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Brigada Anti-Tero a SRI
- Romanian Intelligence Service's Anti-Terrorism Brigade -

Some countries have their main anti-terrorist force incorporated, or under the command of, their Armed Forces.
But here in Eastern Europe, as well as in many other countries, the national CT force is under the command of the main intelligence service.
In Romania, that is the Romanian Intelligence Service, or SRI.
After the fall of communism in 1989, the famous Securitate split into four branches: SRI, as the main intelligence service, SIE - the External Intelligence Service, SPP - the Protection and Guard Service (same as the US Secret Service), STS - Special Telecommunications Service, and ANS - the National Security Agency.

US Equivalents: Delta Force, SEAL DEVGRU

BAT History
Characteristics
Admission
Training
Weapons
Order of Battle
Exercises
Operations
Stories

History

Terrorism, in the form we know it today, appeared during the early part of the last century. Hardly surprising for anyone, its birthplace was the Middle East.
Under British occupation, the Israelis started a so-called "dirty-war", which the objective of driving the Brits out of the Middle East, which it did. Bombing, guerilla attacks, harassments against the British Empire's troops had taken its toll and they retreated from the region soon after.

This crucial point in history marks the beginning of two things: the first is the constant presence of terrorism in that region, due to the fact that the Israelis proved that enough terror shed upon a force or a country can make it lose its willing to fight or occupy a teritorry. The second is that, before they left, the Brits messed-up the teritorries of the Arab population in such a way, that peace was impossible to hold for more than a few years.
Disregarding ethnic and language criterias, the Brits drew borders the way they saw fit, or in other words, the way it would help their economy. And the various Arab ethnic factions and tribes, plus the Jews and the Iranians, saw themselves being incorporated in and out of territories together with friends and foes alike.
As such, the eternal conflict in the Middle East begun, and there's no way it will end soon.
Romania, being a modern and civilised country, located in the middle of the European continent, had little to do with any of these events. Years passed and terrorism, in the form of suicide bombers and attacks against civilians were unheard of.

But the 1970's came and the world changed. The 1970's were a very turbulent time, a time when "the world had gone crazy", as one US State Department official stated.
Increasing conflicts all over the world, in Asia, Africa, South America and the Middle East brought a new threat to the world: terrorism at a larger scale than anytime before.
As the stage for all these events was coming closer and closer to Romania's southern borders, the famous Securitate, the ever-present security service of communist Romania, had established a department who's sole purpose was that of observing terrorist activities worldwide and making sure they don't get to Romania.
Unitatea Speciala de Lupta Anti-terorista, the Special Anti-Terrorist Combat Unit, or USLA, was therefore created in 1977, being one of the first of its kind in the world.
May I remind you that the US did not had a dedicated CT force until Delta Force was created, two years later, in 1979.

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USLA operative - identical gear with KGB Alfa at that time

USLA was composed of intelligence personnel, as well as combatants. The combatants were trained in a matter similar to the one of the Special Forces, however their training underlined urban warfare, hostage rescuing and other such activities.
Not many years passed until the conflicts between Arabs and Jews arrived in Romania, and 1982 marked the year of the first casualties for USLA. Read about that in the Operations section.
After the fall of communism in december 1989, Securitate split into several services and agencies, as stated at the beginning of this page (in the left of the picture).
SRI, being now the main intelligence service of the country, took the USLA division and re-named it Brigada Anti-terorista a SRI, or SRI's Anti-Terrorist Brigade, and that's how it is known today.

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Characteristics

The mission of the Anti-Terrorism Brigade is to "protect the National Security of Romania and counter any internal or external threats that might affect it".
However, as its name suggest, this is primarely an anti-terrorist force.
Although its operators are trained to fight in the mountains, on air and underwater, many of them being licensed divers, climbers and parachutists, the training focuses mainly on hostage rescuing, closed quarters battles and counter-terrorism.

