Special Anti-terrorist Unit (SAU)

Decades of experience, as well as plan and program of training designed on the models of modern anti-terrorist unit in the world, have created a very well trained and equipped unit, capable of carrying out the most complex tasks in order to provide security to the citizens of the Republic of Serbia as well as their property.


Unit`s insignia

During eighties a new type of security threats emerge which modern criminalistics define as a form of organized criminal actions through acts of extreme violence and other generally dangerous actions to men and their possessions, in order to intimidate citizens and/or state officials for achieving certain extremist goals, mostly political and religious[1]. The danger from terrorist activities is additionally increased with their constant evolution, as well as global nature. As a respond to this, national security systems in the world begin processes of reorganization of their security systems, within which a several rules could have been pointed out. On inner plan (within then state systems) foundations of special operation units emerged, which were filled as a rule with specially trained and equipped professional operators. On the outer, global plan, could have been noticed that national security systems started intensifying cooperation in order to achieve preventive protection against terrorist threats.

He who dares can!
He who knows no fear,
will go forward!
On the territory of former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia-SFRY in 1972 a military-police operation[2] was conducted at Radusha[3] mountain resulting in destroying of diversion-terrorist Bugojno group that as its primary goal defined organizing the uprising in the state and restitution of the Independent State of Croatia. Being taught from the experiences of that specific operation, leadership of the federation brings a decision on foundation of the Special Action Battalion within former Federal Secretariat for Internal Affairs, which was deemed as a main federal element in counter terrorism on the tactical level. In the upcoming months socialistic republics of the former SFRY are preparing needed conditions for establishing units with the same purpose intended to be operational on republics` level. Leadership of the Socialistic Republic of Serbia on December 18 1978 organizes the Militia Unit for Special Actions within the Republic Secretariat for Internal Affairs, which was organized as an independent militia unit capable to deal with hijacks of all types of transports, as well with hostage crisis in all conditions, tracking, locating and destroying of the infiltrated diversion-terrorist groups, conducting high-risk arrests, dealing with rebels and prisoners in the republic prison institutions. The center of the new unit was organized at the Militia Station at Novi Beograd until 1983[4]. Between 1983 and 1990 Militia Unit for Special Actions was organized within the Militia Detachment for Security and Special Actions of the Secretariat for Internal Affairs, responsible for its work only to the secretary of internal affairs (or a deputy) who (or a deputy) had a power to decide about unit`s activation.

By the outbreak of armed conflict on the territory of the former state and its disintegration, Militia Unit for Special Actions changes its organizational structure and continues with conducting tasks as the Special Unit of the Serbian Ministry of Interior, with central base settled in the training center “May 13” in Batajnica in Belgrade, since 1992.

In June 1992 by adapting the Issue of Special Units Foundation of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia, units of special purpose[5] are being organized with centers in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Pristina, while the command was centralized in under the Special Units Command within the former Public Security Department of the Serbian MoI. By the same issue in detail was defined purpose of the newly founded units as well, including from that moment tasks of establishing widely disrupted public order and peace. By the Issue about Amendments of the Issue of Special Units Foundation in the beginning of 1994 a new mutual name of these unit has being adopted-Special Anti-terrorist Units. In the same year commanding duties took over Zivojin Trajkovic who was greatly credited for the development and progress of the SAU in the upcoming years. In 2002 commanding duties received Major Milovan Glishovic, and since September 2005, duties of the commander carries out Colonel Spasoje Vulevic[6], the first officer of the Serbian Police who graduated at Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, USA. In the end of 1999, after armed conflict with Albanian terrorist on Kosovo and Metohija, by the Order of Internal Organization and Workplace Systematization of Operators of the SAU, SAU units from Prishtina, Novi Sad and Belgrade were merged into a unique Special Anti-terrorist Unit-SAU.

Today Special Anti-terrorist Unit-SAU represents a highly professional, independent organizational unit within the Police Directorate of the Ministry of Interior specially equipped and specialized for:

-planning, organizing and conducting the most complex counter terrorism tasks
-resolving hostage crisis in all conditions, especially in the case of hijacked transports of all kinds
-conducting high-risk arrests of individuals and criminal groups, especially when active resistance is to be expected using firearms
-VIP close protection and protection of infrastructure of special importance
-providing professional assistance to other organizational units of the MoI of the Republic Serbia in fighting organized crime
-providing professional assistance in rescuing citizens and their possessions in the case of natural disasters

Activation of the unit is done by the so-called Double Key Mechanism which includes the preposition of the Police Director (or deputy) and approval of the Minister of Interior (or deputy). To mentioned state officials the unit is directly responsible for its operational activities.

