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Operation Ensue - The SAS Arrest Stevan Todorovic

November 1998 - Serbia

Target - Stevan Todorovic

Stevan Todorovic was a Serb wanted for war crimes committed during the ethnic cleansing of Bosanki Samac, April 1992. SFOR, the NATO-led multinational force in post-war Bosnia and Herzegovina, wanted him arrested. The SAS were given the job.

Operation Ensue

Unlike other SFOR arrest operations, the SAS snatch mission took place within Serbia itself. Todorovic was known to be hiding in a log cabin in the Zlatibor region.

Zlatibor Region, Serbia (google earth kmz file)

Todorovic's location had been determined by Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) specialists from the ISA, a U.S. Special Ops unit with a role similar to the UK's 18 (UKSF) Signals and SRR.

On the night of the the 27th of September, 1998, the 4-man SAS team, all fluent Serb speakers, stormed Todorovic's cabin. He was bound, gagged and put into a 4x4 and driven to the Drina River, close to the border with Bosnia. Once at the river, the SAS loaded Todorovic into an Zodiac-style inflatable boat and took him across and over the border where he was bundled into a waiting helicopter and flown to Tuzla for formal arrest.

Drina River (google earth kmz file)

In the days following Todorovic's arrest official Western sources confirmed that the suspected war criminal had been arrested by the SAS. This unusual official confirmation of SAS activities was seen as a deliberate attempt to let the Serbs know that they had nowhere to hide.

On May 4th, 2001, Todorovic was sentenced to ten years' imprisonment.

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