The Sun: ‘SAS hit squads at UK’s malls’
By Anthony France, David Willetts and Duncan Larcombe
Published: 7 December 2010

SAS hit squads are today protecting packed shopping centres from terrorists – with orders to shoot to kill.
The regiment’s elite troops are poised to foil any al-Qaeda bid to cause Mumbai-style carnage amid Britain’s Christmas crowds.

The Who Dares Wins teams have instructions to strike hard and fast to combat the “real and credible” threat of a bomb-and-gun onslaught by fanatics.

Read the full article in The Sun here

‘Smart move… I feel safer’

THE fact that an SAS squadron has been dispatched this week is no cause for alarm.

This is simply a case of the Regiment’s good planning and preparation.

Firstly, it makes sense to have an increased military presence around Christmas. This is a high-threat period just because of the number of people on the streets.

As we saw with the 7/7 terrorist attacks, the bombers chose to strike during rush hour because they knew that was when most commuters would be out and about. It’s the same with Christmas. The second sound reason for the Regiment to move is the recent spate of bad weather.

In war it is a normal pragmatic decision to move your troops forward if you know there is going to be bad weather. It’s just the same here. The Regiment are based in Hereford. So if they are required elsewhere, it makes sense that they are already in place.

Then they won’t have to deal with snow and ice, Christmas traffic and bad flying conditions to reach their destination. Any emergency service makes provision for bad weather and perceived threat – and the Regiment are no different.

I can remember moving to certain areas on standby many times during my ten years in the SAS. I, for one, feel safer when members of the Regiment are among us.


90-day blitz takes out 3,200 Taliban
The Sun
By David Willetts, Defence Correspondent

Published: 01 Dec 2010

Secret strike operations led by British and American Special Forces have taken out 3,200 Taliban insurgents in just 90 DAYS.

The huge haul was achieved in an “autumn showdown” – launched to crush the Taliban before they skulk off for winter.

British SAS and SBS fighters, US Delta Force units, Afghan Special Forces Tiger Teams and elite outfits from other coalition troops hit the enemy relentlessly for three months.

Of the 3,200 killed or captured in covert strikes, 387 were top-level commanders. The figures were handed to SAS hero and Sun Security Adviser Andy McNab at a top level briefing in the Afghan capital Kabul. Andy visited the frontline this month to drum up support for the Sun’s Jobs for Heroes campaign – backed by expert recruitment firm ForceSelect.

He said: “We are nailing the Taliban. We are killing and capturing them on an industrial scale.

“This wasn’t a blanket approach to killing. These are tactical missions. Troopers are now specifically targeting the Taliban leadership, and those who fight FOR the Taliban.

“Our guys weren’t targeting those who simply fought WITH the Taliban. There is a clear distinction. Some are fighting because they need the money or too frightened not to. They are not fighting for hate or the ideology.

“Of course, some commanders worry that younger, more radical Taliban fighters will take the place of dead leaders.

“But, talking to the guys who conduct these covert operations, they weren’t unduly worried about it.

“If a new generation of radical Taliban step into these dead men’s shoes, they too will be killed or captured.”

The operations are part of the push towards a Nato handover of control in Afghanistan to Afghan National Forces and police by 2014.

Source: The Sun

Andy McNab in The Sun - meeting the troops


This much I know: Andy McNab in The Guardian-The Observer

By Mark Townsend,  28 November 2010

The novelist and former SAS soldier, 50, on playing albums in the car, microwaves, and being starstruck by Muhammad Ali

I don’t have a temper. To the point of frustration of others sometimes; even if I’m in an argument I’ll just start laughing.

I’m not scared of anything physical, but I am for my daughter’s future. What’s she going to do? Where’s she going go? All that parental stuff.

Funnily enough, my earliest memory came to me two months ago. I was adopted when I was five, so I have no baby pictures. My mum recently found an old photograph of me when I was about that age, standing by this old car in a stripy T-shirt and shorts. Looking at it I remembered the picture being taken.

When I was about nine or 10 I wanted to be what all the kids on the estate wanted to be: either work for London Transport – a tube driver or a bus driver – or down at the printworks. The other great job buzzing around was panel beater, though none of the kids knew what it was. Legend had it that you earned loads of money as a panel beater.

I was in the borstal system as a youngster – breaking and entry. One day I got chased by the world’s fattest policeman and stopped to take the piss out of him, but then he threw his truncheon and dropped me. There was a lesson there.

I cried during my daughter’s graduation. She was the first from my family to go to university so it marked a kind of true social mobility.

