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Special Units of the Federal Police (Dutch: Speciale Eenheden; French: Unités Spéciales)
CGSU logo, featuring Diana.
Country  Belgium
Branch Belgian Federal Police
Type Paramilitary force
Role Counter-Terrorism
Size 540 operators

The Special Units of the Federal Police (CGSU: Commissariaat-Generaal/Commissariat-Général Special Units) is the Belgian Federal Police's Counter-Terrorism unit. The CGSU is deployed in cases of terrorism, kidnappings, hostage taking and other forms of serious crime.

Organisation[edit | edit source]

As the unit's commander, Eric Liévin, said, "a criminal dealing with the DSU, has a better chance of surviving than another; they try to use a minimal level of violence/force, and yet try to attain a maximum level of efficiency."[1].

The CGSU consists of an intervention unit, observation unit and a technical unit all stationed in the Police caserne in Etterbeek, also the home of the Mounted Police (Politie te Paard/Police à Cheval) and the Specialized Intervention service (dienst Gespecialiseerde Interventie/service Intervention Spécialisée). The unit is believed to employ about 50 officers, all of which have a background as a sharpshooter. Overall control of the CGSU lies with the Ministry of Internal Affairs, but depending on circumstances the unit can be deployed under operational control of the Ministry of Justice. Prior to 1994 the unit was commanded by the Ministry of Defense.

Two more specialised units also exist, one team has six trained police dogs for detecting the presence of explosive materials or ammunition, the other one is the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team, which was created in 1978 after the Los Alfaques Disaster.

Four decentralized CGSU platoons exist in Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liege; the so-called POSA (Protection, Observation, Support, Apprehension) platoons.

Tasks[edit | edit source]

CGSU provides ongoing support to the federal and local levels in the areas of :

  • Special investigative techniques
  • Intervention and arrest
  • Security missions
  • Identification of victims
  • Specialized technical support
  • Provision of expertise and advice

In major terrorist operations outside the country, the Special Units would be replaced by the Belgian Army Special Forces Group.

Units[edit | edit source]

The central unit is housed in Brussels and consists of several specialized services :

  • Observation unit
  • Intervention unit
  • Undercover teams (including Witness Protection Team)
  • Technical unit (National Technical Support Unit)
  • Disaster Victim Identification team (DVI)

Weapons[edit | edit source]

Weapons in use include, among others:

History[edit | edit source]

The original CGSU was created within the former Rijkswacht/Gendarmerie in the aftermath of the Munich massacre and was called Diane, and the CGSU is still commonly referred as groep Diane. In 1974 the name was changed from Diane to SIE (also outside of Belgium, Dutch language: Speciaal Interventie Eskadron ) or ESI (French language: Escadron spécial d'intervention, also known as Groupe interforces antiterroriste). In 2001, the DSU was created within the newly created Federal Police. In 2007, the Directorate of Special Units was integrated in the Office of the Commissioner General (CG) leading the name to change to CGSU.

External links[edit | edit source]

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