BAT fighters are also called upon in various other cases, such as whenever the President of the Prime Minister tours another city or make any public appearances, or to secure the area around national and international conferences, unions and important events.
Also, the EOD section of BAT is sometimes called upon when suspicious packages are found in public places, or at crowded events.
However, the operators of Brigada Anti-Tero are the country's first line of defence against the threat of terrorism, which is ever so present in today's world.

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BAT fighters in a typical airport hostage rescue exercise

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Admission

Because SRI is a secret service, until mid-2003 the admission was done under the laws of such special services. Recruitment for the BAT resembled recruitment for the rest of the Service, while there is also a small BAT class which is graduating each year from the National Intelligence Academy in Bucharest.

From the middle of 2003, a new law was passed, which stated that recruitment for Intelligence services can also be done thru adds in the newspaper and other, more public means, than before. A similar law was also passed in Great Britan around the year 2001 or 2002.

Coming back to combatants, young and physically fit citizens can undertake the BAT admission course. Altough details are not public, the recruits are severely tested for both physical and psychologycal endurance. Martial arts fighters, world athletic champions, experienced psychologysts and other such men and women make good recruitment material for becoming a BAT operator.

Women are also present among the lines of the BAT fighters, and you will soon be able to see pictures with them. I still have to scan them, first.

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Training

Being an elite force, meant to fight the most dangerous terrorists, Brigada Anti-Tero trains its operators in a very rough way.
Live ammunition is used in all of the training exercises, a bitter reminder of the seriousness of their trade. No mistakes are allowed, whether in training or combat.
BAT operators have very specific training sessions. For hours and hours, every day, 7 days per week and 365 days a year, they train in the gym, in the live firing range or in the mock buildings of a specially designed "town", somewhere North of Bucharest.
But the usage of live ammuniton is only one of the methods use to boost the operators confidence and shed away the natural feeling of restraint when confronting an enemy weapon directed straight on you.

How you can shoot your superior!
The instructor puts on his level 3 protection suit and goes to the firing range, douzens of meters away from his trainees. He puts a plate on his chest, and hols it there with his hands. Then he lowers the protective glass from his helmet and orders: shoot!
The trainees fire their MP-5's and 9mm pistols from that huge distance, straight at their instructor. Remarcably, the bullets hit the target that the instructor was holding against his chest. When the ammo is over, the instructor lifts the protective glass of his helmet and comes back to his trainees smiling.
Then the exercise is repeated but with a slight difference in it. This time, half of the operators go to the firing range and mix themselves with the paper targets. One paper target, one BAT fighter, one target, one fighter, etc.
The other half of the team starts to fire at the paper targets with their MP5A3's, from more than 60 meters away. Although the paper targets are only a few inches away from the operators mixed among them, no one gets hurt. The precision of these extraordinary men is amazing!
The bottle
In another training exercise, the operators close down on the terrorists which have barricared themselves in a building. Marshing and shooting at them at the same time, the scene is also crammed with explosions and smokescreens. After the enemy has been neutralized, the operators now tie up a bottle of water and return to their original position, 60 meters away.
Amazingly, each shot cuts the length of the bottle by a few more inches, until only the cork (stropper) remains. Even more amazing, the next shot fully hits the cork, thus making the former "bottle" dissapear into thin air!!

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BAT operators in the firing range

One of the basic skills an operator must develop is being able to distinguish a hostage from a terrorist in a fraction of a second. This exercise is exactly the same as the one practiced by Delta Force and SAS in their own CQB training sessions.

Usually at night, but also in day light, operators go thru a maze of mock buildings and fences, where from a terrorist, or an innocent by-stander, might come out at any time. The operator needs to take a decision whether to shoot or to go further whenever that happens.

Also, as you see in the picture to the right, the BAT rescue team goes into a building to liberate the hostages and arrest the terrorists. As confusion, smoke and lack of sufficient light make the job harder, the operators must quickly make the difference between the hostages and the hostage-takers. Although this sounds easy, it takes many years of daily training to accomplish, and as you've probably seen on CNN, in most countries, it usually fails. I will not comment on other countries' operations, and how they always manage to kill the hostages and let the terrorists escape, however a professional force should normally do the exact opposite of that.
For saving the life of all the hostages, while taking out the terrorist, is the job of any CT/AT force. And taking out means arresting or killing them; it makes no difference just as long none of the hostages are killed and all the members of the rescue team go home safely.

