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Old 02-04-2007, 03:24 AM
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Default Joint support group

Top secret army cell breaks terrorists
By Sean Rayment, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:46am GMT 04/02/2007



Deep inside the heart of the "Green Zone", the heavily fortified administrative compound in Baghdad, lies one of the most carefully guarded secrets of the war in Iraq. It is a cell from a small and anonymous British Army unit that goes by the deliberately meaningless name of the Joint Support Group (JSG), and it has proved to be one of the Coalition's most effective and deadly weapons in the fight against terror.
Its members - servicemen and women of all ranks recruited from all three of the Armed Forces - are trained to turn hardened terrorists into coalition spies using methods developed on the mean streets of Ulster during the Troubles, when the Army managed to infiltrate the IRA at almost every level. Since war broke out in Iraq in 2003, they have been responsible for running dozens of Iraqi double agents.
Working alongside the Special Air Service and the American Delta Force as part of the Baghdad-based counter-terrorist unit known as Task Force Black, they have supplied intelligence that has saved hundreds of lives and resulted in some of the most notable successes against the myriad terror groups fighting in Iraq. Only last week, intelligence from the JSG is understood to have led to a series of successful operations against Sunni militia groups in southern Baghdad.
Information obtained by the unit is also understood to have inspired one of the most successful operations carried out by Task Force Black, in November 2005, when SAS snipers shot dead three suicide bombers.
The killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq up until his death in June last year, followed intelligence obtained by the JSG, as did the rescue of the kidnapped peace campaigner, Norman Kember.
"The JSG is the coalition's secret weapon," revealed one defence source. "Their job is to recruit and run covert human intelligence sources or agents - we never use the term informer. The Americans are in awe of the unit because they have nothing like them within their military."
During the Troubles, the JSG operated under the cover name of the Force Research Unit (FRU), which between the early 1980s and the late 1990s managed to penetrate the very heart of the IRA. By targeting and then "turning" members of the paramilitary organisation with a variety of "inducements" ranging from blackmail to bribes, the FRU operators developed agents at virtually every command level within the IRA.
The unit was renamed following the Stevens Inquiry into allegations of collusion between the security forces and protestant paramilitary groups, and, until relatively recently continued to work exclusively in Northern Ireland.
The JSG recruits men and women of any rank from all three services up to the age of 42. Volunteers attend a two week pre-selection course where those not in possession of the unique set of skills required to handle agents successfully are weeded out.
Candidates who get through pre-selection then spend the next four months at the Intelligence Corps headquarters at Chicksands, Bedfordshire, being taught driving and close-quarter battle skills - operators must be capable of using a wide variety of weapons but must be expert shots with a pistol.
But most important of all, -volunteers must be able to befriend people they may actually despise, win their trust and persuade them to become agents, which in some cases will mean getting them to inform on friends and relatives. Those who eventually pass the course can expect to be posted to Baghdad, Basra and Afghanistan.
Sources have told The Sunday Telegraph that in Baghdad intelligence is obtained in a variety of ways. Some of it comes through phone calls to a confidential hot-line where callers can either talk to a member of the JSG or arrange a meeting inside the "Green Zone". It is too dangerous for operators to meet agents at a secret rendezvous in other parts of the city.
With so many Iraqis entering the zone every day, those who want to pass on information can do so with a certain amount of anonymity. But a risk still remains. All potential agents are warned that anyone suspected of being a coalition spy will be tortured before being murdered. If he is married, his wife will be gang-raped in front of their children, who will in all probability also be murdered, they are told. Despite the risks, JSG operators deal with dozens of Iraqis every week who are -prepared, for a variety of reasons, to become informers.
"Some Iraqis come to us because they are simply fed up with the violence," said one source. "They may have had -members of their families -murdered, tortured or kidnapped. Unlike much of the middle class which has already fled the country, they may be too poor to leave and so they come to us to see if they can make a difference.
"They may have a little bit of information or detailed knowledge of a planned attack. We also have to deal with terrorists and that presents us with a difficulty. We are happy for them to pass us information but it is made absolutely clear to them that as a member of a terrorist group they are criminals and they should cease all activity immediately - we have had cases where Shia or Sunni men have provided us with information and as part of the debriefing process we have discovered that they are terrorists themselves. We warn them that they are running the risk of being killed or captured and that they should get themselves into a position within the organisation where they will not be directly involved in murder."
To senior American officers in Baghdad, the JSG is playing a vital role in the most important theatre of the war on terror.
"In many respects, Afghanistan is a side issue and that is something the Americans understand better than British politicians," said a source. "Ask any senior officer in Baghdad, given a choice, which war would they be prepared to lose and they will say the war in Afghanistan.
"In many respects the war in Iraq has redefined insurgent warfare. Think of the very worst of Northern Ireland combined with the very worst of the Balkans and you are coming close to life on a daily basis in Baghdad. The situation is chaotic and bordering on being hopeless. The Iraqis have absolutely no faith in their army or police force because they are all or nearly all linked to militias.
"Only the coalition forces can bring real security - if the war is lost chaos will reign and the whole of the region will be dragged into a bloody and catastrophic ethnic war."
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:29 AM
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Interesting bit at the end there about which war we can afford to lose ....
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Old 02-04-2007, 05:13 AM
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Interesting bit at the end there about which war we can afford to lose ....
I agree Tex... But the article is not fully accurate... That comelian practice was developed by the US in the latter part of the Vietnam war, where VC agents were caught and turned providing invaluable intel, that would have panned out getting the US a victory in counter insurgency in that theatre, whilst too late for US to win Vietnam (ran out of time), the Brits were taking notes, and did employ it in the North.... theres all kinda wild claims about how the IRA came to the negotiating table.... I shall leave it at that.. That said its a dangerous game and altering your very essence when dealing with these folks is very taxing, hope they had their square 3 and 8 hrs prior... Well, good luck to them and I suppose its never to late, that their secret operation is not a secret anymore!!!... Cant understand why on earth they would go public and boast about it???.....
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Old 02-04-2007, 08:21 AM
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Thumbs up Task Force Black.....Awesome.

