We are in a global war against jihad, and we are not alone in that battle. When I was in Iraq, I had several favorites as far as nations in the fight with us, rotating units that were unashamed members of the Coalition. They were focused, they were purposed, and they were not about to back down. Among them were the Ugandans, the Aussies, and the Brits. This edition of Soldier is going to talk about two particularly powerful operations that were recently executed with precision by members of the SAS, or the British Special Air Service.
By way of background, the SAS was formed during WWII, and reorganized in 1950. Their duties include, but are not confined to, counter-terrorism, “direct action,” covert reconnaissance, and human intelligence gathering.
Some of this is not going to be pretty to talk about, but then, neither is jihad. The subject of the first discussion is the death of a jihadist who was in the middle of teaching other jihadists the ins and outs of efficiently beheading people. As he was making his point re: “making the final cut,” let’s just say that the SAS sniper’s bullet found its mark, and in that moment the instructor became the embodiment of that which he was methodically teaching.
His students scattered, some with gratitude back to their families. Again, what was discovered in Iraq was that terrorists would terrorize whole families, and force the men of the families to do all manner of evil or face the murder of their own families. The Nazis did the same. This “teacher” was known for his ruthlessness and brutality, feared even by jihadists, and while no one knows the percentages of “true believers” as opposed to those who were made to join ISIS on pain of death of their loved ones, this operation was inarguably successful. Lives were saved, and it took 3 teams comprised of 4 members each to successfully complete this mission.
The second SAS operation went off without a hitch with assistance from our own Air Force. This time, the SAS disguised themselves as women in burqas and raided an ISIS bunker, killing a Syrian ISIS leader.
This operation involved a squad of 8, and it is said that the targets were utterly flummoxed when the “women” shed their burqas and opened fire. The USAF released a Hellfire missile via a drone, and provided the safe extraction of all 8 SAS members.
An anonymous source told Britain’s Daily Star that “Gunmen were on the streets stopping everyone, lining people up against the walls and threatening to kill anyone who had ‘helped the spies.’” Sources also told the Daily Star that the kinds of missions that are described here were going to be increasing in frequency. The reason? Their current HVT (High Value Target) is a man by the name of Siddartha Dhar, who is also known as Abu Rumaysah. He has the nickname of being the new “Jihadi John,” after the other home-grown terrorist, ISIS propagandist Mohammed Emwazi was struck and killed by a drone last November.
Siddartha had the gall to tweet the following after he left London in September 2014. He was released on bail after being cited for “encouraging terrorism.” He said, “What a shoddy security system Britain must have to allow me to breeze through Europe to [ISIS].”
That may be, and hopefully both the UK and the US are learning from their mistakes. Even more, my hope is that they will continue to work together well to keep us safe, even if it has to get worse before it gets better.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner