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SBS Carry Out Somalia Surveillance Ops


According to the Sun newspaper, the Special Boat Service (SBS) has carried out a series of covert surveillance operations along the Somalia coastline. Over an 8-week period, the SBS reportedly gathered intelligence at a number of ports where pirate activity has been suspected. The operation was said to have concluded 'a few weeks ago'.

The growing threat from piracy emanating from Somalia has led to an increased naval presence in the Gulf of Aden. A multi-national task force, including Royal Navy vessels, patrols the waters where the pirates operate and Royal Marines boarding parties regularly intercept suspected pirate vessels in the region. This, however, is the first report of British special forces operating against the pirate bases.

The last reported SBS operation in the region was an aborted attempt to rescue a British couple who had been kidnapped from their yacht by Somali pirates. Logistical delays meant that the SBS team arrived when it was too late to launch a rescue, much to the chagrin of the team of Fleet Protection Group Royal Marines who were on-site and in a position to intervene but were ordered to wait for the SBS (see 2nd link below for more info).

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