When it comes to taking down the worst of the bad guys and protecting the homeland, most people probably think of SEAL Team Six killing Bin Laden or the FBI arresting an ISIS sympathizer.
While their feats are well-known, there are several other units within the U.S. military, intelligence community and law enforcement that you’ve probably never heard of.
And they’ve done and continue to do some amazing things.
Here are just 4 of them:
1. Shadow Wolves:
The Shadow Wolves are an elite tracking unit within Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While other law enforcement agencies employ the most state-of-the-art methods to hunt down criminals, the ‘Wolves’ are an all-Native American group, and they could still find you if you made them count to five thousand in a game of hide-and-seek.
No really, these guys track drug smugglers and traffickers in the desert between Arizona and Mexico. And they can pick up a trail from bent twigs or a faint footprint in the dust. From one set of footprints, they can determine where a target came from, where he is going, and even how much weight they’re carrying with them.
In fact, their traditional tracking skills are so valued, on occasion they’re dispatched to other countries to teach their border patrol guys and law enforcement officials how to operate the Shadow Wolf way.
2. Global Response Staff:
Both Navy SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, who were killed in the Benghazi attacks in 2012, were part of the CIA’s Global Response Staff. The unit was created following the September 11th attacks and helps provide security and protection for CIA case officers when they meet up with assets.
So if a real-life James Bond needs someone to watch his back, there’s a strong chance he will come from this special unit. Kris Paronto, who was on the ground with the CIA during the Benghazi attacks and recent star of the Hollywood blockbuster “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi,” was a member of the Response Staff.
Paronto generated a lot of debate regarding Benghazi after revealing he was told to “stand down” by the region’s CIA chief, instead of being granted permission to save the lives of those who were under attack. The group is believed to have around 125 operators aboard at any given time.
3. Special Collection Service:
No, the Special Collection Service isn’t going to call you about bills that are long overdue. It’s a joint group with the CIA/NSA, and they’re interested in eavesdropping on terrorists/threats and gathering information.
Newsweek elaborated on their methods:
The men and women of the Special Collection Service are responsible for placing super-high-tech bugs in unbelievably hard-to-reach places. Officially, the Special Collection Service doesn’t exist, and isn’t headquartered in a guarded complex on a densely forested 300-acre lot outside of Beltsville, Md.
In 1999, teams known as Special Collection Elements infiltrated Afghanistan to monitor al Qaeda training camps near Khost. That same year, they tapped Pakistan’s communications grid to listen for traffic on its nuclear arsenal.
Sometimes they will go into a country undercover, break into a building and plant surveillance inside as well. They can even bug your keyboard with a listening device and figure out whatever it was you were typing.
Read more at Independent Journal