British Special Forces troops are “freaking out” Islamic State fighters by blasting Bollywood music at them.
The psychological warfare strategy is aimed at discrediting the extremists who claim the music is “apostasy” or un-Islamic.
Bollywood tunes are often referred to as Hindi film songs as they come from northern India and are also followed in neighboring Pakistan.
Ultra-Conservative parts of predominantly Muslim Pakistan have banned it for being frivolous and un-religious.
Dozens of special forces are in Libya training local forces in how to push out ISIS, but they are there in a non-combat role, except if attacked.
The SBS is training troops in how to drive out ISIS from the town of Sirte and a 115-mile stretch of the Libyan coastline.
As part of a force known as JSOC – Joint Special Operations Command – the psychological operations unit intercepted the insurgent’s communications and blasted them with Bollywood chart music.
The militants imposed Sharia law inside Sirte and banned anything western or frivolous and the Bollywood songs are seen as a huge insult.
In one incident the team – helped by Libyan troops – left two cars near checkpoints on the edge of Sirte and at dawn blasted Bollywood music by remote control through two huge speakers in the vehicles.
As well as psychologically dominating ISIS the move also discredits the gunmen with locals as it shows defiance and contempt for their regime.
And it shows their reaction time to getting to source of the music and in how much force, revealing their weak points to watching troops.
Ironically, despite being of Indian origin the music is a hit among Muslim communities in parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan – although outlawed by the Taliban.
A senior source said: “We needed to unnerve militants and at the same time use some sort of passive measure to gauge their force strength in the area we are working and it went well”.
For the past six weeks Libya’s elite Misrata brigades, have been training in readiness for an assault against more than 4,000 insurgents, who have held coastal Sirte for 20 months.