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close quarters battle exercise

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Weapons

The weapons employed by Brigada Anti-Tero vary from mission to mission, however their arsenal is one typical for any anti-terrorist force.
The Hochler&Koff MP-5 is one of the main weapons employed by the fighters.
BAT was the second force in Romania to acquire such weapon (after SIAT of SPP), and around the year 2001 SRI purchased a large number of MP5A3's, the latest version of this weapon.

MP5A3 has a 30 rounds magazine and can fire single shots (in rifle mode), all the 30 rounds in a matter of seconds (in full automatic mode), and it also has a special anti-terrorist mode, in which one pressing on the trigger makes the weapon fire a burst of three rounds. This mode is the standard mode in which this weapon is used by AT and CT forces around the world. As the three shots burst ensures the fact that once a target is hit, that person is surely dead, while at the same time if the target was not hit, there is no waste of ammunition, as only 3 rounds have been lost, instead of, let's say, 10.

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This is a foreign MP5A2
The particular weapon displayed in this picture is not employed by the BAT

The H&K MP5A3 can also be fitted with a laser spotlight, which enables the operator to see exactly there the bullet will hit its target, as well as with a tactical lantirn, which is used when entering dark rooms.
The MP5A3 is fully effective up to a range of 50 meters.
BAT operators also rely on their modified hexagonal 9mm Glock pistols, which are held on a support device mounted on their right foot. This weapon is employed when during a fight, the operator has no time to reload the MP-5.
Another weapon used by the BAT is the repeating shotgun; this weapon can fire both armour piercing as well as explosive ammunition, and has 6 shots plus 1 on the barrel.
One of the Romanian weapons employed by the fighters is the Romanian AKM.
"The AKM has visible enhancements compared to the classical AK-47", stated a BAT instructor. The AKM is very suited for CT missions as it is light and can easily be employed in shoulder firing positions. Also, it is fitted with a 40mm grenade launcher. This launcher can fire shells which release smoke, tear gas, incendiary substances and paralyzing gas, or it can fire explosive shells.
The explosive shells are so potent that they can completely destroy a car.

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You can see here the main weapons employed by the BAT operators.
The protective suit, the PSG-1 sniper gun, the shotgun, the AKM and other weapons, including the 9mm Glock (near the upper left grey protection vest).
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When checking a suspicious package or suitcase, the operators use this heavy kevlar suit, that weights more than 20 kg.
The suit, meant to deflect the blast of an explostion, can only offer partial protection to the user, and that is why a device is used to check the suspicious object, which blasts a jet of water with the speed of 200 meters per second into it. That way, in case there is an explosive device inside, it will surely detonate.
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However, for suspicious objects that are too large to handle by humans (due to the huge explosive capability that can be hidden inside), a robot is employed. The operator that you could see testing the device in the left picture, is using a device here to control the robot from a safe distance. The robot now does the work, and in case of an explosion, a robot can always be replaced. But human life can not.
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weapons, ammunition and a bullet-proof vest

The PSG-1 sniper gun is the weapon of choice for the BAT snipers. There are two main choices for a CT/AT force when chosing a sniper weapon: the rifle and the carrabine. "Some forces have chose the carrabine", states one BAT instructor. "But after rigurous testing and comparisons, we have opted for the rifle", he continues.
PSG-1 is a 7.62mm calibre sniper weapon, with a 51 rounds magazine (50 plus 1).

It has Leopold lenses which can offer a crystal-clear view even at 600 meters ranges. The view is so clear that the sniper can get a shot on a 5x5 cm square from a distance of 300 meters, and on a 20x20 cm square from a distance of 600 meters.
The lenses can also be used to observe the events, as well as with the entire weapon in order to eliminate the enemy's observers, or to get a clear shot on a terrorist, in a hostage situation.