While carrying out tasks sixteen SAU operators laid their lives. Their names are carved on the monumental wall in the central base of the unit, and their deeds are an important part of tradition which is being transferred to younger generations of the Serbian police special forces. The unit is holder to many decorations from the high state officials, which are a confirmation of professional devotion of the entire personnel. On the celebration of Statehood Day of the Republic of Serbia, Special Anti-terrorist Unit was decorated by the President of Serbia February 2015, with a Golden Medal for Efforts in the Areas of Defense and Security.


Carbine Colt M4 A4" in 5.56 mm caliber, modified for the needs of CQB Two-piece tactical uniform from BLACKHAWK! producer Ballistic helmet Ops Core in configuration with Ops Core Face Protector ballistic mask

Organization of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit is carried through on the models of modern anti-terrorist units in the world, in accordance with analysis of the national security system needs. According the adopted systematization, Serbian SAU has Command, Security Affair Group, Operational Technique Group in charge of communication-command-control functions and consisted of communication technicians, IT technicians and special devices technicians. Negotiation Group was established in 2012.

Team of Instructors of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit was established in 2012. It enlists the most experienced operators of the unit as well as civilian experts. The leader coordinates the work of the instructors for special action tactics, firearms handling, precision shooting tactics, hand-to-hand combat, special physical training, alpinism, diving, parachuting and handling of explosives and explosive devices. The Team of Instructors in accordance with decision of the Command organizes and carries out selection of the candidates for a workplace in the unit, as well as training of SAU operators, in cooperation with team leaders. Also, participates in deciding about status of candidates and gives expert opinions and suggestions relating to purchase of gear and armament.

Special Anti-terrorist Unit today also include Medical Group, organized since the end of 1997[7] Since 2005 personnel and entrusted tasks of the Medical Service had been increasing, so since 2006 it continues to operate as a Medical Group enlisting a doctor, three medical technicians and physiotherapist. Members of the group are in charge of providing medical care and health protection during training and actions, as well in educating operators.

Since 2006 within the Serbian SAU established was the Weapon and Ammunition Construction and Testing Group, in charge of testing, maintaining and constructional improving of armament and gear used in the unit. Experts of the group follow newest technical solutions in the area of specialist armament and gear, and conduct training of the operators in the areas of ballistics, opt-electronic devices for shooting and similar.

Logistics are covered by the technical and call service.

Operational personnel of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit is organized in four operational teams, Alpha, Beta, Charlie and Delta. Team Alpha consists of the most versatile operators of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit, organized in three operational groups. As the most elite element of the unit, Team Alpha is intended for carrying out the most complex tasks such as hostage crisis resolving in all conditions, arrests of aggressive individuals and members of criminal and organized criminal groups, and when needed, can provide assistance to other teams. Team Beta is also organized in three operational groups and intended for carrying out the selection of candidates, as well as training of newbies, conducting wider blocking of infrastructure and/or areas in the case of actions, providing support to other operational teams. Specialists Team Charlie was defined by the systematization from 2003, and includes sniping group, diving group, K9 handlers group and group for handling explosives and bio-chemical products. The admission to Charlie Team depends on expressed desire for working and professional development within some of these specialist groups, as well on the positive evaluation of instructors and leader of the specialist group for which an operator applies. Delta Team is intended for tasks and jobs of close protection of VIPs, guarding infrastructure of special importance, as well as providing support to other operational teams when intervening. It is consisted of the Infrastructure and VIPs Protection Group and Support Means Handling Group. Similar to Charlie Team, voluntariness of the operators is a needed condition for admission, along with positive evaluation of leaders of some of Delta Team`s groups. Every operational and specialist group is managed by a leader of the group, who coordinates the activities of the group, organizes a plan of training, and directly is responsible to the leader of the operational team[8] within which his group operates.


Insignia of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit is presented by the double-head white eagle with a red shield with four ocilas and a cross. Double-head white eagle, ocilas and the cross are symbols of the Serbian Statehood and tradition. Double-head eagle in his claws holds a serpent, the symbol of evil, which head is pierced with a sword meaning justice and law.

