Joint Support Group
|Joint Support Group|
The most secret military unit serving in Northern Ireland is to be pulled out of the Province and posted to Iraq and to other operational missions overseas. The Joint Support Group (JSG), which runs agents under the control of the Intelligence Corps, is one of a number of units expected to leave Belfast as part of the “normalisation process” under which the Government plans to cut troop levels by more than half to about 5,000. 
Task Force Black
- The JSG recruits men and women of any rank from all three services up to the age of 42. Volunteers attend a two week pre-selection course where those not in possession of the unique set of skills required to handle agents successfully are weeded out.
- Candidates who get through pre-selection then spend the next four months at the Intelligence Corps headquarters at Chicksands, Bedfordshire, being taught driving and close-quarter battle skills - operators must be capable of using a wide variety of weapons but must be expert shots with a pistol.
- But most important of all, -volunteers must be able to befriend people they may actually despise, win their trust and persuade them to become agents, which in some cases will mean getting them to inform on friends and relatives. Those who eventually pass the course can expect to be posted to Baghdad, Basra and Afghanistan.
- Sources have told The Sunday Telegraph that in Baghdad intelligence is obtained in a variety of ways. Some of it comes through phone calls to a confidential hot-line where callers can either talk to a member of the JSG or arrange a meeting inside the "Green Zone". It is too dangerous for operators to meet agents at a secret rendezvous in other parts of the city.