Canadian Spec Ops forces take out Taliban bomb makers

Source:  The Toronto Star (

Jul 13, 2009

Bruce Campion-Smith

Canada’s elite special forces soldiers have been launching raids on enemy compounds to directly target insurgents making roadside bombs, the main killer of coalition troops in Afghanistan, the Toronto Star has learned.

Using intelligence gathered by Canadian spies on the ground in the troubled country, soldiers with Joint Task Force 2 and the special forces regiment (Editor’s note: the correct name is the Canadian Special Operations Regiment) are actively involved in going after the networks that produce the improvised explosive devices.

“It’s a very high value target for them,” said Senator Colin Kenny, chair of the Senate defence committee.

While it’s been known that members of the special forces group have been operating in Afghanistan, the government has maintained a strict silence about their specific operations. But their website boasts that they work abroad “to destroy, disorganize and disrupt the networks of violent organizations.”

Kenny said the group is spending “80 per cent” of its time trying to counter the manufacture of IEDs, an effort that has ramped up this year as coalition soldiers face a record number of bomb attacks.

“The whole (Canadian Forces) is conscious of where their casualties are coming from and they’ve turned to a major effort to address it,” Kenny said in an interview.

The elite troops have been working with agents from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, who are also in the country, to help identify the locations where the bombs are made – and then launch operations to wipe them out.

When a bomb-making operation is found, “they can send it up in a puff of smoke,” Kenny said.

British Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth hinted at the coalition tactics last week when he discussed how soldiers are putting renewed emphasis on targeting the bomb-making networks.

“When we target the bomb makers and take out the capacity to produce, we cut the threat,” Ainsworth said in a London speech.

Photos (all courtesy Department of National Defence):

Canadian Special Operations Regiment soldiers on a night-time training exercise

Canadian Special Operations Regiment soldiers on a night-time training exercise


CSOR operators ono patrol in Afghanistan
CSOR operators on patrol in Afghanistan


CSOR operators practice fast-roping during an assualt exercise
CSOR operators practice fast-roping during an assault exercise


Canadian Special Operations Regiment website:


About this entry