Tendering the Serbian Orthodox tradition, operators of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit celebrate Arandjelovdan Slava, on every 21st November. Archangel Michael is presented as a duke and commander, and is considered as a guardian of warriors and protector of the Orthodox religion. Slava`s ceremony is, in the presence of operators of the unit, state officials, Church elders, as well as friends and associates of the unit, celebrated in the Temple of Saint Stefan Dechanski in Batajnica and in the SAU`s base “13th May”.


Command of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit, realizing the unit`s personnel is the most valuable resource, devotes big attention to mechanisms by which selection of the candidates is being organized and conducted. Therefore, SAU has developed special methods, used for following professional achievements of younger police officers of the Serbian MoI who stand out at their workplace, and by these methods is increasing the possibility having the very best individuals of the Serbian police at the selection course. The decision of organizing an opening for a workplace in the SAU is made by the SAU`s Command, according to the needs of the unit. Interested active officers of the Serbian MoI can[9] apply to the SAU on-call service where their personal info is being noted, in order to be called for checks later on. Depending on the unit`s needs, various terms could be given as mandatory for every candidate to fulfill in the time of submission, and as general (the most common by the present day practice) underlined are active service in the Serbian Ministry of Interior for at least two years, 4th level of professional qualifications, as well as positive security clearance. The last one considers that a candidate in the time of application is not an offender by the criminal law, nor has been sentenced. Before the beginning of the selection training a meticulous check of submitted papers is undertaken, as well as identity clearances. Those who meet the criteria of pre-selection are being called up for checks of physical strength and endurance such as push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, running, rope climbing, swimming etc. In most of listed disciplines candidates must achieve standards for a given time period. Also, martial art skills are being tested with every candidate, and here a special attention is devoted to one`s behavior during sparring. Candidates are expected to be familiar with basics of boxing, judo, karate etc.

After completing this phase, evaluation of all candidates` results is being conducted, and those who meet the criteria are being called for a consultation with the officers of the unit, as well specialist medical examination organized at the Military Medical Academy at Banjica in Belgrade. During consultations with the candidates officers deem one`s motivation to become an operator of the elite unit, his relation with authorities, teamwork and the like. Also, candidates undergo psycho checks including IQ test and Personality Test. All results of the candidate, along with evaluations and opinions from instructors, officers and psychologist, are being noted in the personal file of every candidate. The decision of admission of every candidate for a selection training is being brought by the SAU Commander, considering files data and suggestions from a special commission.

Selection training of candidates for a workplace in the Special Anti-terrorist Unit usually lasts for 4 weeks and is divided into three phases. During the selection a doctor is present all the time who cares about candidates` health and is able to independently decide to dismiss a candidate from the selection training, if concludes his health is being endangered seriously. The first phase lasting for a week is related to a “period of adaptation” during which candidates familiarize with the gear used in the unit, as well as adopted working rules and methods and code of conduct. Attention is given to improving physical readiness of the candidates. During the next two weeks, training of the candidates is progressively increasing, by simultaneous increase in intensity and volume of psycho-physical efforts and demands, along with cutting resting periods. Candidates undergo intensive tactical training, while constantly being given tasks to complete individually or in a team. One`s reactions are carefully being monitored and noted, because deeming the features of the service, future operators must beside tough will express the ability to control emotions, discipline and similar.

The toughest part of the selection training is the fourth week during which candidates leave for the first time SAU`s base in order to undergo intensive physical training at multiple planned locations, mostly consisted of tough marches in full combat gear, elements of alpinism and the like. Firearm training is being carried out along with shootings in various conditions. Candidates study topography as well, and adopted knowledge in this area are being tested through application in completing tasks given by the instructors.

After completing the fourth week team of instructors conducts analysis of achieved results of remaining candidates and comes up with a decision about their admission to the final test in front of the Commission for SAU Enrollment. The final test is also selective and is checking at which level one has accepted skills and knowledge in elements of training he had completed. Candidates who meet the criteria at the final test attain a certificate of completed selection training and an issue of employment in the Special Anti-terrorist Unit of the MoI of the Republic of Serbia.