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a better view of a wider range of weapons employed by BAT

Also, the PSG-1 lenses have a videocam incorporated, which enables it to transmit real time video back to the control unit via a GSM system.
The PSG-1 is also the weapon employed by Delta Force, SEAL, SAS and SPP's SIAT.

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Oder of Battle

SRI has a Bureau in each larger town. The larger the town is, the larger the bureau. Usually Bureaus are composed of intelligence employees and other employees from different sections of the SRI. SRI has divisions who's mission is to fight organized crime, to observe the movements of convicted criminals which have been released from prison, as well as counter-intelligence, etc.
However, in cities and in county residences, SRI also has subunits of the Anti-Terrorism Brigade.

Composed of small numbers of fighters, plus support personnel, intelligence attachments and bomb squad detachments, these units intervene only in the most serious cases. The Police for example also has its own Bomb Squad (the DPIR section of each city's DIR), but SRI is called whenever suspect packages are found in public places or whenever there is suspicion about foreign intervention or terrorism.
The main structure of the BAT is obviously in the country's capitol city, Bucharest.
Here is located the Intelligence Academy, who's graduates fill the ranks of the SRI, SIE, STS and ANS. Also in Bucharest, the main training facilities, as well as the Ministry of the Interior's Special Aviation Unit's HQ are located.

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BAT graduation class. You can observe the mock buildings in the training area, the combatants, the NBC personnel, intelligence and support personnel, as well as one IAR-316 Alouette III helicopter and two Mi-8 Hip helicopters

BAT also has a special section, composed of the most experienced operators. This structure, called "Delta", can be deployed anywhere in the country in a matter of hours.
With the help of Mi-8 Hip, IAR-330 Puma and other helicopters, Delta is the first to arrive on scene, in a terrorist attack scenario.
The Ministry of the Interior's Special Aviation Unit loans these helicopters to BAT, as well as to the Police, Mountain rescue, Sea rescue and medical emergency services, whenever they need them.
Usually, the Special Aviation Unit's helicopters are painted white and with a blue stripe on their fuselage, such as the tail 108, IAR-330 Puma helicopter, which can deploy 20 BAT fighters.
Pictures with Mi-8 helicopters of the Special Aviation Unit coming soon (I need to scan them first).

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Exercises

A public demonstration in Galati
(article adapted from Ovidiu Amalinei. Photo by Sorin Pana.)

Galati, Eastern Romania. The large city on the Siret river witnessed a public demonstration organized by the local headquarters of the BAT.
The exercise started when three terrorists, impersonated by BAT fighters, have armed themselves with machineguns and have kidnapped three VIP's. Then, they took the control of the command quarters of the Oltisorul 3 ship, which was harbored near-by.
The hostages were knealed down, with their hands on the back of their heads, and were guarded by one of the "terrorists". A few more intimidation shots were fired in the air, to show to the staggered crowd that the "terrorists" 'mean business'.
ev22.jpg (50682 bytes) But soon the syrens are heard, news that the intervention task force has arrived. Negociations are started with the terrorists. "If you try anything, the hostages are as good as dead!!!" yells one of the terrorists in the radio station. The task force tells the crowd to calm down, and that everything is under control. The "terrorists" ask for a sailing crew, so they could escape using the ship they have just ceased. Apparently, their request has been granted, since three sailors approach the ship. The "terrorists" pick them up onboard and search them: they're "clean". Everything seems to be going the terrorists' way, so they start to look happy and satisfied. But all of a sudden, a big boom is heard. Next thing you know, a terrorist colapses: he has been shot in the head by a BAT sniper. The other two terrorists turn around, shocked, to see what's going on. The three "sailors", in fact, BAT operators, quickly take them down in hand-to-hand combat. The crowd bearly believes it: it only took a couple of seconds, and the hostages have been saved! Quickly and efficiently.

Encore
The scenario is repeated. The three "terrorists" kidnap the VIP's again and take over the Oltisorul 3 ship. This time, Brigada Anti-Tero will storm the ship. Two large helicopters are approaching the area, and they start to circle above the ship. While one of them observes the area, operators rappel down from the other one. At the same time, two Zodiacs approach, with machineguns pointed at the Oltisorul 3. Attacked from below and above, the terrorists are quickly gunned down, and the action is over, again, in a matter of just a few seconds.
The operators rescue the VIP's and take them away to safety.
But it is not over!

