Monday, February 28, 2011

Libya: British special forces conduct daring rescue

by Jim Kouri

British special forces troops conducted a daring rescue and evacuation operation on Saturday that one U.S. counterterrorist called "a mission deserving of motion picture depiction." 

On Saturday, members of the United Kingdom's Special Air Service, or SAS, landed in military transport aircraft in a remote area near a Libyan seaport. The SAS operatives had flown from Malta after planning the rescue of civilian workers from the U.K. 

The operation was initiated when British officials in London began to fear their workers might be taken hostage by Libya's regular army or the hired mercenaries from Chad and the Sudan who've gained a reputation for being brutal, "loose cannons." 

According to the British Foreign Office, SAS troops were heavily armed with fully-automatic assault rifles, machine guns and pump shotguns, but they were able to so far conduct the operation without firing a shot. 

While British officials have not discussed the role played by their special forces, an American who once trained with the SAS told the Law Enforcement Examiner that SAS soldiers were probably already in Libya conducting reconnaissance prior to the arrival of the rescue units.  

"The SAS recon team probably entered Libya in plainclothes on commercial flights earlier last week," said the SAS-trained American source who now manages protection operations for an international security firm.

The rescue of more than 130 British workers was successful with them being transported safely to the airfield in Malta. However, according to the London Times many of the SAS troops have remained to locate and rescue more non-Libyan civilians.

For the men of 22nd SAS Regiment, yesterday’s mission was a return to their roots in the Second World War when they were founded by Sir David Stirling and called themselves the ‘Libyan Taxi Service’.

The Special Air Service is a respected regiment of the British Army that serves as a model for many nations developing their own special forces units. Likened to U.S. Navy SEALs or the U.S. Army's Delta Force, SAS members' training includes hostage negotiations, intelligence gathering, and other disciplines.

While secretive for many years, the SAS gained international fame after it successfully assaulted the Iranian Embassy in London and rescued hostages during the 1980 Iranian Embassy Siege.

Meanwhile, in Tripoli, Libyan dictator Khadhafi  has started distributing guns to civilians as he tries to maintain his power base, according to the London Times and BBC. He has ordered his Revolutionary Committee militia forces to distribute weapons to Libyans still loyal to his regime, they reported.

According to the BBC, Khadhafi's mercenaries have been removing injured patients and dead bodies from Libyan hospitals in order to hide evidence of the brutal treatment of unarmed Libyan civilians. 

Jim Kouri, CPP, formerly Fifth Vice-President, is currently a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police and he's a columnist for and New Media Alliance (  In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB ( Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty. 

He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for several major organizations.  He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.   Kouri writes for many police and security magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer and others. He's a news writer and columnist for AmericanDaily.Com, MensNewsDaily.Com, MichNews.Com, and he's syndicated by AXcessNews.Com.   Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.