Obama Expands Powers of Elite Unit That Killed Bin Laden

The Obama administration has granted the Joint Special Operations Command expanded powers to hunt terrorists on foreign soil. The move will see the JSOC—the same elite unit that took down Osama bin Laden—transformed from a strike force used in conflict zones to a multi-agency intelligence and action force used all over the globe. Called the Counter-External Operations Task Force, the new unit will go after terrorist networks planning attacks on the West, and it could work with some Western allies, officials who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Washington Post. The move was reportedly motivated by fears that the Islamic State has dispersed its followers all over the world as the group is driven from Syria and Iraq. With President Barack Obama approving the measure so late in his term, however, it’s unclear whether President-elect Donald Trump will keep the structure in place.