I was starstruck by Muhammad Ali. I met him in LA because I knew the director of the film Ali. You’ve heard about Ali throughout your life and then suddenly it pings together, that point of absolute awe. Not just the boxing, but the civil rights stuff – he had an absolute magnetism. They had to ban him from the Ali production office because no one could work – everyone was just hanging off his every word.

I like madrigals. For the last three years my brother-in-law has been in a choir and doing medieval madrigal stuff. I’ve also got a mate who’s a Benedictine monk with his own parish and he does the old Gregorian chanting. It’s good to listen to.

I’m always up and down on nail-biting. I’ll start for no real reason, usually driving, because I get bored. I’ll be doing a load of driving over Christmas and I’ll start again.

I love getting old. Everyone thinks you know everything.

My mate has a theory about wearing ties. He’ll put on a tie even when he’s wearing jeans. He tells me to try it because you can get away with so much.

Life’s circular. It’s important to go though it without stitching anybody up. You don’t need to. In time all that comes back.

People either get what you’re doing or they don’t. If they don’t, that’s fine; you just don’t do it with them.

I play albums in a frenzy for a month and then bin them. At the moment it’s A Trick of the Tail by Genesis. It’s been bombed in the car for about a month. The other one getting really bombed is Jay-Z’s latest. One extreme to the other.

My cooking goes ping after three minutes in the microwave. I can do curries, sausage and mash, but really I can’t be arsed waiting.

I really don’t care how I’m remembered. Just burn us and that’s it, we’re done.

Source: The Guardian – The observer

Photo by Levon Bliss for The Observer


Killing? It’s just a job for Andy McNab. The highly decorated soldier and best-selling author feels no fear; rather he enjoys the excitement of conflict. But is this physically powerful man actually an emotional coward? And is anyone brave enough to ask him?

Interview: Andy McNab, soldier and best-selling author
Published Date: 30 November 2010
By Catherine Deveney

ANDY McNab is the most affable, good-humoured man you could meet, which makes his absence of empathy all the more startling. The ex-SAS man, the most decorated soldier in the British Army since the Second World War, and now best-selling author of the Nick Stone thriller series, is sitting with a Diet Coke, agreeing he “couldn’t have cared less” the first time he killed a man.

What if someone got run over and killed in front of him? “Well, they’re dead, aren’t they? What’s the point in being upset?” Married five times, he talks with equal detachment about ex-wives. What does his fifth wife think of him? “That I’m a dickhead.” Thing is, he’s just been tested for an experiment at Cambridge university and the parts of his brain governing empathy and fear were both visibly underdeveloped.

How did he feel about that? “Great,” he says. We both laugh. Even the psychologist joked about it. “He said, ‘You don’t care do you?'” And McNab’s wife? “She just said, ‘I know’. She’s known for years. That’s why she says I’m a dickhead.”

Blue eyes … dark hair … the craggy side of handsome. Friendly and engaged. McNab is never photographed openly – nor does he use his real name – because of his intelligence background in Northern Ireland. But we meet in a London hotel and he talks fast, in a Cockney drawl, with the openness of a man who’s figured things out and doesn’t much care what others think. Clues to his extraordinary levels of detachment are all there in a complex life story, from his abandonment as a baby to his capture and torture in Iraq. There are clues in his books too. The man who entered the British army with a reading age of 11 has just published Zero Hour, the 13th Nick Stone novel. Stone, a tough, independent intelligence operative, is a largely autobiographical creation, McNab admits. It’s easier that way. He describes Stone as “an emotional dwarf”. But he also says he has the capacity to be “soft as shit”. Draw your own conclusions.

Go here to read the full interview in The Scotsman

Andy McNab in The Scotsman 2010


Andy McNab’s new novel Zero Hour delivers authentic excitement in a way most fictional thrillers simply can’t, and reviewer ‘Camban’ knows why:

As a serial reader of serial authors I think it is safe to say that Nick Stone is certainly among the best of the creations of the genre, if not the very best. This is true because McNab has the sure touch of intimate knowledge about the world inhabited by his alter ego, his ability to weave anecdotes from his own past together with real world factual events is surely unique.
If you know characters created by other serial novelists such as John Stratton, Jack Reacher, Mitch Rapp, Elvis Cole, Joe Pike, Dan Lenson, Harry Bosch, Mickey Haller, Inspector Rebus, Inspector Banks, and Gabriel Allon, to name but several, and there are many more, it can be appreciated that only two of these are based on the personal experience of the author; John Stratton to an extent, and Dan Lenson to a far greater extent, it can be appreciated that the depth of knowledge behind the novels lends a veneer of authenticity that is both fascinating and absorbing in the narrative due to an ability to interweave obviously accurate anecdotes within the main story. So McNab is in a very select category of successful authors who know exactly what they are talking about and just how to say it with credible authority.