Texas, that was one heck of post. Awesome. I say it's about time. Task Force Black....that's good stuff. Go JSG.
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Posted by Zekos....get me one too b.itch Posted by... Exo1.Haha!!... good man!!.... .........yeah!!.... while your out there get me one too.....Posted by... SniperALpha1Corona with lime is the way to go. CAUSE THAT'S AMERICA *****!Posted by...Zidane Whiskey pl0x.

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Old 02-04-2007, 08:59 AM
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I agree Tex... But the article is not fully accurate... That comelian practice was developed by the US in the latter part of the Vietnam war, where VC agents were caught and turned providing invaluable intel, that would have panned out getting the US a victory in counter insurgency in that theatre, whilst too late for US to win Vietnam (ran out of time), the Brits were taking notes, and did employ it in the North.... theres all kinda wild claims about how the IRA came to the negotiating table.... I shall leave it at that.. That said its a dangerous game and altering your very essence when dealing with these folks is very taxing, hope they had their square 3 and 8 hrs prior... Well, good luck to them and I suppose its never to late, that their secret operation is not a secret anymore!!!... Cant understand why on earth they would go public and boast about it???.....

You have a good point Ex......I mean. Intel black has been working the area from the inside. The enemy must be working as well. Another good note....the Iraqi ppl themselves are involved. Lets hope they don't have dbl standards......that can be very dangerous.

Still the good ppl of Iraq must be tired of being tired.....lets hope. The very idea that there's some good work being done on a secured level has to be a good thing. But like you say....why make it today's news?
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Posted by... Nightflyer..Go get me a beer....
Posted by Zekos....get me one too b.itch Posted by... Exo1.Haha!!... good man!!.... .........yeah!!.... while your out there get me one too.....Posted by... SniperALpha1Corona with lime is the way to go. CAUSE THAT'S AMERICA *****!Posted by...Zidane Whiskey pl0x.

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Old 02-04-2007, 09:28 AM
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I wouldn't trust much of what's in that article, it's pretty inaccurate all over.
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:34 PM
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You have a good point Ex......I mean. Intel black has been working the area from the inside. The enemy must be working as well. Another good note....the Iraqi ppl themselves are involved. Lets hope they don't have dbl standards......that can be very dangerous.

Still the good ppl of Iraq must be tired of being tired.....lets hope. The very idea that there's some good work being done on a secured level has to be a good thing. But like you say....why make it today's news?

You will always get double standards in double agents... after all thats what there all about... good handlers in my opinion are the best way to see if there on the straight an narrow for your team... Its still beyond me why such activities even gets a shout in the press.... very dangerous.... cloak and dagger must be missing the cloak...
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Old 02-04-2007, 12:36 PM
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I wouldn't trust much of what's in that article, it's pretty inaccurate all over.
Well Good!!... I certainly hope so, special people are needed to operate such intel programmes and they do not grow on trees... exposing them like that even with mass inaccuracies is beyond me... even if they dont operate in the Green Zone, you know its like an open invitation to the Ts to attack it anyway... hit the civvi lines up going into the Green zone..... very irresponsible reporting...
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Old 02-04-2007, 02:43 PM
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Well Good!!... I certainly hope so, special people are needed to operate such intel programmes and they do not grow on trees... exposing them like that even with mass inaccuracies is beyond me... even if they dont operate in the Green Zone, you know its like an open invitation to the Ts to attack it anyway... hit the civvi lines up going into the Green zone..... very irresponsible reporting...
Yeah, everytime an article like this comes out (wrong as they usually are) it puts lives at risk. There was an atricle put out awhile ago (I won't reference it specifically) that almost cost me and my team's lives. I despise irresponsible journalism and wish we could put a little government control into the press when it comes to reporting on military matters.
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Old 02-04-2007, 03:12 PM
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Yeah, everytime an article like this comes out (wrong as they usually are) it puts lives at risk. There was an atricle put out awhile ago (I won't reference it specifically) that almost cost me and my team's lives. I despise irresponsible journalism and wish we could put a little government control into the press when it comes to reporting on military matters.
I agree... It should be censored in terms of operational security... Thats one thing Swartzkof did in Desert storm, he had a tight lid on press reporting of operations, cos of the security (and common sense) element... Am glad, you and your lads got out of the bind such irresponsible journalism got you into, and hope these people cop on and stop putting out sensitive articles... doesnt matter if its right or wrong, end result is the same.... lives at risk unneccessarily...
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