Confirming high standards of selection training is the fact that for the 2011 SAU workplace opening applied 135 police officers, of which 45 met the standards determined for that opening. For selection called up were 30 candidates, and only 9 of them successfully completed all the phases of selection. Among these 9, five were chosen and enlisted to the Team Beta.
New operators are being enlisted to the Beta Team and in the next 18 months will undergo intensive training including the basic and advance anti-terrorist training, regular training of active forces, along with professional courses. Their development and progress is conditioned by their professional achievements and results, primarily within operational groups of the Beta Team, or Alpha or Charlie afterwards. According to the plan and program of SAU operators training some courses are mandatory for every operators, such as precision shooting courses, summer climbing, survival, special vehicles usage and the like. On the other hand, completion of certain courses depends firstly on operator`s affinities, and evaluations of group or team leaders. As very good showed the practice under which younger operators after enrollment certain time do not participate in actions directly, but only as supporters or observers. The logic is that in this period young operator attain some experience in situations which are usually a novelty for him and to understand that no action should be approached by some pattern, no matter how similar they seem.

Basic anti-terrorist training of the new SAU operators usually lasts for six months and is divided to the military-professional training and professional-specialist training, both lasting for three months. In this phase operators will study and practice elements of police tactics training, familiarize with the gear and weaponry used in the unit, and in the area of anti-terrorist actions will learn and practice breaching tactics and arrests, hostage crisis resolving in all conditions, conducting actions in groups or teams and the like. After successfully completing every of these phases, an operator receives a certificate of completed training. On the other hand, if one does not meet the standards can be either admitted for the lower phase of training, or dismissed from the unit.

Regular training of active forces is ongoing continuously in accordance with the adopted plan and program of training of the operators of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit-SAU. It includes training conducted within the unit, in cooperation with units of similar purpose in the country and abroad. The central base of the SAU includes infrastructure for training, such as multi-story building with improvised platform for alpinism training, excellent shooting range suitable for precision shooting as well, infantry obstacle ranges, gym and others.

Basic, advanced and specialist parachute training is organized at the military airport in the city of Nish, in cooperation with the operators of the elite 63rd Parachute Battalion of the Special Brigade of the Serbian Armed Forces, at sports airport Echka near Zrenjanin, aerport in Kikinda and other locations. During 2012 in cooperation with the Serbian Parachuting Association, operators of the SAU carried out 740 jumps with parachute in total.

Winter training includes training or mastering skiing, survival in winter conditions, elements of winter alpinism, special actions elements, as well as search and rescue training in winter surroundings.

A significant part of alpinism training is being carried out in cooperation with the Serbian Mountain Rescue Service, and high quality of SAU`s training in this area is confirmed by the fact that SAU specialists in August 2013 conquered Gran Paradiso Peak (att. 4061 meters), and only four days after Mont Blanc Peak (att. 4810 meters)!


Protective visor Assault rifle SIG Sauer 552 Commando in 5.56 mm caliber modified for the needs of CQB Ballistic helmet Ulbrichts Witwe Zenturio 05

The elitism of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit is proven as well by the special gear and weaponry which unit possesses. The fact is the product of mutual effort of state officials and SAU`s Command, so through years significant funds were invested for purchasing modern and high-quality gear and armament. Technical novelties in this area in the world are regularly monitored and intelligent approach when investing funds considers robust testing of the gear and weaponry before deciding about purchasing.

In addition, a great attention is devoted to the judgement whether there is a chance to improve standard systems and adapt them in accordance with the unit`s needs. Here an important role precisely has the Weapon and Ammunition Construction and Testing Group. Nowadays Special Anti-terrorist Unit is surely one of the best equipped units in the region and does not lags behind the elite units in Europe and the world.

In the semi-auto handgun category, SAU holds CZ 99 models, and a number of CZ 999, from the national producer Zastava Arms from Kragujevac. Models are chambered for 9x19 mm Parabellum and mostly are used for the needs of selection and training of the candidates (firearms handling and weapon usage in accordance with SAU`s standards). Primary models in use are Austrian Glock 17 Gen 3, in 9x19 mm Parabellum caliber, which are for the needs of shooters modified by mounting fiber optic front mechanic sights. For interventions on the rails of the handgun Streamlight M6 Tactical Laser Illuminator device can be mounted which compiles tactical light and laser illuminator. For the needs of training Simunition conversion was purchased including a blue slide and special barrel with bolt group, indented for shooting training munition FX Simunition 9 mm which has a plastic bullet, filled with color or it is a light, shortened bullet which does not ricochet. Usage of this type of munition is significant because it helps creating realistic conditions during training, because it enables operators to engage each other, without a danger of harming themselves. In less amount present are models Glock 21 Gen 3 in .45 Auto caliber and Glock 35 Gen 4 in .40 S&W caliber, and the units also possesses a number of well-known Czech models CZ M75 SP01 Shadow, in 9x19 mm Parabellum caliber. For the needs of lowered carry operators of the SAU can use several reliable tactical holsters. Present are holsters of the national producer Hornet Group and Mile Dragic, as well as excellent holsters Safariland Group, and the unit also possesses a number of tactical holsters of the 5.11 manufacturer. Special Anti-terrorist Unit-SAU holds a number of revolvers used when conducting training, rarely when intervening. Used are models R357 of the Zastava Arms producer, as well as Ruger GP-100, in 357 Magnum caliber.

