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SBS Officers Helped Plan US Raid On Bin Laden's Hideout

09.05.2011

The Daily Express newspaper has run a story claiming that 2 Special Boat Service (SBS) officers played a role in last weekend's daring raid by US special operations forces on Osama Bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan. According to reports, the 2 SBS officers, a captain and a major, provided their expertise to the planners of Operation Neptune's Spear, the official codename for the operation.

The unit that carried out the raid, SEAL Team Six, otherwise known as DEVGRU, shares a bond with the SBS, formed over many years of exchange programs between the two units. Like the SBS, SEAL Team Six specialises in Maritime Counter Terrorism operations and, also like the SBS, had been mostly deployed to Afghanistan since the early days of the global war on terror. Aside from many successful operations, SEAL Team Six was the unit involved in the bungled mission to rescue British aid worker, Linda Norgrove, who had been kidnapped in Kunar province Afghanistan. The mission ended in tragedy when Norgrove was killed during the rescue op by a grenade thrown by a SEAL.

The Special Boat Service has carried out a number of raids against high value Taliban commanders in Afghanistan but none, as far as is publicly known, have taken place over the border in Pakistan. There have been, however, reports of UKSF units carrying out reconnaissance operations in search of Al Qaeda / Taliban targets across the Pakistan border.

Back in late 2001, a number of SBS operators joined an ultimately fruitless mission by Delta Force - the US Army equivalent of 22 SAS - to find and kill Bin Laden at Tora Bora (see links below for more info).

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