Suicide Terror And The Threat Of Explosives 

suicide-terror-trainingThe scope of this training program is to teach SWAT and SOP team members how to conduct an operation with the special characteristics peculiar to high threat crime and terrorist incidents with the objective of accomplishing the mission, whether there are hostages involved, IED's, booby traps, or suicide terrorists with maximum safety for: citizens, team members and surrounding assets. By nature, the operation may become more similar to a military operation (urban warfare) because, this is a criminal act with a strategic goal, whether part of an ideological struggle against a state or population or just an act being carried out by a professional team of well equipped subjects. Included in the scope are the goals of integrating Bomb technicians/ EOD personnel and K9 units effectively into the operational planning and training for such an incident. Medical and other support personnel are required to respond to this type of incident and should be integrated for training as well.

More Information:

Another important feature in mitigating risk is ensuring each and every team member gains an awareness of: Improvised Explosive Devices, and terrorist methods of operation. It is essential to understand the danger posed by the terrorist methodologies: the prolific use of explosives, networked use of heavy weapons (firearms), concurrent operational acts and motivational factors that make a terrorist incident unique from other criminal acts. This course showcases tactics, techniques and procedures that have been used successfully throughout the world to resolve terrorist incidents. US, Israeli and many other units have utilized these techniques. This material is not exhaustive. Terrorist techniques evolve and as such Counter-Terrorism Operations must evolve. This course provides proven concepts and ideas. Each agency trained will gain tremendous incite and a platform from which to begin an effective Counter-Terrorism program. Each agency must evaluate and adapt the techniques presented for use within their use-of-force policies and departmental SOPs.

Course Objectives

During this training program participants will learn:

  1. Past CT operations from around the world in order to understand the differences between CT work and SWAT operations
  2. Techniques for responding to terrorists in fortified structures.
  3. Techniques for "secure search" clearing of rooms
  4. Techniques for interdicting terrorists in vehicles and on foot
  5. Impact of IED's on Hostage rescue operations
  6. Bus assaults involving terrorists armed with IED's
  7. Conduct of raids against terrorists in schools, hotels and apartments
  8. Integration of: snipers, rapellers, ladder teams, bomb techs/ EOD, K-9 and medical support to operations.

Course Enabling Learning Objectives

Without the aid of references, students will be capable of responding to a range of terrorism incidents utilizing appropriate techniques.

A. Study actions of the Yamam, the US Marine Anti-Terror unit, and other CT units' (one hour lecture).

  1. Discuss Madrid bombing suspects in apartment and Spanish Police CTU action
  2. Discuss Taibe incident in Israel learning about the YAMAM

B. Techniques for responding to terrorists in a fortified structure

  1. Demonstrate closing techniques on the target location that isolate the structure and prevent the egress of target suspects, or the ingress of outsiders (innocent civilians, potential sympathizers, etc).
  2. Develop control measures that provide positive control of the assault force, provide complete coverage of the target location, and minimizes the potential for fratricide.
  3. Describe methods of increasing pressure (based on rules of engagement/force continuum) to induce the surrender of suspects.

C. Techniques for room clearing

  1. Describe "secure" methods of searching
  2. Demonstrate 4-man tactics/movement
  3. Securing and searching a room in a terrorist safe have in a deliberate manner with safety to the team of the highest concern.
  4. Entries into rooms are accomplished only after clearing as much of the room as possible from the outside.

D. Impact of IED's on Hostage Rescue and clearing operations

  1. Learn about the different type of booby traps
  2. Working with intelligence to formulate the assault plan
  3. Entry - using the Bomb tech as the lead of the team
  4. Practicing the tactics for encounter with bomb laden terrorists
  5. Discuss the impact IEDs have on assaulting a fortification.
  6. Demonstrate techniques for negotiating IEDs
  7. Identify common types of IEDs that may be encountered.
  8. Demonstrate Positioning options for Bomb Techs in assault element

E. Advanced Hostage Rescue- Bus Assaults

  1. Demonstrate the techniques used by the ladder teams.
  2. Demonstrate the techniques of the entry team.
  3. Demonstrate mobile assault options.

F. Conducting Raids where there may be terrorists

  1. Demonstrate the techniques used by the ladder team.
  2. Demonstrate the techniques of the entry team.
  3. Demonstrate mobile assault options.
  4. Demonstrate other options

G. Final Exercise


Dear SSI™ Team,

I just wanted to take an opportunity to thank you again both from myself and my team for taking time out of your lives and away from your families to come and provide us with new skills, techniques and the wealth of knowledge you imparted. Your obvious command of this subject and the effectiveness of your ability to convey that knowledge to us was amazing.

We had a team meeting immediately after you left to discuss how this will change our policies and procedures. The changes will be made. We are to begin incorporating explosives and tripwires into our regular training plans. We will brief our command on what we learned and modify our internal policies.

We will begin research on local, national and international case law and use that in conjunction with our current procedures and case law to define our ROE for all SWAT ops to include terrorists and subjects with explosives (terrorists or not). This will be presented to our command and the prosecutors so we are all on the same page and are sure we are doing the right thing for the right reason.

Another result of this training is that we are coordinating our training schedules for next year with nearby Police Departments to allow "unofficial" cross training of operators for potential future major criminal and CT ops. I also started coordinating with our bomb techs to have our SWAT guys present at one of their upcoming explosives disposal operations so we can get a feeling for the shockwave and how cover can mitigate that.

I know, because everyone has made multiple comments to me, that we are all looking forward to training with you again in 2010. I believe there will be a waiting line for students and role players alike. We will be discussing potential topics for the advanced class in the coming weeks.

Can't wait to see you guys in the spring,

Deputy Steve Haley

Snohomish County Sheriff's Office

Case Study

Subject: RE: SSI™

All is well here with us. Waiting for our chance to catch a terrorist like everyone else around the country.

Closest we have had is a recent narcotics warrant against the Mexican Mafia. We were led to believe that they were serious bad guys and likely the closest we will come to terrorists in my years on the team. They are one of the groups competing with the Zetas in Northern Mexico for the drug channels and money.

We used covert deployment techniques as you discussed in the SWAT Counter-Terrorism class because it was not a friendly neighborhood (I'll tell you about this later in private). The suspects had several residences in the area, so we used snipers looking inward and outward for "Mutual Security" (See I was listening).

As I breached the front door, Another operator breached the master bedroom window and we had guns on several suspects immediately. The main suspect crapped his pants (literally). After our dynamic entry into the front room, we switched to "Secure Search" mode and called everyone out to us from cover (Maximum use of cover). Once all were in custody, we posted 360 coverage while the Narcotics Detectives did their search.

In the end, the scariest part was that "Mom" had the bird flu and several of us had close contact. The docs assured us later that we would need more than momentary contact with her to get sick.

This whole operation was in conjunction with something like 23 other warrants being served across the state simultaneously and a couple hundred across the U.S. that morning. Washington being in the west, ours was one of the last to be served, so it was possible that our guys could have been warned we were coming. Didn't appear that had happened though. We used a lot of the techniques you taught us in the class and they proved themselves. The boys and I truly appreciate you for coming out and making us a better team.

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