Best Elite Counter-terrorism / Special Purpose Units

The Top Ten Best Elite Counter-terrorism / Special Purpose Units

1 United Kingdom S.A.S.

The best known special forces unit in the world, the most respected and the strongest on earth. Who dares wins

Tough, scary, merciless and a lot of of experience since the start of the second world war, "Desert rats". Great Britain's SAS are the best in the world

The original and still the best and they don't kill hostages like the Delta Team recently did.

The best special forces in the world, no doubt. I once saw these elite soldiers carry out training during my time in the Royal Air Force in the 1980s, and there professionalism stood out clearly and they proved that they were not to be messed with.

They are (always will be) the best bar none. No other special force in the world comes close to the UK SAS.

2 United States DEVGRU (SEAL Team Six)

Who ever says delta force is better than devgru they are stupid delta force is as good as devgru ( you did not find out about devgru until the assassination of bin-laden! )

The best of the best. Raided Bin Laden and came away with two dead bodies, Bin Laden and his son

These guys are the best trained, most fit, and smartest soldiers that work for the United States armed forces. The training they endure has claimed over 6 lives since their creation after the 1980's. No doubt the most elite team.

They terminated Bin Laden w/ extreme prejudice, who can top that?

3 United States 1st SFOD-D (Delta Force)

They are the absolute best counter-terrorism unit on the entire planet. They are also masters of covert operations and hostage rescues as well as experts at conducting raids. They fight and win the secret wars that keep us all safe.

If you want to be awarded for operations that are supposed to be covert, then you can join the SEALs, but if you want to be better than the SEALs by ten fold then try delta force. You'll be lucky to even hear about selection. And if you do, chances are you won't complete it.

Why is Seal Team Six above the SFOD-D? Sure, they are SEALs, but remember, Delta Force recruits FROM the SEALs. In a book written by one of the SEAL Team Six members who knocked out 'you know who', he talked about Delta Operators like they were Gods. And they basically are... - Operation_Fortitude

Final test for Delta Force: Complete 40 miles with a 50lbs pack averaging 12 (I believe) miles per hour. Must use map and compass to traverse from one destination objective to the next, while being observed, not knowing when the test is over. From the book "US Special Forces".

4 Isreali Matkal / Shayetet 13 (YAMAN)

there is no other than the israeli YAMAN. They are original, with training for almost every situation and the SAS godfathering. They are also in constant training and constant action.

One of the best and if not the best training and hardest to get in, israel is under constant threat of terror, and only about 1% of people who apply get in. Not sure which team from israel it was but they won againts other 29 elite units around the world and broke the records in the urban shield thing

A US SOF team fails, the main result is lots of bad press. An Israeli SOF team fails, it could mean the death of the whole team, the deaths of hundreds, maybe thousands. Every Israeli operation is a matter of life and death, possibly for the entire nation. Is that true for anyone else? No. That's why Israelis are the best soldiers, commandos, pilots and spies in the world. They have to be. Win or die.

Simply the best, there is NO denying that. God Bless Israel and its people.

5 Germany's GSG9 / KSK

Special Forces are ready to die for their country
do not hesitate and move quickly

Well trained soldier individual or group

Kopassus have amazing achievement freeing a hijacked aircraft at Don Muang in 1981. They killed 5 terrorist, lost one Kopassus member, and no one hostage were injured.

A single kopassus beat a single navy seal without weaponry, if they both released together in the jungle

6 Canadian Joint Task Force 2

Being the son of a legend in this elite unit I can definitely confirm their fearless determination, I've witnessed a hostage situation and those boys ran around the corner a split second after they placed the charge and set it off scaring the hell out of me and mezmorizing everyone. These boy get it done right regardless and they are ghosts until they want to be seen. Hands down the best of the best. I can only release so much information due to safety concerns and plus I'm next to try my hand at this proud unit and they frequently train with every special forces unit you can think of, #1 choice of every special forces unit when needed. They rapidly respond to any situation within a week. I wish I could say more and stress their training but I can't. Their tactics still need to remain a secret to this world. CSOR doesn't even come close to the standards of JTF2. Proudly Canadian, proudly fearless, and proud enough to die without a second thought for their country. I myself will it my ...more

Hands down one of the worlds best trained and most effective special forces / anti terrorist group

They have an estimated 600 men and women working inside of JTF2 and there has only been one death known of in the last 18 years of this unit being formed.

Why is this force the best? Hardly anyone knows about it... The public didn't even know it existed till a few years ago.