An explosive device maleedge has been detected, a "gift" left over by the terrorists. An operator equipped with the kevlar suit approaches. He looks like a giant bug. With a dispensor, he fires a water jet with the speed of 200 meters per second at the bomb. A big bang and a lot of smoke tells the crowd that the bomb has been safely detonated, away from the ship.
The mission is over.

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Operations

The main mission of the Anti-Terrorism Brigade is to protect the National Security of Romania. The Constitution also handles them the responsibility for counter-terrorist intervention across the country. Those two designations give BAT a large variety of missions and responsibilities.

One of them is to perform customs controls at international airports. Such is the example of the picture in the right, where you can see a typical checkpoint installed at Henri Coanda International Airport (Otopeni), Romania's main airport and one of the three civilian airports in Bucharest.

Members dressed in civilian clothing, who are not combatants but other employees of the Brigade, perform anti-terrorist checking on passengers and freight, and ensure the safe traffic of passangers within the airport. They are also on guard 24 hrs a day for any suspicious activity, as their mission is to protect the whole airport as well.

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BAT checkpoint, Otopeni International Airport

Preventing the assasination of the Israeli Ambassador

Between 1972-1973, terrorist elements belonging to the organization called Black September have attempted to assassinate the Israeli Ambassador in Bucharest and take over the entire Embassy.

The USLA unit, in cooperation with other SF units (most likely the 404th Scouting battalion of the armed forces) managed to capture important quantities of weapons and ammunition when it entered the country in a double-laired suit.

The assassination was thus prevented.

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BAT training

Operation Bus

In the early 1980s, a group of young men eager to run away to Western Europe had the misfortunate idea of occupying a bus and take all the passangers plus the driver as hostages. The three men, two construction workers and a student, managed to break into a military supply building in the village of Pui, Timis country (W Romania) and steal weapons and ammunition, which they later used to intimidate the bus passengers and driver.

Members of USLA have quickly arrived to the scene and negociations have started. The three men were holding 20-30 hostages in the bus and demanded a Red Cross helicopter and 30,000 dollars to flee the country. Obviously that could not happen, and soon enough the negociations have failed. The young men have pushed the driver to take the bus towards Timisoara, one of Romania's largest cities, and capitol of the Timis county. At the entry in Timisoara however, several Romanian-made ABI lightly armoured terrain vehicles were waiting. Only USLA had used ABI's and they have been abandoned right after the 1989 Revolution for an unknown reason.

Seeing the cars, the hostage takers were frightened and as negociations werent leading anywhere, they shot the bus driver. At that moment, the USLA fighters opened fire on the bus from the distance. Due to the distance involved and the midst of the situation, 6 hostages were killed and 17 more were wounded, but it remains unclear if they died (or were injured) by the rounds fired by USLA or the hostage takers. One could assume the latter since the hostage takers showed no remourse in shooting the driver in the beginning. Amazingly, USLA managed to capture all three hostage takers alive!

The whole mission was personally commanded by Tudor Postelnicu, who will become famous 9 years later during the Revolution as Ceausescu's right hand. According to a Romanian intelligence community historian, Tudor Postelnicu personally ordered that the hostage takers be shot afterwards.

That information can not be confirmed in any official documents.

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BAT during an assault training session

In 1990, Tudor Postelnicu and other decision factors which have participated in that mission have been found guilty of murder of the first degree and sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Hawks 1

USLA had air marshalls, or sky marshalls, long before the much-publicised war against terror which is so popular today. The idea of putting sky marshalls on civilian aeroplanes is not an invention of the US, and was not first used after September 11th, 2001, as so many foreign self-entitled "experts" claim in newspapers willing to publish their opinions.

Among the several countries which had air marshalls long before 2001, Romania used some of its USLA operatives as passangers dressed in civilian clothing, at least for internal flights. It is unclear if they were also used for international flights, but perhaps we can assume the answer is yes.

