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COBRA: Austria's Special Police Commandos

NCJ Number
Law and Order Magazine Volume: 57 Issue: 7 Dated: July 2009 Pages: 48-52
Jim Weiss; Mickey Davis
Date Published
5 pages
This article examines background and current capabilities of Austria's special police commandos, Special Task Force COBRA, or EKO COBRA.
Special Task Force COBRA, or EKO COBRA is a police antiterrorism SWAT type unit that is available to local police elements for serious tactical situations, terrorism, and kidnapping. It is an internationally recognized antiterrorist unit active at both national and international levels. Though tracing its roots to the mid-nineteenth century, it was after several terrorist incidents in Austria in the early 1970s that Austria trained and equipped an antiterrorist unit. In the wake of September 11, 2001, the unit was reorganized into the EKO COBRA, the leading special operations unit within the special operations system. Officers have basic and highly specialized training, and are especially skilled at rope work. In 2008, EKO COBRA members made 405 arrests, 131 premise searches, and thousands of Air Marshall Deployments. Officers are personally committed to the unit, and display maximum professionalism and high motivation.