Two Britons planned US raid on Osama’s hideout

May 8th, 2011 - 5:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Taliban London, May 8 (IANS) Not many may know it, but two British special forces’ officers planned the May 2 US commando raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan in which the Al Qaeda chief was killed, a media report said Sunday.

Two officers from the Special Boat Service (SBS) could be in line for American military honours for the parts they played in planning the audacious raid on the Al Qaeda leader’s compound in Abbottabad, the Sunday Express reported.

Neither the major not the captain had a “trigger job” in the fight that raged when US Navy Seals stormed Osama’s lair but their top secret role has been described as crucial for the success of the mission.

Both men were involved in the detailed planning of an operation so precise that an exact replica of Osama’s sprawling home was constructed in Afghanistan so the assault could be rehearsed.

The SBS officers were involved in the briefings prior to the attack.

A military insider said: “One of the things the SBS is renowned for is its specialist signals capabilities and these were used by the US forces in the days and weeks leading up to the operation.”

A separate intelligence source told the Sunday Express: “We did have people on exchange but they were exchange staff officers in a role which we have maintained for many years.”

The Pentagon has encouraged British involvement in some of their most secretive work in recent times because of the special forces’ unrivalled expertise in urban warfare, particularly surveillance operations and raids on fortified buildings.

SAS (Special Air Services regiment) and SBS personnel have carried out as many as 2,000 assaults on Al Qaeda and Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade, many in close co-operation with US troops.

A spokesman for Britian’s ministry of defence said: “We do not comment on special forces’ matters.”

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