Examination of Counter Terrorism Efforts
Terrorism: it strikes fear into many. There are a few brave souls that stand up to one of the most dangerous threats this world has ever known. Dozens of Counter-Terrorism teams use the latest technology to combat international terrorism. Many people do not know that counter terrorism teams exist. These are Counter Terrorism teams and what they are doing to combat terrorism (ECSI International)?
Origins of Counter Terrorism Teams
Some of the highest trained, best-equipped good-guys are counter terrorism teams. Some counter terrorism teams originated because of tragic events that could have been prevented if a well-equipped, well-trained counter terrorism team would have been there. GSG-9 was created because of the Munich Olympics when eight Arab commandos ran into the Olympic compound. Later, after taking the Israeli hostages, the Arabians killed all of the Israeli athletes (Spec War Net).
One of the most active counter terrorism team in the world, is the British SAS or Special Air Service. Captain David Stirling created the SAS during WWII. Stirling thought of the SAS while he was recovering from a parachute accident. Initially created to weaken Rommel’s force in North Africa, they have now switched over to combating terrorism. Dave Stirling was recently knighted in 1990 for his ingenious idea of the SAS. The SAS has trained many other tactical teams including U.S. Swat teams (Spec War Net).
Germany’s GSG-9 is one of the world’s premiere counter terrorism team created on April 17th 1973. The reason this counter terrorism team was created is because of the Munich Olympic Massacre, when terrorist took Israeli hostages then killed them. The police let the situation escalate and did many things wrong due to their lack of training on terrorism. The government, three months later, created GSG-9 to help combat a future situation in their country (Spec War Net).
The GIGN of France have just recently completed one of the most dangerous, most praised hostage rescues, Air France flight 8969. Between 1974-1988, the GIGN have done 650 operations, freed 500 hostages, eliminated dozens of terrorists, and have arrested over 100 terrorists. Five GIGN Agents have been killed and 27 severely wounded. In Air France Flight 8969, 4 terrorists were killed, 9 GIGN were wounded, and around 300 hostages were saved. The hostages were unhurt despite grenades going off and several thousand rounds being expended. Formed in 1974, influenced by the Munich Olympic games, they have always used the most innovative and effective tactics, which have influenced many other counter terrorism teams (Spec War Net).
Gendarmeriekammando was created in 1973. The unit was used to combat Palestinian terrorists who opposed the Jewish immigrants. Many of the operations failed miserabley costing many lives of hostages and their own operatives. The government soon transformed this unit by training them, and better equipping them. This unit was trained by other counter terrorism teams such as the SAS (SpecWar Net).
Counter Terrorism Operations
Terrorists have committed many attacks such as bombing and thievery, but the most common is hostage taking. Events such as the raid on Entebbe and Air France flight 8969, when Muslim terrorists hijacked a sold out Airbus (Special Operations).
On December 24 1994, 4 members of the AIG hijacked Air France Flight 8969. Armed with AK-47, they tore though the cabin yelling, “Allah Akbarr,” which translates to- “You are our prisoners and we control you.” (Special Operations).
On Christmas day, the GIGN were contacted and they quickly planned out a counter-hijack operation. The team boarded an Airbus with the exact layout of the hijacked plane (Special Operations).
However, the plane, now in Algeria, was just sitting on the runway. The Algerian counter terrorism team, Army Elite command force Ninjas, wanted to storm the plane right then, but the GIGN pleaded for them not to. The GIGN knew that the inexperienced Ninjas would certainly fail the mission. After a little while, the Ninjas agreed to let the GIGN take over. The GIGN thanked the Ninjas for letting them handle the situation. Knowing that they controlled the crisis, the GIGN began getting their weapons set and gear ready (Special Operations).
The terrorists plan was to take the plane and fly it over France, then blow it up, killing many in the air and on the ground. At 10:00 am, the flight crew exited the plane to unblock the foul smelling toilets. The GIGN swiftly gave them cameras and eavesdropping devices so they could locate the terrorists before they commenced their assault. Two terrorists were at the entrance of the plane, and two in the cockpit along with the two pilots. The negotiators asked for more hostages before the Gendarmes made their assault, which would entail some casualties. One elderly couple was released, but that was all. At 12 p.m., the GIGN teams assembled under the plane, the assault would occur at nightfall. Their Mp5A5 submachine-guns, .357 magnum revolvers, along with the rest of their gear, was checked and rechecked. The GIGN snipers trained their 7.62x51 NATO sniper rifles on the cockpit windows, then everyone waited (Special Operations).
On 4pm December 26, 1994, the GIGN commander said the go-code “Zero,” and the teams rushed in. Simultaneously, the snipers fired blindly at the windows (Special Operations).
Finally, the team that went into the entrance of the plane fired the first shot, a .357, striking a terrorist in the forehead, killing him instantly. For 20 minutes, thousands of rounds went off, all in a space about 15 feet long by 4 feet wide. After the smoke cleared, 9 Gendarmes were injured, 4 terrorists lay dead, and not a single hostage hurt. Unknowingly, the bomb the terrorists had planted was not detonated. The GIGN was proud of their operation, having many bullets and numerous grenades going off and yet no hostage injured (Special Operations).
This is by far one of the greatest hostage intervention operation since operation Princes Gate by the SAS. The battle was completely close quarters, which is the essence of tactical training. The GIGN took the terrorists head on and with the proper training, equipment, and leadership, they came out victorious (Special Operations).
Future of Counter Terrorism
Finally, the future of terrorism is scarier than the past. New terrorist threats will be encountered in the not so distant future. Biological weapons, along with chemical, and nuclear weapons will be used by terrorists soon. These weapons of mass-destruction pose a threat to every one on this earth. Without the SAS, NRO, GEK, GSG-9, GIGN, SEALS and SWAT, the world would be unable to defend itself against terrorists. Thanks to these brave souls, the world is a little bit safer. When people wonder how safe their lives really are, just remember the counter terrorism teams and what they are doing to combat terrorism (ECSI International).