Sean Naylor’s new book, “Relentless Strike” reveals some of the psy-ops missions— and proposed ideas — by Joint Special Operations Command.
After 9/11, Delta Force operators brainstormed for ways to deter future hijackings. They suggested that the government, in conjunction with the FBI and the airlines, “leak out that there are Delta operators on board almost every flight and then do a fake takedown” using role players “in a first-class compartment that’s all stooges” on an otherwise regular commercial flight, said a Delta source.
A “terrorist” would attempt a hijacking before operators in plain clothes took him down “with hand-to-hand or something,” the source said. “Get that out [via the media]. Get inside their heads.” The aim was to “at least make [al Qaeda] think twice and begin to think, ‘Hey, they’re onto us, there’s special mission unit guys on every airplane.’ ”
But the plan didn’t make it far up the chain of command and was quickly nixed.