• Scotland Yard Creates Domestic Special Ops Unit To Counter Terrorist Sleeper Cells

    Scotland Yard has created an armed, elite unit to counter terrorist attacks inside the U.K., the announcement coming days after the massacre of British tourists in Tunisia.

    The 130-man unit is meant to respond more quickly in the event of an armed domestic attack, rather than waiting for the military to arrive, The Daily Mail reports. It is styled after the British Army’s Special Air Service (SAS) unit, designed for counterterrorism operations.

    Specialist firearms officers, part of London’s police force, trained alongside the SAS for the positions. They are outfitted with new weapons and capable of storming buildings and fast-roping from helicopters, according to The Guardian.

    The unit will be trained to respond to attacks like the storming of a shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2013. But officers, operating in a different manner than the military, would aim to arrest attackers.

    “Even if faced with a gunman or gunmen on the rampage, the unit would not have orders to shoot to kill, but would be told to use minimum force,” The Guardian reports.

    Police chiefs say officers will be first to respond to attacks but acknowledge the military will play a role as potential incidents unfold. Britain’s police force is largely unarmed, so in the event of an attack, armed officers must be called to the scene.

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