In the submachine gun category SAU possesses models Zastava M92 chambered for 7.62x399 mm which national producer made over the Kalashnikov system. Mentioned models, which can be marked as carbines by several criteria, were for the needs of the unit modified by the armorers of the Weapon and Ammunition Construction and Testing Group. When intervening operators mostly choose reliable German HK MP5 in 9 mm caliber. These models are almost common in the units of similar purpose in the world, representing a reliable, accurate and compact weapon. The unit holds models A2 with fixed and A3 with telescopic buttstock, as well as suppressed models SD3, and shortened C, suitable for concealed carry, thus often an element of the armament of CAT (Contra Assault Team) of the SAU. These models are for the needs of CQB (Close Quarters Battle) usually modified by mounting red dot sights Aimpoint CompM3 and tactical light Surefire. Also, weapon can be mounted with a laser sight and for the needs of training a blue accessory can be mounted presenting a conversion for shooting mentioned FX Simunition 9 mm munition.

In the assault rifle category, SAU possesses models Zastava M70 AB2 with foldable buttstock and Zastava M70 AB1 with fixed buttstock of the national manufacturer Zastava Arms, chambered for Eastern caliber 7.62x39 mm. Both series are manufactured over the Kalashnikov system. Mentioned models are used when conducting selection training of the candidates for a workplace in the SAU, as well when conducting training in the rural areas. Among rifles operating on the similar system, present are East German models of the AK 47, also in 7.62x39 mm, to whom operators are pretty satisfied. On mentioned models, when needed, grenade launchers 40 mm can be mounted. Assault rifle Vektor R4, originating from the South African Republic, is chambered for 5.56x45 mm NATO caliber and visually is similar to the rifle system Zastava M21. AS of the Western producers models, Special Anti-terrorist Unit can brag with a contingent of very quality rifles SIG Sauer 552 Commando in 5.56x45 mm NATO caliber. Very compact in size, accurate and with a reliable operating system, rifles are suitable to use when conducting breaching into closed buildings, and completely closed receiver of these models enables underwater usage, so they are often chosen by the divers of the unit. For these needs, weapon can be, besides mentioned red dot sights and tactical lights, fitted with suppressors Brugger & Thomet. Anti-terrorist groups of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit use the US carbines Colt M4 A4 Commando, chambered for 5.56x45 mm NATO, as well as standard models of this series with longer barrels. In order to protect shooters hands from sharp Picatinny rails edges used are ergonomic UTG pads. The US models are a main primary weapon of the SAU operators since 2007.

When breaching and conducting “room-clearing” operators of the SAU often use tactical shotguns Benelli M4 Super 90 and M3 Super 90 of the same producer, as well as Mossberg M590. All models come in 12/76 Magnum gauge.

For precision shooting, used are rifles Heckler & Koch G3 in semi-auto models A4 and SG1 at medium distances up to 400 meters. SAU possesses semi-auto SIG Sauer 716 in 7.62x51 mm NATO which are adapted to the needs of sniping by mounting optic sights KAHLES. For the same purpose semi-auto rifle of the national producer Zastava M76, chambered for 7.92x57 mm, can be used as well, with optic Zrak ON-M76B 4x30. Special Anti-terrorist Unit holds a suppressed precision shooting rifle Anthis, with bolt action operating system and in a specific caliber 12.7x57 mm. Main models in use in this category are excellent Sako TRG 22 in .308 Winchester and Sako TRG 42 in .338 Lapua Magnum. Finnish rifles operate through bolt action system, and to the needs of sniping are adapted by mounting very good sight Schmidt & Bender Police Marksman II 3-12x50.

