus
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To: HangThemHigh
Osama Bin Laden may very well secumb to Ass-asination. Imagine all those bombs going off, guns shooting, acrid smells, and their effect on the livestock. Some donkey could very well become upset, kick old Osama in the ass, and deprive us all of the satisfaction of seeing him.............
4 posted on 12/01/2001 3:38:18 PM PST by billhilly
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To: billhilly
suffice it to say that this phase in the war won't be complete until we posses bin ladens body.
5 posted on 12/01/2001 4:09:57 PM PST by rottweiller_inc
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To: rottweiller_inc
Saw your home page a day or so ago.
6 posted on 12/01/2001 4:14:23 PM PST by billhilly
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To: billhilly
i hope you liked it :)
7 posted on 12/01/2001 4:19:13 PM PST by rottweiller_inc
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To: Big Steve; deport; Irma; Wait4Truth; PhiKapMom; blackie; Deb
bump
8 posted on 12/01/2001 5:01:57 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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To: rottweiller_inc
Think 'larger font'....:-)
9 posted on 12/01/2001 6:56:05 PM PST by glasseye
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: aculeus; Pokey78; Landru; Squantos; Black Jade; East Bay Patriot; rightwing2; sonofliberty2...
They included Yemenis, Chechens, Pakistanis, Saudisand one who said he had been born in the United States.But the 44th man stopped and claimed that he had been born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He spoke perfect English with an American accent but was herded away before he could say how he came to be fighting for the Taliban.

We have seen this before in Chechnya and in the Balkans.

11 posted on 12/02/2001 12:11:37 AM PST by Pericles
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To: sonofliberty2; Pericles
"BRITAIN'S SAS is poised to lead an attack on the underground fortress in the White Mountains of eastern Afghanistan where Osama Bin Laden is thought to be preparing for a last stand."

I dunno...
I've the utmost respect and confidence our guys are being led by the very best there is.
However...

Why not locate the ventilation shaft(s) of these rat holes using infra-red.
*Cork* 'em up good, first.
Pump *something* gasseous, creative, & very *flammable* into these cave passages via their entrances.
Then?
Simply wait outside, safely, for each & every one of these Taliban *fighters* to come out into the open where they'll be putting themselves into harm's way?
Afterwards, & for those who might've remained -- which theoretically should number a precious few?
Fill 'em with Anthrax & seal 'em up.

...let Allah take care of it from there.

12 posted on 12/02/2001 8:10:12 AM PST by Landru
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To: Lady In Blue
Thanks for the bump Lady!
13 posted on 12/02/2001 9:08:52 AM PST by blackie
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To: Pericles; Travis McGee; pocat; AAABEST; SLB
Mercenarys versus Missionarys I guess. So much for the love and peace of islam. As to clearing a cave, I'd suggest it's no less of a hazard than clearing a windowless office environment. Lot's of psyco slugs in sheep pens.

Throw a fake grenade down the blind spots. If ya hear scramblin and panic......toss a real one. Economy of munitions carried in ......... Continue till cave is clear of taliban cockroaches.

Stay Safe ~!

14 posted on 12/02/2001 9:52:15 AM PST by Squantos
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To: Squantos
bump
15 posted on 12/02/2001 3:00:01 PM PST by expose
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To: blackie
You're welcome,blackie.
16 posted on 12/02/2001 3:38:19 PM PST by Lady In Blue
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Comment #17 Removed by Moderator

To: Black Jade
Yea Jade; a good thrill's extremely hard to come by in this day & age.
A conflict's sure to draw the plastic-fantastic, "warriors" just as surely as a lump of fecal matter draws green bottles.

That's why if & when these people are in fact captured?
They must be tried right alongside the people they fought with & against the very nation of their birth.
These people are no longer American Patriots.

...& consequently they must hang with 'em all common enemies of this nation should.

18 posted on 12/04/2001 6:58:38 AM PST by Landru
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To: Black Jade
Uhmmmmm half Louisana Cajun Coon@ss and half Mujhideen fighter ? It's a wonder this guy was caught at all. He must have been longing for his etoffe and boudan and lost his knife :o). Can ya make Etofee with goat ?

"Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler" Blake Jade and Stay Safe

19 posted on 12/04/2001 7:59:11 AM PST by Squantos
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Comment #20 Removed by Moderator

To: Black Jade
What would they name a school in which the terrorists of the Albanian UCK organization were trained??
21 posted on 12/05/2001 12:50:33 PM PST by tracer
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To: sonofliberty2
We warned the appropriate authorities and media about those fools, idiots, and even traitors within the Republicrat Party and the government bureacracies and the obvious penetration of their respective establishments. We exposed the workings of the Transcaspian program and how it had been hijacked by nefarious internationalist organizations. In return, many of us have received death threats, wire-tappings, and born the brunt of active measure operations even including direct actions against our persons.

Who's the "we" that knows all about this vast Transcaspian conspiracy and has been warning the "appropriate authorities" and has been receiving death threats and having their phones wire-tapped, or will you have to kill me if you tell me?

22 posted on 12/05/2001 4:01:47 PM PST by wimpycat
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To: billhilly
Some donkey could very well become upset, kick old Osama in the ass...

Yeah but that doesn't fit into the donkeycrat profile. Remember, you can't respond to violence with violence. No, I expect these dumb donkey @sses will go down with their man.

23 posted on 12/05/2001 4:06:44 PM PST by Roebucks
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To: rottweiller_inc
this phase in the war won't be complete until we posses bin ladens body

Puhleeze! Just the head will suffice.

24 posted on 12/05/2001 4:11:37 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: sonofliberty2
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
25 posted on 12/05/2001 11:04:54 PM PST by KQQL
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To: Pokey78
BRITAIN'S SAS is poised to lead an attack on the underground fortress in the White Mountains of eastern Afghanistan where Osama Bin Laden is thought to be preparing for a last stand.

Boy I love them Brits, I do not give a hoot what others are saying about them, but truth be told when you need them, they are there; we may have some axes to grind with them in peace time but when shit hits the fan, they are right there lending a helping hand.
To all British FRepers(you included Mad Ivan), I tilt my hat to you guys, thank you for sticking with us all the way.

26 posted on 12/05/2001 11:18:42 PM PST by danmar
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Pokey78
Excuse me for sounding extremely niave here, but here goes... What is Britains stake in all this? This is not the first time they stuck there neck out...in news reports anyway.

I mean we got bombed(WTC). Is it an ego thing over there?

This question is one I ask myself when the talk arises about what it going on behind the scenes...

SR

29 posted on 12/06/2001 5:06:39 PM PST by sit-rep
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Comment #30 Removed by Moderator

To: Black Jade
Heard that the US Navy is looking for 22 ships owned by Alqaida that are out there delivering shipping containers, and that only 10% of shipping containers arriving in the US are inspected. ABC radio.
31 posted on 12/06/2001 7:04:41 PM PST by RightWhale
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To: Black Jade; sonofliberty2
Here are some of the camps for training KLA and other Al Qaeda terrorists right here in the USA! Any nation who harbors terrorists is the enemy?

Looks like we are going to start bombing ourselves. The terrorists we have allowed into our country by our suicidal open-borders immigration policy must be eradicated by any means necessary. Furthermore, in a recent poll, 65% of Americans said that they support a ban on all immigration to the US for the balance of the war against terrorism. This prudent measure should be implemented by Congress immediately! We should contact the sixty noted members of the Immigration Reform Caucus in the House of Representatives to sponsor such legislation.

House Immigration Reform Caucus
32 posted on 12/07/2001 5:50:44 AM PST by rightwing2
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Comment #33 Removed by Moderator

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