In 1983, on the Bucharest-Caransebes flight, an agitated passanger stood up and started to threaten the crew and the other passangers. He held between his legs a large suitcase, and in his hand he had what appeared to be a detonator. "I have an explosive charge in my possesion! This is the detonator!!" shouted the man towards the frightened and surprized passangers. The individual wanted to direct the civilian aircraft belonging to TAROM, the national air carrier, towards an airport in Western Europe. Unknown to him, there were several Hawks in the plane with him, and the one closest to his position jumped from his seat and threw himself on the individual. Apparently that is the end of the story and he was captured alive. His detonator proved to be a pen.

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Hawks 2

As you might have guessed, Hawks was the internal designation for USLA operators used as sky marshalls on civilian flights. Soon after their first intervention, a new, more dangerous one followed less than a year later.

On the 16th of january 1984, two young men have attempted to take control of the Bucharest-Arad flight. The aircraft was an An-24 belonging to the national air carrier TAROM.

The two men took hostage the 7 crew members and 46 passengers. They were armed with a home-made pistol disguized in a flat iron and an explosive device made from a deodorant tube. Their plan was to imobilize a flight attendant and by threating to shoot her in the head with the pistol, they were hoping to make their way into the cockpit. They did manage to get as far as the cockpit door, holding the pistol close to the flight attendant's head. However when they got there, one of them was shot in the head unexpectedly by one of the Hawks.

It is unknown what happened next, but no civilians were harmed, and the probability is that the other hostage taker was captured alive and sentenced to life in prison or death.

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Arabian attempts

A year later, in the 26th of may 1985, two Arabian terrorists have placed explosive ordnance in a car parking in Bucharest. The parking slot belonged to the Grozavesti student campus, and the targetted cars were the ones of two leaders of Syrian students in Romania.

The Securitate officers already had the Arabian group under surveillance and took notice of their actions. Thus, USLA operatives were called in to handle the issue. The bomb disposal squad from USLA managed to defuse the first ordnance, but the second exploded as they were taking it out of the parking slot.

Two USLA operatives died.

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The 1989 Revolution

The data available regarding USLA operations during the 1989 Revolution is too large to discuss here, and writing appropriately about such a subject would flood this page. I therefore have decided to keep things short and make only a quick description of only a small part of the operations which took place at that time.

The gathering

The 600 or so USLA personnel gathered in the yard located in the center of their headquarters, to listen to a speech of the leader and assistant director of the unit. For reasons to be discussed elsewhere, dubious elements have used the confusion during the december 1989 Revolution to attempt to gather all the USLA personnel, together with weapons and ammunition, on a large stadium in central Bucharest. Not being famous for their stupidity, USLA realized the move is only meant to discredit the whole unit and present them as "terrorists", especially as the military had that same stadium already surrounded with tanks and armour. Furthermore, such gatherings take place while the personnel brings only their weapons, not their ammunition as well. Even more so, the gathering of the entire unit, in a stadium surrounded by armour, during a situation in which Bucharest was said to be flooded with terrorists, doesn't make any sense at all.

The massacre

After dodging this, and more traps, a final trap was set for USLA which could not be dodged due to the Constitutional responsibilities of the unit. A phone call, tracked to have been made from the offices of the Ministry of Defense, has requested urgent help against terrorist elements which were supposedly attacking the Ministry. An ad-hoc commando was set up on the spot, and two Romanian-made, light armoured ABI terrain vehicles filled with USLA operatives quickly got on the road to the Ministry's headquarters. On their way, they were separated, and the second vehicle stopped in front of a road block. In the vehicle, lt-col Trosca, chief of counter-terrorist training, two master-seargants, a lieutenant and a civilian employee, awaited a solution of the stand-off. In front of them, an APC was blocking their way, which was quickly reinforced by a second APC. The operatives in the ABI could not communicate directly to the military personnel in the APC, as a formidable jamming existed throughout Bucharest and most especially on military frequences during those days. As such, the operators managed to call in at USLA headquarters, which called the Ministry of Defense, which called the tank regiment deployed in that area, which in its turned, called the APCs. This four-peers ad-hoc communication line was they key to what happened next.

