Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Terrorism: A name change may have led to confusion over the super secret spy team the pentagon made.

The official said Congress was told about the formation of "this kind of activity," but might have been told of the program several months ago when it had a different name. The SSB sends Defense Intelligence Agency personnel into the field and recruits agents to provide intelligence. Its role is to provide a human intelligence capability for units that in many cases will be composed of special forces also operating clandestinely in such countries as Iraq and Afghanistan, the official said. While some of this type of work has been carried out by the DIA in the past, the official said the SSB is "more robust in terms of who it operates with and its level of activities." He said the SSB was formed in response to Rumsfeld's ongoing concerns expressed at the highest levels of the department that the Pentagon did not have the capability to gather intelligence in the field on its own. The unit was set up after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, "to have as much flexibility as possible," he said.

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