British Special Forces soldiers are blasting Indian Bollywood music at terrorists to terrify them in the Islamic State’s Libyan capital of Sirte.
The operation has benefits beyond psychological, it draws out Islamic State fighters to test their reaction time and expose their troop vulnerabilities.
“We needed to unnerve militants and at the same time use some sort of passive measure to gauge their force strength in the area we are working and it went well,” a senior British source told The Daily Mirror.
The British Joint Special Operations Command reportedly hijacked the Islamic State’s communications and began blaring Bollywood music at them. In one instance British forces reportedly parked two cars with mounted speakers near the town of Sirte and remotely blasted Bollywood music at all hours.
ISIS has imposed Sharia law in Sirte, banning anything western, including music. This mirrors ISIS’s governing tactics in its capital of Raqqa where music was banned in mid 2014. The playing of Bollywood music is seen not only as a huge insult but undermines the Islamic State’s legitimacy as a governing authority in the eyes of the Sirte’s population.
The idea for the musical subterfuge was proposed by a Pakistani born British intelligence officer noting that the Taliban and other extremist leaders have banned Bollywood music in Afghanistan and extremist controlled areas of Pakistan.
Using music for psychological warfare has precedent in the US invasion of Panama in 1989 when US service members blasted Guns N Roses until then President Manuel Noriega surrendered.
ISIS’s Libyan affiliate seized the town of Sirte nearly two years ago and is the largest ISIS force outside of Iraq and Syria. ISIS claims nearly four thousand fighters in Sirte alone and controls a one hundred and fifteen mile strech of Libyan coastline. British special forces are currently training Libyan forces in preparations for an eventual assault on Sirte.
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