The United Kingdom will now allow troops held by extremist organizations like Islamic State to reveal classified information under interrogation. The new policy says U.K. troops will be expected to slowly reveal information and keep extremely sensitive information secret for as long as possible.
Like their American counterparts, U.K. troops were previously only directed to reveal their name, rank, and serial number when captured by enemy forces. The brutal executions and torture of prisoners by extremist groups like ISIS and al-Qaida, led the U.K. government to conclude its current expectations were unrealistic.
“The reality is that if you are captured by a terrorist group you will be tortured,” one British military force told The Telegraph. The source elaborated, “We are fighting people who don’t care about the Geneva conventions. Torture will often be their first weapon of choice during an interrogation.”
ISIS in particular is known to repeatedly torture and eventually execute many of its Western prisoners. The terrorist group publicly beheaded British aid worker Alan Henning in October, 2014. The beheading of a British citizen prompted British drone strikes against terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
U.K. troops reportedly are taught a traffic light system with information coded as green, yellow, and red. Green information is the first information troops can reveal to their captors. Red information should be held secret as long as possible, while yellow information can be revealed only after all green information has been revealed.
The U.K. government defended the guidance saying, “Personnel are required to give their number, rank, full names and date of birth, and do not have to give any further information.” The new rules come amid British special forces deployments in Libya and Iraq.
The British Forces have reportedly been in Libya for over a year, advising local forces amid the fight to retake key cities from ISIS. ISIS reportedly has over 7,000 fighters in Libya, making it the second largest force the terrorists have outside of Iraq and Syria. British Special Forces recently played a key role in helping Libyan forces retake the city of Sirte June 11.
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