7 National Gendarmerie Intervention Group

Telling which unit is the best in a rigorous order has no real meaning as most of them follow almost the same training, share their tactics and have access to the best technologies in intel, breaching, and weaponry. If units had to be ranked, it would be on criteria such as age and experience of the unit and its members, numbers of operation made, rate of success and innovation in tactics and use of new tools. In that regard, I think gign is probably one of the most experienced. And I don't understand how it can be ranked under let say ksk or gsg9, as gign was in charge of their training. They made much more missions, rescued much more hostage and face real terrorist threat several time, including several fierce gun battle in close quarters, or even in jungle for instance. They were the unit which gave advice to handle the mecca hostage crisis, they were the one who entered secured and hostage plane in 1994, who killed armed terrorist last year in France. Their reputation has push the ...more

These French soldiers (the gendarmerie is one of the four components of the French armed forces) are the best in close combat and hostage liberation. Training is the hardest you can get. - CommandoMarine

These guys are heroes.

Best in the world

8 Australian Special Air Service Regiment (Tactical Assault Group-West)

The Australian SASR is one of the best Counter Terrorism units in the world because of their operational support assets, advanced weapons systems and their niche combat skills. These skills are demonstrated annually during Exercise Mercury were the Regiment responses to mock terrorist scenarios across four different states and territories simultaneous.

The Regiment is also responsible for the training of the Indonesian Kopassus in CT tactics and conduct a annual exercise with the Indonesians to improve their CT skills.

Unlike the Canadian JTF2 which has only started it's CT role in 1993, the SASR has been training constantly since 1978. Before an operator is allowed to join the CT Squadron, they must complete a 18 month reinforcement training cycle to qualify as an operator and then must complete a 12 month training cycle and 12 months of deployments before joining the CT Squadron. They training 12 hours a day, 5 days a week and 2 nights a week expanding thousands of ...more

There Aussies that means were hardcore. we wrestle crocodiles and snakes and sell their skin and teeth for a living so watch out!

These guys are badasses that will mess your day up

Easily the best

9 Russian OZNAZ (Alpha Group)

Brutal But bad for hostage rescue. Western special forces aim in a hostage situation is to rescue the hostages OZNAZ's is to kill the terrorists

If your talking about Spetsgruppa ALFA, this unit came from the legendary Soviet "Tunder" group that never failed a mission (not including the cancelled assassination attempt on Boris Yeltsin). Not only do they have one of the most sophisticated equipment in the world (strange for Russian standards), they can operate in almost any environment (they are trained to paradrop, CQB on land, diving group). With only 700 men and brutal/harsh training that lasts 5 years, you could only expect a very professional group.

They are just the best in the world, without doubt. Enough said.
Not, they can kill every terrorist in th e world if they want.

Brutal training

10 Austria's EKO Cobra

EKO Cobra ended a high plane hijacking while the plane was still in the air, allowing for the plain to land safely; and handed over the terrorist to the local authorities. For that they received a decoration by Russian prime minister Putin.

A very professionel and well trained CT-Force. Can be everywhere in Austria within 72 min. They are known for training with the GSG9 and rarely using firearms in operations. Very high-end equipment and gear. definitely one of the best Special Forces Unit in the world.

Like the guy said, EKO Cobra is until this day and probably will for a long time be, the only counter terrorism unit who defeated the terrorists while stil in mid flight.
No American/UK/French/German/etc unit has ever acomplished the same.

The Contenders

11 National Security Guards, India

I am an Australian-Indian, and I can tell you right now, I have NOT seen a single mission profile FAILED with these guys.
No other special forces unit has matched up to that.
Plus, these guys are given top notch training, and money is literally no problem for them.
They get the very best equipment, and they produce the very best performance, no exception.
These guys are easily, without a doubt, in the top 5's, with the SAS and Seal Team Six, and Kopassus!

One of the most bad-ass counter-terror groups in the world. Performed heroically and with superb professionalism in the Mumbai terror attacks of 2008. Criticized for delay in arrival and other things. This unit has come a long way since then.

The best equipped elite fore with more than 5 lacks rupees spend on each commando which includes up to date sub machine guns and other world class accessories.

Second to none, it was specially made for the security of it's Homeland and are doing a marvelous job in that. Never has lost a single missions in it's entire 33 years of service and also going through a multibillion upgrade program to make it more lethal.

12 Dutch Korps Commandotroepen

Highly trained and very intelligent, these guys know how to do their job. Each member is highly trained in their own specialization and general skills. During recent deployment they have shown that they can do every job, from observation, to capturing HVT or conducting search and rescue.

The best trained


13 Philippine Scout Rangers

Philippine scout ranger is one of the most dangerous elite force.

