The CIA in Somalia; The Special Activities Division (SAD) and the Special Operations Group (SOG) use of Navy SEALs, run by US Central Command out of Tampa Florida. The Central Intelligence Agency has forbidden two former operatives from appearing on a History Channel television documentary to discuss the agency’s chaotic role in supporting U.S. troops in Somalia. “Secret CIA Units Playing A Central Combat Role”. The Washington Post. The units are part of a highly secret CIA capability, benignly named the Special Activities Division, that consists of teams of about half a dozen men who do not wear military uniforms. The division has about 150 fighters, pilots and specialists, and is made up mostly of hardened veterans who have retired from the U.S. military. The Special Activities Division (SAD) is a division of the United States Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) National Clandestine Service (NCS) responsible for covert operations, black operations and other “special activities”. These include covert political action and paramilitary special operations. Within SAD there are two separate groups, one for paramilitary operations and another for political action. The Political Action Group within SAD is responsible for covert activities related to political influence, psychological warfare, and economic warfare. The rapid development of technology has also added computer or cyberwarfare to their mission. A large covert operation usually has components that involve many or all of these categories, as well as paramilitary operations.
Special Operations Group (SOG) is the element within SAD responsible for paramilitary operations. These operations include collection of intelligence in hostile countries and regions, and all high threat military or intelligence operations that the U.S. government does not wish to be overtly associated with. As such, members of the unit (called Paramilitary Operations Officers) normally do not carry any objects or clothing (e.g., military uniforms) that would associate them with the United States government. If they are compromised during a mission, the government of the United States may deny all knowledge.
SAD/SOG has several hundred officers, almost all of them former members of Special operations forces (SOF) and most from the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). These units include the U.S. Army’s Delta Force, Navy DEVGRU, Marine Force Recon, Army Special Forces, Navy SEALs, MARSOC, Army Rangers, Air Force Combat Controllers, and Air Force Pararescuemen. The CIA’s formal position for these individuals is “Paramilitary Operations Officers”. These officers are then fully trained as clandestine intelligence operatives, otherwise known in the vernacular as “spies”. The primary strengths of SAD/SOG Paramilitary Officers are agility, adaptability, and deniability. They often operate in small teams, typically with six operators, all with extensive military special operations expertise and specialized skills that do not exist in any other unit.They are also fully trained intelligence case officers with all the clandestine skills to collect HUMINT that come with that training. These officers often operate in remote locations behind enemy lines to carry out direct action (including raids and sabotage), conduct espionage by HUMINT assets, counter-intelligence, guerrilla or unconventional warfare (UW), and hostage rescue missions.
SAD/SOG Paramilitary Operations in Somaila, Today. In 2009, U.S. Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) reported that al-Qaeda had been training terrorists in Somalia for years. On 14 September 2009, Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a senior al-Qaeda leader in East Africa as well as a senior leader in Shabaab, al Qaeda’s surrogate in Somalia, was killed by elements of U.S. Special Operations. According to a witness, at least two AH-6 Little Bird attack helicopters strafed a two-car convoy. Navy SEALs then seized the body of Nabhan and took two other wounded fighters captive. See my prior post on Spec Ops at McDill AFB Tampa Fl, Monday, November 10, 2008, Secret Order Lets U.S. Raid Al Qaeda in Many Countries, Al-Qaeda in Somalia a favorite target, Al-Qaeda in Somalia had a website in Vancouver WA USA. “Al Qaeda Network Exord,” WASHINGTON — The United States military since 2004 has used broad, secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen previously undisclosed attacks against Al Qaeda and other militants in Syria, Pakistan, (Somalia) and elsewhere, according to senior American officials. These military raids, typically carried out by Special Operations forces (Navy Seals), were authorized by a classified order that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President Bush, the officials said. The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaeda terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the United States. Some of the military missions have been conducted in close coordination with the C.I.A., according to senior American officials.