Part 2 of 5


New Threat, Old Mindset


One might expect that any pre-9/11 obstacles that stood in the way of setting Delta Force loose in pursuit of America’s enemies would have been torn down along with the twin towers of the World Trade Center. That was not the case — at least not immediately.

When the CIA readied Jawbreaker, its first advance team of officers sent into Afghanistan in the weeks following the devastating 2001 attacks, the Agency requested that Delta operators accompany them. However, despite an eagerness on the part of the Unit to participate, the request was denied due to a general confusion over the exact assignments that would be handed out to the respective SOCOM units. And more decisively, the lack of CSAR capabilities in the area at the time resulted in the mission being deemed “too dangerous” by military leaders.i

Astonishingly to operators in the Unit, in the weeks following 9/11 Delta was never given the order to “find, follow, and capture (Osama bin Laden) and his key associates.”ii

Delta’s first known post-9/11 operation didn’t come until more than a month after the attacks. B Squadron was tasked with raiding what was understood to be a long-abandoned residence of the Taliban’s spiritual leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar. Rather than a daring bid to catch Omar off-guard, the operation was conducted so that it could be filmed for future psychological operations.iii