The unit holds rifles Blaser R93 Tactical LRS 2 in .223 Remington, usually fitted with sight Schmidt & Bender 3-12x56. For the needs of sniping in terms of reduced visibility used are Simrad KN252C MK2 light enhancers, and for the needs of observation and distance measurement used are Leica VECTOR devices, as well Bushnell rangefinders. For engaging long-range targets up to 2000 meters, targets behind cover, light-armored vehicles and other technics, used are anti-material rifles Zastava M93 Black Arrow with bolt action operating system and in a powerful 12.7x108 mm caliber. Rifles of the national producer were modified by the armorers of the Weapon and Ammunition Construction and Testing Group to meet unit`s needs by mounting opt-electronic Israeli device Malos 6x42, laser rangefinder as well as ballistic computer. In machine gun caliber 12.7x99 mm NATO (.50 BMG) chambered are semi-auto US anti-materiel rifles Barrett M82 A1 with Swarovski 10x42 optic.

In the support armament category present are light machine guns Zastava M84 in 7.62x54 R caliber, Belgian machine guns FN Minimi 5.56x45 mm NATO. In the same caliber chambered are Singaporean Ultimax 100, also modified to meet unit`s needs. On vehicles used in the SAU when needed heavy Browning machine guns in 12.7x99 mm NATO (.50 BMG) can be mounted, as well as HCB ones of the Zastava Arms producer in 12.7x108 mm, and Soviet KPVT in 14.5x114 mm. Also, the unit also possesses automatic grenade launchers 30 mm Zastava M93 of the national producer.

For interventions operators wear black overalls GK Pro, and the unit holds two-piece black tactical uniforms of the 5.11 producer. Serbian SAU provided most of its personnel with BLACKHAWK! two-piece tactical uniforms in black, to whom operators are especially pleased. For actions in urban surroundings intended are two-piece uniforms in original US digital camo pattern AT Digital in ACU cut. For the needs of masking in rural areas, operators are provided with two-piece uniforms in British rural camo pattern DPM. AS of tactical boots, used are models magnum, 5.11, ADIDAS GSG9 and others.

High level of protection when intervening is provided with modern ballistic vests in black color and camouflage patterns. During 2016 gear capacities of the SAU were increased through a donation of 70 ballistic Plate Carrier vests in black, from the national producer Yugoimport SDPR. Head protection is achieved with helmets ProTech Mod. 775, and models Mile Dragic M97 as well. Mentioned helmets are produced in PASGT (Personnel Armor System Ground Troops) design and provide IIIA level of ballistic protection. Special Anti-terrorist Unit possesses modern helmets Ops-Core FAST High Cut, providing the same protection level. Rails on left and right sides of these models enable mounting of tactical gear such as lights, cameras and the like. Also, the unit holds a certain contingent of ballistic helmets Ulbrichts Witwe Zenturio 05, made on the Titanium Sphere design. Protection of head and face can be provided with ballistic visors which are being mounted on helmets, as well with Ops-Core Face Protector face ballistic masks. Fragmental and mechanic stress protection can be achieved with JOBE and Protec polymer helmets, which are mostly used during parachuting, climbing and diving training. When conducting breaching protection of operators is increased using ballistic shields from Protech in Intruder series and others, equipped with ballistic visors and lights.

As of the special gear, enlisted are communication sets PELTOR, radio devices Motorola GP 380 UHF and Motorola GP 340. For the needs of breaching into barricaded buildings used is hydraulic system Door Raider which quickly and relatively quietly overcomes obstacles on entrances. For the similar purpose used are exothermic Broco apparatus.

As for specialized vehicles, Special Anti-terrorist Unit possesses armored vehicles Land Rover Defender, jeeps Mercedes G300, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport GLS. To the needs of the unit were adapted combat-armored vehicles M80 of the Zastava Arms producer. Air insertions are being carried out using helicopters held in the Helicopter Unit of the Ministry of Interior, BELL 212 and BELL 206.


The first elements of K9 training were carried out during 1985 thanks to the effort of the commander of the former Special Action Unit, and in cooperation with handlers from the former Militia Brigade of the Belgrade`s Secretariat for Internal Affairs. At first, trainings of tracking and attacking dogs was organized, but due to a lack of a suitable infrastructure for a kennel at the Belgrade Airport[10] in Surchin no advanced training nor service usage of these dog happened. In 1993 by the decision of former Special Units Command of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia three K9 handlers were deployed to centers in Belgrade, Novi Sad and Prishtina who successfully completed professional courses in the areas of training and handling K9s. After the systematization in 2000 within Special Anti-terrorist Unit a K9 Handler Group was established in charge of organizing and conducting trainings of tracking dogs (with the special attention given to explosives detection training) and protecting (especially attacking) dogs.

