” In the secretive special operations community, officials are debating whether to tweak tactics for daring and risky missions involving hostage rescue and terrorist targeting that have been compromised by years of detailed news accounts and Hollywood portrayals.
Some believe Islamic extremists have gone to school on special operations forces. The classroom is the U.S. media.
Special operations forces’ three most recent attempts to rescue American hostages failed. Last year, SEALs attempted a beach insertion to capture a terrorist leader in Somalia but were spotted and repelled. There was also the horrific loss of SEALs in a helicopter shoot-down that some family members believe was an ambush.
For years, the basics for rescue and terrorist targeting have remained intact: insertion by silenced helicopter or boat to, or near, a target; and fast-roping or running to the end point. The objective is complete tactical surprise by the best commandos in the world, enhanced by goggles that let them see through the darkness.
But as one veteran of the special operations community said, “We’ve got one way of doing things, and the enemy is on to it because they’ve published these news reports and movies and all the rest of it. It’s time for some new tactics because the old ones are not working anymore.”
Retired Rear Adm. George Worthington, once the Navy’s top SEAL, was asked whether members of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have gone to school on special operations tactics.”
Washington Times has more