Open main menu

Manhunting is a term sometimes used for military operations by special operations forces and intelligence organizations to search for, and capture or kill important enemy combatants, known as high-value targets. It has been used particularly in the United States during the War on Terror.[1]

The most visible such operations conducted involve counterterrorist activities. Some involve government-sanctioned targeted killing or extrajudicial execution, and such operations have drawn political and legal controversy. Other military operations, such as hostage rescue or personnel recovery, employ similar tactics and techniques.

The term has been used for some US operations such as Operation Red Dawn, the apprehension of Saddam Hussein,[2] the search for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi,[3] and the killing of Osama bin Laden in May 2011.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Seymour M. Hersh, Moving Targets, New Yorker, December 15, 2003 accessed at [1] on 13 Feb 2008
  2. ^ Simone Payment, Finding and Capturing Saddam Hussein: A Successful Military Manhunt, The Rosen Publishing Group, 2005, ISBN 1-4042-0280-3
  3. ^ Chris Cuomo and Eamon McNiff, "The Men in the Shadows – Hunting al-Zarqawi: Task Force 145 Is an Elite Special Ops Unit That Spent Years Tracking al-Zarqawi," ABC News, June 9, 2006