The K9 Handlers Group is today organized within the specialist Team Charlie and holds breeds exclusively chosen from the Delta SAU Kennel. For the needs of service used are German Shepherds of working breeds, Belgian Shepherds, Rottweilers, Labradors and the unit possesses several Stafford dogs. Special gear of the group includes tools needed for dog training, as well as protecting gear that is used in the case of actions. The unit holds ballistic vests designed over the dog anatomy used mostly when conducting a breach into a building. High expertise of the K9 handlers is confirmed with the regular achievements on national and international cynological competitions[11].


One of the first actions conducted by the operators took place in 1989 when they successfully resolved a crisis in which Albanian miners occupied one mine on Kosmet and threated they will demolish the entire camp.

The unit participated in armed conflicts on Kosmet during 1998 and 1999, carrying out all given combat tasks.

In 2007 operators arrested an individual who killed nine person in Jabukovac village. After a shorter scour of the vicinity, suspect was found on the local graveyard preparing to commit a suicide. On the occasion the killer was successfully taken under control and arrested, while none SAU operator was harmed.

In 2013 operators of the SAU in cooperation with the Criminalistics Police Department and Police Department of the city of Novi Pazar arrested four person suspected for shooting at the Serbian Police vehicle. In the end of 2013 operational teams of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit were activate within wide police actions “Thunder” and “Thunder 1”.


Establishing professional cooperation is multiple significant. By that practice, it is possible to exchange experiences with elite units of similar purpose in the country, region and the world, which, as a rule, positively affects the training, readiness and reputation of the Special Anti-terrorist Unit, as well as the Republic of Serbia. The SAU`s Command and Serbian Ministry of Interior have managed to establish cooperation with a number of foreign elite units[12], and cooperation with the units of the Serbian Police and Armed Forces is meant and is very intensive.

In the region, Special Anti-terrorist Unit has a good cooperation with the Special Anti-terrorist Unit and Special Police Unit of the Montenegro, then Special Police Unit of the Republic of Srpska, Special Support Unit SIPA B&H, Anti-terrorist Unit Luchko and Special Operation Command of the Republic of Croatia, as well as Special Police Unit (Slov. Specialna enota policije) of the Republic of Slovenia. Very good relations are tendered with the Special Task Unit “Tiger” (Mac. Единица за специјални задачи „Тигар“) of the Republic of Macedonia, Hungarian TEK, elite unit SIAS from Romania and others. Operators of these units are regular participants of the international seminar “Fight against terrorism” which is since 2008 organized in the SAU`s base in cooperation with the Hostage Rescue Team of the US FBI.

In Europe Special Anti-terrorist Unit has established cooperation through security seminars and joint tactical exercises with the Italian NOCS, Austrian ECO Cobra, as well as elite French police unit RAID. With RAID operators on several occasions joint training was organized in Serbia in the Training Center of MoI in Kula in the areas of anti-terrorist tactics and negotiation team tactics, and in 2011 SAU operators practices special actions tactics in the base of RAID in France.

By far, fifteen SAU operators completed the training for participation in international UN missions, in Italy and Slovenia, and Serbian operators participated in missions on Haiti and Liberia. Also, ten operators of the unit successfully completed course at the International Law Enforcement Academy.

[1] Živojin Aleksić, Milan Škulić, “Criminalistics”, page 365.
[2] Operation “Phoenix”.
[3] Territory of present Bosnia and Herzegovina, Central Bosnia Canton.
[4] Between 1983 and 1992 the unit is settled at the Airport in Surchin.
[5] Within the Public Security Department of the former Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia.
[6] When receiving commanding duties was a lieutenant colonel.
[7] Firstly organized as a Medical Service, according to the systematization in 1999.
[8] According to the ongoing systematization, every operational team is managed by a team chief.
[9] Application of the police officers is voluntarily only.
[10] In that period the unit was settled within the Airport.
[11] One of the SAU K9 handlers was a Balkan champion in training K9s for explosives detection.
[12] Which is confirmed by the fact that SAU during the 2011-2012 period completed 90 activities with the foreign units, from which 46 was carried out abroad.

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