These guys can use their handicraft skills to make their own weapons. They CAN survive the wilderness for months with just a KNIFE. Their skill pays for their lack of equipment. - jnpas

There are the best... Trained even not to eat for 1 week... On the most hostile conditions of the land

They have been boasted as one of the best anti-guerrilla fighters in the world

14 The Reces - South African Special Forces

The South African Recce's (for Recon Commando Units) were the best prior to 1994, when revolutionary elements took over the South African control. Following this take-over the experienced elements of the units migrated out of the SADF to Western alighned nations and their special forces. Today you will find ex-South African Recce's and other special forces members in many of the special forces units of UK, USA, Australia etc.

The recce force is still the best they are not that much part of the normal South African military the recces are an elite group that do mostly under the radar operations now they are in my opinion the best in the world

Toughest there is. Deep cover tactics. Invented the term behind enemy lines. No drama. Still the best. Fear naught but God.

Definitely one of the best units in the world. They are not as famous as the US Seals and the British SAS but it does not mean they are not as good, if not better.

15 Romania's Brigada Antiterorista

These guys are some of the best, definitely. When they had to do their stuff, they did it well.

Surprisingly good for a third world country.

These guys are higly trained, highly disciplined and capable of working under high risks.

16 Serbian PTJ (Anti-terrorist Unit)

Remove kebab

Kosovo war.Criminal of 2015 was fall to much down.

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. 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 ...more - Arijan3000

17 Polish GROM

... Considering the age of the unit - 22 years old - I'd say the progress is amazing and puts it 10 positions higher than what's ranked here

I know that GROM was made in 1990 and I am Polish...

These guys were first in Iraq... Does anybody know?
They Picked up American hostiles with no single shoot... Does anybody know?
Silent and mysterious.

Damn right. One of the best spec-ops unit out there.

18 Tunisian BAT

They never lost one single operation.
They captured 361 terrorists armed with AK-47 and RPG-7 with just 8 man armed with HK-MP5 and M4A1

They didn't kill one single hostage during the negociations with terrorists and during the rescue ops. They are just amazing guys.
Go BAT go.

The best in the business, they caught many Al Qaeda Terrorists and GIA's. Professional guys. The best in Africa

The nightmare of terrorists in north Africa

19 Japanese S.A.T.

Japan knows what its doing. - Carlosgutierrez

I'm counting on Japan.

There are very little terrorist threat in japan - ronluna

Japan will not make the same mistake as the US. - SuperSaiyen312

20 Egyptian Unit 777

One of the best Counter-Terrorism Special forces in the Middle East and the World. It's a branch of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

You think we low in wepans I don't think so we one of the best in the world and most fairness because as other nation loves life we love death for our god and his prophets and county

Most man power in the world

I think that they do too many things to the world against the international terrisom

21 Jordanian SOCOM

Special Operation Command of Jordan have made a huge Anti-Terrorism mission in Saudi Arabia within only half an hour when the authorities there took days without being able to find a way to capture the terrorists without having any deaths in the holy mosque in Meka.

Plus, they have trained special forces from all over the world. - ricolopez

22 Turkish Maroon Berets

They wont all the Special Forces Competitions that NATO used to host, after 4 consecutive years of the Turkish Maroon Berets coming in first place, NATO no longer hosts Special Forces Competitions. Not much is known about The Turkish Maroon Berets, because they are kept out of public eyes, and they don't like to show off like most other special forces units around the world. They hold the world record for fastest bomb diffusion and Lock key!

The only special force in the list which intervenes "real" terrorist attacks on monthly basis (at least) for decades. The other listed ones are just the images from video games and nations' self masturbation. When it comes to the life and death situation we all have seen how "good" were the #9 National Gendarmerie Intervention Group.

Professionals of the highest quality.

Because they attacks the real terrorism (pkk) units.They are real.

23 Pakistan's Anti Terrorist Unit of SSG

Pakistan's SSG is probably the most well trained and nicely equiped unit and it stands among the top 5 anti terrorist units of the world. There training is so hard that more than 60 per cent guys die during the training period. Recently SSG won the CAMBRIAN PATROL by defeating the indian and american teams. SSG can carry out any sort of operation in any part of the entire planet. Ssg is THE BEST.

Have counter operations to their credit since its inception in 1982

They are actually 3rd place in the world - ak103

SSG (Special Service Group) from Pakistan is the best counterterrorism squad.
They are trained to fight in every condition exists on planet...!
They are on front of any operation conducted against terrorism & with the help of Allah Almighty the operations are successful...

24 Denmark Huntsmen Corps

Among the most and best trained special unit in the world, few in numbers but when it comes to objectives and tasks handled, they rival, if not surpas the US Green Berets.

25 Iraqi Special Operations Forces

Not intending to be biased but Iraq Special forces should be ranked at the top as it continuously achieving the highest confirm kills of terrorist in northern and western Iraq.

This Ranking is not fare, The Iraqi Anti terrorism Forces has proven to be the best Trained, Equipped and skilled forces in the world.

