posted on Dec, 31 2003 @ 09:44 AM
'The unit brings together small elite units from the uniformed military, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA)
eavesdropping organisation. The strike force of the unit is a highly trained group of commandos from the US army’s Delta Force.
Paramilitary operatives from the CIA’s special activities division are also attached to give Task Force 20 the ability to mount human intelligence or
"HUMINT" gathering among the local Iraqi population.
They also have a team to match DNA samples from bodies of people killed in US targeted killings.
Technical intelligence is the job of the NSA personnel and they have brought hi-tech eavesdropping equipment to listen in on satellite communications
used by remnants of the regime.
They were thought to have been behind the tip-off last week that Saddam was travelling in a convoy near the Syrian border.
A shadowy team of Pentagon undercover intelligence operatives, dubbed "Grey Fox", are also reputed to be part of the task force. It works closely
with its British special forces counterparts in Task Force 7, which operates around the southern Iraqi city of Basra.
Some of Task Force 20’s operatives worked undercover as UN weapon inspectors during the 1990s and with Hans Blix’s more recent foray into Iraq.
They provide the local knowledge of the regime and its secretive ways.
Task Force 20 was created as a result of lessons learnt in the so far futile hunt of the al-Qaeda chief. It was hoped that by grouping all the elite
covert units under a single command the bureaucratic rough edges between the CIA and the military would be smoothed out.
It was also hoped fleeting intelligence of America’s prey would be acted upon immediately.
The unit reports directly to General Tommy Franks, the US’s Middle East commander, and he has given it first call on manpower and resources.
A squadron of MH-53 Pave Low special forces helicopters are on call "24/7".
The unit also has access to the small number of US air force Predator unmanned drones in the Middle East.
These drones were used successfully to kill Qaed Senyan al-Harthi, a suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole, in the Yemen last November.
So far, Task Force 20 appears to have far more success in Iraq that its predecessors did in Afghanistan.
It has managed to net 32 of the 55 "Iraqi most wanted" in two months, including some of the regime’s big fish and seems to be closing in on the ace
of spades. '
"Q: Still, five and a half days later, the U.S. is continuing to hold five Syrian nationals, only three of whom were wounded. Do you have – I’m still
not clear why you haven't returned these people to their country. Do you have any reason, for example, to believe they are anything other than Syrian
border guards? And you mentioned this mission was conducted by a military organization, you said, known at Task Force 20. Can you tell us what is Task
Force 20, who makes it up, and what their mission is in Iraq?
Myers: No. I don't want to go into any more operational detail on Task Force 20. That's -- that's the kind of details that we're just not going to
go into. But --
Q: You cannot tell us what -- after you named it, you can't tell us what that U.S. military organization --
Myers: It's a U.S. military organization. And we have several task forces --
Rumsfeld: It's a good one.
Myers: It's a good one. (Laughter.)
Rumsfeld: You want some elaboration? It's a good one."
'The unit is called "Grey Fox" , according to press reports, "part of Task Force 20, who come under the political control of the Pentagon's new
Under Secretary of State for Intelligence, Stephen Cambone, have one mission: to kill or capture Saddam. Cambone, a neo-conservartive was placed in
the newly created post of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence – by Donald Rumsfeld,
The Observer reports…"the unit that has been criticized by senior US officials for its 'lawlessness' and 'lack of control' has hunted Serbian war
criminals in the Balkans, fought in Somalia, and in counter-terror operations across the globe: it is a key part of what the Pentagon calls its
'black world' of undercover operations." '