TEK exists outside the normal command structure of both the police and the security agencies, reporting directly to the Parliamentary Committee on National Security. Originally set up as an anti-terror police unit within the Ministry of the Interior, its powers were subsequently broadened by a series of amendments to the police laws receiving virtually no public scrutiny.
Terrorism is a weapon of the weak. Terror group in its initial stages suffers from tremendous asymmetrical force disadvantage. However, the group also enjoys a considerable information or intelligence advantage. This generates a tendency to exploit respective strengths by each side (Basilici & Simmons, 2004; Dyke & Crisafulli, 2006). As the terrorist has information, he normally achieves strategic and tactical surprise quite easily in their attacks. This invites a severe clamp down by the security forces. In the ensuing competition, whenever the terrorists are squeezed for resources or losing the fight or wish to send a message of ultimate commitment to their cause or simply outbid the other terror groups may resort to suicide terror attack. 9/11 incident in the ...
Because of their small size and low profile, SOF play a critical role in gathering intelligence by conducting reconnaissance and surveillance missions. Special operations can be conducted independently or in conjunction with conventional forces. Since guerrilla warfare is a tactic widely employed by terrorists, insurgents, paramilitaries, and irregulars, special forces are perfectly suited to counter these elusive adversaries because they operate on a similar level.
The importance of special operations became more prevalent during the Cold War, as the United States and the Soviet Union sought to expand their influence throughout the world. The possibility of nuclear war prevented both sides from directly engaging in a conventional conflict, so Washington and Moscow relied on more subversive activities to undermine each other. They provided covert military and economic aid to their mutual allies in a series of Proxy Wars fought primarily in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. Special forces from the United States and the Soviet Union would often be deployed to these regions in support of communist or anti-communist forces.
The increasing use of terrorism in modern conflicts has led to a greater emphasis on unconventional warfare, as many federal and law enforcement agencies have raised their own military-style special forces to combat this growing threat. The attacks carried out against the United States by al-Qaeda on September 11, 2001, initiated the Global War on Terror, a massive U.S.-led effort to eradicate al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, placing a far greater emphasis on the employment of special forces than ever before. These elite units operate in a culture of secrecy, and because of the politically sensitive nature of modern conflicts, they are often called upon to carry out some of the most highly classified missions. Many of the operations which the special forces have undertaken are deemed as top secret, and much of their exploits are still unknown to the public.
During the Bastion Anti-terror maneuvers in Belarus, special forces from the former Soviet Republics take part in a joint training exercise simulating the rescue of hostages held captive by terrorists onboard a hijacked airliner on September 11, 2008.
Malian soldiers undergo training with a Green Beret from the U.S. Army 10th Special Forces Group (SFG) on March 8, 2004. Foreign Internal Defense (FID) is part of a greater diplomatic effort by nations to support a foreign ally in combating insurgents and terrorists. This involves deploying specialists in counter-insurgency, counter-terrorism, and unconventional warfare to assist in training and advising the armed forces of the host nation.
On February 4, 1976, a joint task force of the GIGN commandos and Foreign Legionnaires rescued twenty-nine French school children held hostage by Somali terrorists in Loyada, Djibouti. When Islamic militants seized control of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on November 20, 1979, France sent three GIGN officers to help train and advise Saudi troops in recapturing the mosque, but since non-Muslims were forbidden to enter the holy city, the Frenchmen briefly converted to Islam in order to carry out their mission. On May 5, 1988, the GIGN helped rescue thirty-five hostages held captive by separatists on the island of Ouvéa, French-controlled territory near New Caledonia in the South Pacific. During the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France, GIGN operators were assigned to help provide security for the games.
Grenzschutzgruppe 9 (GSG-9), meaning Border Protection Group 9, is an elite counter-terrorist unit currently based in Sankt Augustin-Hangelar, Germany. A unique mix of law enforcement and military-style special forces, GSG-9 operates as part of the Bundespolizei (Federal Police) in a similar manner to a SWAT team. They specialize in counter-terrorism, hostage rescue, manhunts, counter-narcotics, executive protection, intelligence and surveillance.
