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Tactical Fight Against Terrorism: Tactical Units and Special Operations

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 26 Issue: 1 Dated: January 1999 Pages: 30-32
E Meyr
Date Published
3 pages
A new type of special police unit has developed in Europe, the United States, and other parts of the world for use in tactical police efforts against terrorists.
The counterterrorist units have a flexible command and structure that permits rapid reaction to quickly changing situations and special tactical training compatible with different terrorist scenarios. They also have skillful and professional operators with appropriate personal traits. They use special weapon systems and equipment designed specifically for their new tasks. Their efforts have included intervening in extreme terrorist attacks involving hijacking and kidnapping; supporting other security agencies in dealing with homicide, extortion, and bomb attacks; and protecting vital national assets, including crucial government personnel and official guests of State. Thorough study of the methods, operations, and internal organizations of various terrorist groups formed the basis for the structure and training of these units. The units usually have a headquarters unit, three to four combat units, a training unit, a support unit of engineers and others, and logistical services. Their most important weapons are submachine guns, sniper rifles, semiautomatic pistols, and fighting shotguns. They also have ballistic helmets, protective vests, gas masks, advanced communication systems, night vision equipment, voice monitoring equipment, and other items. These units have successfully handled many incidents since 1972. Photographs