Joint Support Group

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The Joint Support Group, (also known as the Joint Services Group) is the name for the secretive agent-handling unit of the British Army, formerly known as the Force Research Unit.

Northern Ireland

An Army Headquarters Northern Ireland (HQNI) internal briefing paper detailing command and control arrangements for the Joint Support Group was issued on 9 March 1992.[1]

Iraq

THE most secret military unit serving in Northern Ireland is to be pulled out of the Province and posted to Iraq and to other operational missions overseas.
The Joint Support Group (JSG), which runs agents under the control of the Intelligence Corps, is one of a number of units expected to leave Belfast as part of the “normalisation process” under which the Government plans to cut troop levels by more than half to about 5,000. [2]

Task Force Black

According to the Daily Telegraph, members of the JSG worked alongside the Special Air Service and Delta Force in Baghdad as part of a group called Task Force Black.[3]

Modus Operandi

The JSG recruits men and women of any rank from all three services up to the age of 42. Volunteers attend a two week pre-selection course where those not in possession of the unique set of skills required to handle agents successfully are weeded out.
Candidates who get through pre-selection then spend the next four months at the Intelligence Corps headquarters at Chicksands, Bedfordshire, being taught driving and close-quarter battle skills - operators must be capable of using a wide variety of weapons but must be expert shots with a pistol.
But most important of all, -volunteers must be able to befriend people they may actually despise, win their trust and persuade them to become agents, which in some cases will mean getting them to inform on friends and relatives. Those who eventually pass the course can expect to be posted to Baghdad, Basra and Afghanistan.
Sources have told The Sunday Telegraph that in Baghdad intelligence is obtained in a variety of ways. Some of it comes through phone calls to a confidential hot-line where callers can either talk to a member of the JSG or arrange a meeting inside the "Green Zone". It is too dangerous for operators to meet agents at a secret rendezvous in other parts of the city.[4]

See Also

Notes

  1. Sir Desmond de Silva, Volume 1 - Chapter 4: Agent-handling, Pat Finucane Review, 12 December 2012.
  2. Top secret intelligence unit will quit Belfast for new role in Iraq, by Michael Evans, The Times, 18 April 2005.
  3. Top secret army cell breaks terrorists ,by Sean Rayment, Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2007.
  4. Top secret army cell breaks terrorists ,by Sean Rayment, Daily Telegraph, 5 February 2007.