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Euro Counter-Terrorism Units

NCJ Number
Police: The Law Enforcement Magazine Volume: 25 Issue: 4 Dated: April 2001 Pages: 16-18,20
Eitan Meyr
Date Published
April 2001
4 pages
This article looks at equipment and tactics used by counter-terrorism teams in various European countries.
The majority of European counter-terrorist (CT) teams and Hostage-Rescue-Units were established within national gendarmeries and/or national police forces. Their missions include intervention in extreme terrorist attacks involving hijacking and kidnapping; supporting other security agencies in dealing with violent acts such as homicide, extortion, and bomb attacks; and protecting vital national assets, key government personnel, and official guests of the State. Most of the teams include a headquarters unit, three or four combat units, a training unit, a support unit (engineers, divers, communication experts, etc.), and logistical services. Some teams also include an integral or attached aerial wing, mostly helicopters. Most team arsenals include the SMG, the sniper-rifle, the semi-automatic pistol, and the fighting shotgun. In addition, the teams are equipped with advanced communication systems and specialized hardware, e.g., ballistic helmets, protective vests, gas masks, night vision equipment, and voice monitoring instruments. The article describes some of the more dramatic and successful CT operations during the period 1976 to 1994.