The Counter-terrorist Unit (Serbian: Противтерористичка Jединица, ПTJ/Protivteroristička jedinica, PTJ) was a special operations and tactical unit of the Serbian Police. In 2016 the unit was merged with the SAJ.
As its name states, the PTJ is oriented towards anti-terror operations as well as securing and maintaining the internal security of Serbia. Often only used in operations deemed too dangerous for other police units, it is highly trained and equipped. The PTJ’s responsibilities include: resolving hostage situations, anti-terrorist operations, high-profile arrests and bomb disposal. Members of the PTJ operate with extreme professionalism and devotion to their responsibilities. This has earned the PTJ great respect throughout the world as an elite special operations police unit among other such units.
Candidates are selected from the Žandarmerija, who must undergo rigorous physical evaluations before tactical training can begin. Lieutenant Colonel Dragović, the commander, stated in 2007 that out of 150 candidates only eight were selected in that year. Members of the PTJ are expected to meet and excel the criteria set before them. Trainees are exposed to varying conditions that they might find in real life operations. PTJ training centers are located at Petrovo Selo near Kula and Goč near Vrnjačka Banja.
Weapons and equipment
- CZ 99
- Glock 17
- Beretta Px4 Storm
- Zastava M70
- M4 carbine
- SIG Sauer SIG516
- Heckler & Koch MP5
- Heckler & Koch UMP
- DDR MpikM (AKM) rifle
In 13 operations across eight cities in Serbia, the PTJ arrested numerous members of the so-called “Customs Mafia”. They detained known organized crime leaders such as Sreten Jocić from the Netherlands; Dejan Milenković from Greece; Ridvan Rašitija from Switzerland; and extradited Abdelmajid Bouchar, (a member of “Al-Qaeda” suspected in connection with the 2004 Madrid train bombings), to Spain.
2007 – Arrested a large group of terrorists in an Islamic religious movement called the Wahhabi on Mount Ninaja, killing one.
2009 – Hostage rescue in Jagodina (in central Serbia).