Special Activities Division

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The Special Activities Division is a division of the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Operations responsible for covert paramilitary actions effected when the U.S. government does not wish to be associated with an operation. As such, members of the unit, when on missions, do not carry any objects or clothing (i.e. military uniforms) that would associate themselves with the United States.

The division employs several hundred people, most of them former operators of Delta and SEAL teams, although, on occasion, they have been known to employ civilians for paramilitary activities. The division uses RQ-1 Predator drones equipped with high-resolution cameras and AGM-114 Hellfire antitank missiles as part of their wide arsenal. Johnny Micheal Spann, the first American casualty in the war in Afghanistan, was a member of the Special Activities Division. The division is known to be a major part of the U.S.'s unconventional war in Afghanistan, and it is suspected that they have played a role in the war in Iraq.

The Special Activities Division is also known as the Special Activities Staff, or SAS. A unit of this division is known as Special Operations Group (SOG).

The primary strength of SAS agents are agility, adaptability, and deniability. They often operate alone, clandestinely in remote locations behind enemy lines, carrying out espionage, counter-intelligence, sabotage, hostage rescue, assassination (termination with extreme prejudice), recruiting and training friendly forces, and protection and transportation.

During weapons inspection in Iraq, the plain-clothed, armed guards of the weapon inspectors were SAS agents.

SAS spies, unlike regular clandestine officers of the CIA, are often drawn from elite millitary special operations forces. However, the CIA has been known to draw paramilitary officers, on occasion, from colleges or from organizations whose members retain specific skills that may be useful to the CIA's paramilitary forces. One case of the CIA's reliance on military special operations forces is the employment of Johnny Micheal Spann, who was a captain in the United States Marine Corps before joining the CIA. SAS officers are trained in CIA's Special Training Center (STC) or 'The Farm' and a civilian organization, G8, in the arts of paramilitary and conventional espionage tradecraft, making them one of the most formidable and unconventional units in the U.S arsenal.

They continue to operate in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world today, operating on behalf of United States. SAS operators are an instrumental part of Task Force 121.

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