Britain has offered the US government SAS anti-terrorist units to help hunt down senior al-Qaeda commanders in an attempt to capitalise on information seized in the compound where Osama bin Laden was killed.
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has told the White House that he intends to stand shoulder to shoulder with President Obama as the United States steps up its global hunt for leading jihadists.
It is understood that the Prime Minister has given his approval for the elite British troops to be used beyond Afghanistan in order to “decapitate” the al-Qaeda leadership.
Britain already has counter-terrorist teams located in the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan and in Yemen, where they are responsible for training indigenous troops in counter-insurgency, counter-IED and counter-intelligence techniques.
Defence sources have said that the hunt for leading jihadists, such as Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, and Mullah Omar, the former Taliban leader, will continue in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.
But it is understood that the US and British special forces could also be deployed to conduct strike operations in Yemen.
The SAS are already working closely with the US Special Forces in Afghanistan where they have spent the last year conducting hundreds of search and destroy operations in a bid to break the back of the Taliban.
In the past nine months more than 1,000 Taliban and al-Qaeda “high value targets” have been killed or captured by the multinational special operations task force.