Unfortunately, but apparently planned to the minute detail, dubious elements, most likely the same ones which have called for the USLA intervention in the first place, managed to get somewhere within that four-peers communication line and throughout the conversation, distort the messages which were finally being received by the APCs. In the confusion, the APC crews were told that the ABI in front of them is coming from an unknown location and going to another unknown location, and is probably filled with terrorists. The USLA operatives were then told to flash their car lights four times as a signal for the APCs, to determine they are friendly forces. The APC crews were told that the terrorists would most likely flash their lights four times, as that represents the communicating password for identifying themselves, as they believe the APCs are on their side as well. The APC flashed first, four times, then the ABI followed. A moment of silence then followed, as the USLA operatives were anticipating an end to the stand off, while the APC crew probably debated on the rightness of opening fire on them. Soon after, the 14.5mm cannon of the APC opened fire directly on the ABI, and the operatives inside started to get killed one by one. At first, lt-col Trosca and the two seargants were shot in the legs, then the lieutenant was hit straight in the head, which was torn apart by the large shell. The civilian employee was also hit in the head, and at that moment lt-col Trosca and the civilian employee decided to flee the car. One last attempt was made to flash the lights again, four time, which helped stop the shooting for a few seconds, but then it went on again. The sideway door was opened and lt-col Trosca got out and hide himself on the back of the ABI. The backdoor then opened and the civilian employee, not having any tactical training, being injured and by now, terribly frightened, started to run away to a near-by apartment bloc. The tactical reflex of lt-col Trosca however would prove to be, ironically, his downturn on this occasion, and would seal his unfortunate fate. The APC continued to fire in bursts and as the last USLA operative (lt-col Trosca) attempted to seek cover elsewhere, he was shot dead. The frightened civilian employee witnessed the whole scene while hiding behind the apartment bloc, after which he ran away. To make the long story short, he managed to get to a friend's house after escaping several more situations, and his injured leg was treated by his friend's wife, who luckily happened to be a nurse. The crowd then wrote the words "terrorists" on the sides of the ABI, using white chalk.

Reportedly, one more USLA operative has observed the entire scene from a covert location somewhere in or on top of the surrounding apartment blocs. His mission was to observe the events and the trajectory of the ABI from a distance, and he was not to disclose his position by any means, being physical nor radio-wise. Some time later, that alledged operator was contacted via radio by the USLA command, which was stunned to hear the results of his observations. Apparently, his verbal reports on the radio confirm the version of events described by the civilian survivor.

The issue of this story is very complicated, and it was told by the single survivor - the civilian employee. After 1989, several investigations have reached the conclusion that general Nicolae Militaru, an important figure of the General Chief of Staff of the Romanian Armed Forces in 1989, was the one who ordered the phone call which asked for USLA intervention at the Ministry of Defense. General Nicolae Militaru had apparently been found to be a GRU agent and was conveniantly sacked in the summer of 1989. However, he was reinstated as Ministry of Defense, for a day, during the december 1989 Revolution, by dubious elements. The person who has uncovered Gen. Militaru as a GRU agent was lt-col Trosca.

The opinions regarding General Nicolae Militaru, Lt-Col Trosca and the event described above represent personal opinions of those who portrayed these events, as depicted in public interviews, television shows and newspaper articles.

The author of this website shall in no way be linked to the opinions presented here-by regarding this event, nor held liable for any misinformation or errors which have occured in the previous paragraphs.