Established on April 17, 1973, GSG-9 was created in response to the tragic events of the 1972 Olympics in Munich, West Germany. A group of Palestinian terrorists from the Black September movement managed to infiltrate Olympic Village, killing two Israeli athletes and taking nine hostages. An ill-fated rescue mission by the German police, who were neither trained or equipped for counter-terrorism operations, resulted in the deaths of all the hostages, along with five of the eight terrorists, and one police officer. The incident revealed how poorly prepared law enforcement was in dealing with a situation of this magnitude.
Military personnel were not called in to help manage the crisis since German Federal law strictly forbids the use of the armed forces among the civilian population. Even after the Munich massacre, many within the West German government were strongly against a military counter-terrorist force because of bitter memories of the infamous Nazi-era Schutzstaffel (SS). It was later decided that a highly trained special forces unit comprised of police officers would be formed to combat the growing threat of terrorism.
As training becomes more advanced, emphasis is increasingly placed on Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) employed in combat. Over the years, GSG-9 has continued to evolve by cross-training with other elite counter-terrorism forces from around the world, such as the Yamam, a special unit of the Israeli Border Police, the French GIGN, and various U.S. SWAT teams. Throughout their history, GSG-9 has been renowned for constantly adopting and developing new skills and techniques. They are held in high regard throughout the Special Forces and law enforcement community for their discipline, professionalism, and adaptability. On average, only one out of every five applicants succeed in completing training.
As the premier special forces unit of the Canadian Armed Forces, Joint Task Force 2 (JTF-2) has quickly established a reputation as one of the best in the world. Currently based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Joint Task Force 2 was a small and relatively unknown group until the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001. As part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) comprising dozens of nations across North America and Europe, Canada deployed its forces in support of the U.S.-led invasion to overthrow the Taliban regime which had long harbored al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The ensuing War on Terror led to a dramatic increase in the size, strength, and capabilities of JTF-2.
These ultra-secret commandos specialize in counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency, direct action, special reconnaissance, hostage rescue, manhunts, surveillance and intelligence, and foreign internal Defense. Similar to other elite units, such as the British SAS, the U.S. Navy SEALs and the U.S. Army Delta Force, JTF-2 is often tasked with conducting covert and clandestine operations. Since 2006, they have been the centerpiece of the Canadian Special Operations Force Command (CANSOFCOM), a unified command of the armed forces responsible for missions involving unconventional warfare and counter-terrorism. While some estimates put their numbers between 200 and 600 personnel, the exact size of JTF-2 is still unknown as most of the information regarding this unit is highly classified. These Canadian special operators are best defined by an ancient Latin term which has become their motto, Facto non Verba (Deeds, not Words).
A Canadian soldier provides security for a meeting with village elders in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan on August 26, 2008. As part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Canada deployed troops to Afghanistan along with American and European allies following the terrorists attacks of September 11, 2001. Joint Task Force 2 would play a major role in counter-insurgency operations against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda throughout Southern Afghanistan.
With the ongoing Cold War and the growing threat of terrorism, the U.S. Army decided to create a rapid deployment force comprised of specially trained troops who can immediately respond to an international or domestic crisis. On January 31, 1974, Army Chief of Staff, General Creighton Abrams, authorized the creation of the largest Ranger unit since World War II. On October 3, 1984, the last of three Ranger battalions were raised, forming what would become the 75th Ranger Regiment. A Special Troops Battalion was added on July 17, 2006 to assist in reconnaissance, intelligence, and maintenance operations.
Currently based in Warsaw and Gdańsk, Jednostka Wojskowa (Military Unit) GROM is the premier counter-terrorist unit of the Polish Armed Forces. GROM, which in Polish means thunder, is an acronym for Grupa Reagowania Operacyjno-Manewrowego (Group for Operational Maneuvering Response). This unit inherited its lineage from the Cichociemni (Silent Unseen or Dark and Silent), an elite unit of Polish paratroopers trained and supplied by the Western Allies during World War II to wage guerrilla warfare against German forces in Nazi-occupied Poland. The Polish GROM are nicknamed Cichociemni in honor of this legendary unit. 153554b96e