What increases the disgust regarding this event is the fact that a large crowd of revolutionaries gathered afterwards to witness what happened. They were told the mutilated and burned bodies lying on the street belonged to terrorists, which have come to Romania to counter the Revolution and bring back the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. As it is always the case with enraged, uneducated masses which gather strength from numbers, the revolutionaries manifested their hate towards the so-called terrorists the way they knew better. As such, hundreds of people hit the remains with bottles, wooden sticks and stones, while some even urinated on them as a sign of disrespect. The wife of one of the two seargants happened to cross around the day after, and she noticed a large group of people swearing and mocking the remains of a few dead individuals on that street. As she approached, she was shocked to see that one of them was her husband, in combat uniform. She did not dare say anything, feared of being lynched by the masses, so she immediately set her way to the Ministry of Defense to report the situation and ask officials to remove the bodies from the street.

This is where the story divers, again, as all stories regarding the 1989 Revolution. While smiling officials would claim the bodies were recovered within 3 hours from the massacre, the only survivor of the event (the civilian employee), as well as the seargant's wife both claim the bodies were left there for 3 days and 3 nights in a row.

1989
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One of the USLA operators which died in that operation. This photo was conveniantly taken after the crowd was cleared and a soldier was set to guard the area.
The instigators

USLA's actions during the 1989 Revolution do not begin, nor end there. Sources say that at least 600 agitators were captured alive during those days, and taken to various locations, among which we remind the hq of the Ministry of Defense, the hq of an armoured division, the hq of a signals regiment, etc. Most of them were described of being Israeli citizens, armed with automatics and blank ammunition. They were captured while driving around Bucharest in Romanian cars and firing into the air, to create panic and the idea that terrorists have opened fire on civilians.

No official documents, no footage, no photographs and no official statements back off the claims in the previous paragraph. The information above should be considered as the personal opinions of individuals involved in those events, as stated in public interviews, television shows, newspaper articles and personal books published in Romania and abroad. The author of this website has no responsibility regarding the accuracy and truthfulness of the data presented here-by.

It is also rumoured that USLA operatives have encountered Arabic origin individuals, armed with Romanian AKMs and live ammunition. There are also alledged encounters between armed USLA operatives and armed Soviet personnel.

The events, information and stories depicted in this article are a reproduction of information which was publicly denounced in mass media, and do not represent the personal opinion of the author.

Preventing the assasination of the Indian Ambassador

On the 20th of august 1991, an Indian commando composed of 4 terrorists, attemped to assassinate the Indian Ambassador in Romania. Imagining probably that they were in another country, they planned to follow the Ambassador as he was strolling with his wife on the streets of Bucharest and shoot him on the spot. Unfortunately for them, the BAT members which were assigned protection duties around the Ambassador appeared out of nowhere and have acted immediately. One terrorist was shot dead on the spot, another one was captured alive, a third one was injured and the fourth managed to run away in the midst of the confusion.

During the prosecution of the two captured survivors, it was found that the whole group belonged to a terrorist faction in India, an extremist sikhs religious faction.

BAT
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Capturing of a defector

As BAT has the constitutional right to intervene in cases of defection, they were called upon during such an event.

In 1997, a conscript who's name will not be mentioned here decided to defect from the armed forces during his guard duty, together with his equipment, weapons and ammunition. His absence was noted very soon and the military started a large operation to track him down. BAT was called to assist the search, and it participated at least with one Mi-17 Hip helicopter.

The defector was soon spotted running through a corn field, a few kilometers East of Bucharest. An Mi-17 helicopter with several BAT operatives soon reached the area. The Mi-17 circled the defector to let him know of their presence. At first, the conscript was stunned, but after a short while he started running again. Then the Mi-17 flew to a location roughly 30 m in front of him and flared up for a quick stop in mid air. Several operatives rappelled down from the huge helicopter and ran towards a stunned and shocked conscript which did not have time to react. The frightened conscript obliged to the shouted orders of the operators and threw away his weapon, got on his knees and surrendered.

rappel
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This image depicts a BAT operator rappelling from a much smaller IAR-316B Alouette III helicopter, and has no connection to the event described in this section, nor with the large Mi-17 helicopter.

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equipment standard equipment of the BAT
a pad on the back tells the other fighter that you are retreating. He will continue to push the enemy off until you reach your next defensive position, and then he will retreat too, this time behind you. Then the procedure is started all over again.
This is the standard re-groupping procedure for special operations forces around the world.
BAT