This force should be in the top because it destroyed terrorism in Iraq.

This should number 1 - action bigger than words and they proof it, ranking is biased

26 Italian GIS

Dude the GIS have such a high success rate, and they are incredibly exclusive and difficult to join like seriously there are around 200 at a time they just don't have many chances to be used.

GIS is the one of most important italian antiterroritism units and for him importatn role in the european organization of police force

27 FBI Hostage Rescue Team

They train alongside and deploy with Delta Force and other military units. They are also comprised of former military and SWAT guys. They are America's Version of the GSG-9 and GIGN. Truly are one of the best trained Counter Terrorist groups out there.

If you take people hostage, these dudes will come after you

28 Danish Frogman Corps

The Danish Frogman Corps, along with Denmark Huntsmen Corps, is constantly placed takes first place, 2nd place and 3rd place in all contests between special forces all around the world.

Highly trained special corps, who can rival, if not surpass the US SEALs when it comes to training and specialization. Their tasks involve going through artic-terrain and extreme pressure from the nature.

The FROGMEN beats the huntsmen

Good stuff, they are mad

29 Greek Underwater Demolition Command

OYK was deployed during the first Gulf War in 1991, providing assistance for the naval embargo against Saddam Hussein, boarding 217 suspect vessels.

By far best in the world

Many members of the "OYK" teams have graduated successfully from the SEAL school in the US. I think that this fact alone ranks them among the best in the world.

30 Lithuanian ARAS

Small number. Superior Weaponry. One of the fastest reaction force.

Extremely strong men power, secret weapon for western armies

High quality training

Well trained


They deserve to be in the top 5 counter terrorist groups


The gign is one of the best,being part of the french military.

32 Sri Lanka's SF

Sri Lanka's SF (Special Forces) the only army who won the 30 year old war against the most advanced and dangerous terrorist group Tamil Tigers.

Proven, battle hardened and pure dedication. Must be among the bests. Yet its true that the West will not accept this since their forces continues to fail in this domain.

Excellent Counter terrorist force

I think this must be somewhere in top ten as LTTE was a dangerous terrorist group

33 Serbian Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (SAJ)
34 Irish Army Rangers

The Irish Army Ranger Wing has carried out successful counter-terrorism operations in Ireland against the Provisional IRA terrorism organisation, and has been deployed on every continent in the world for the United Nations, European Union and NATO (Partnership for Peace) since 1980. They were deployed in Baghdad, Iraq in 2005 to rescue an abducted Irish citizen (by al-Qaeda terrorists), secured his release and saved his life. They (as of 2015) are currently deployed in Somalia, Syria, Lebanon, Balkans and training African forces to counter the Islamic extremist threat. They are among the premier hostage rescue teams in the world, and train the Irish police tactical intervention team the Garda ERU.

A combination of Rangers/Spec ops and Delta to have them at number 29 is quite funny really :-)

Irish ARW in their "black role" (ie. urban CT warfare) are the best on the planet. Six months selection process and 3/4 years training.

35 Swedish SOG

Extremely underrated.

Europe's best elite speical forces

Best group 100%

36 Croatian ATJ Lucko

Unit has six years of continuous experience (counter-terrorism tasks) in the war against Serbia (1990-1996), and for 18 years the most complex tasks (1996-2013) in the post war period

Retreat is not an option!

37 Indian MARCOS

They are marvelous,.. They should be in top 5

Indian navy proud for it

Indian MARCOS should be in the top 10 list with the seals and SAS. They're armed even better than the NSG and can perform HALO/HAHO jumps with combat load

38 Philippine PNP Special Action Force
39 Albanian RENEA

Best police

40 Mexico's Grupo Aeromóvil de Fuerzas Especiales del Alto Mando

One of the toughest guys in the world. Because they had a rude life on the streets and could succeed where others could hesitate to take part of the event.

Mexicans are the best hands down. No one can compete with that

41 Norwegian Forsvarets Spesialkommando

The SAS operating out of the UK has called their TRAINING a suicide mission. They are extremely well trained and very deadly.


42 MI6 Special Intelligence Service

Rather die for their country

No fail mission, no hostage kill in action and no operative die while in action..

I don't think this accurate blog..sorry to say but kopasus not the best...

44 UK Special Boat Squadron

Let's just say there is a reason it's not as well know than the SAS

45 Tunisian Brigade Nationale d'Intervention Rapide (BNIR)

The invisible squad... they are the team of the tough missions... very effective.

46 Ireland's Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU)

Selection for the ERU is similar to special forces, only 5% pass.

Ireland's Emergency Response Unit (ERU) of the Irish police ("Garda Síochána") is one of the best tactical counter-terrorism special purpose units in the world. They train with the Irish ARW special forces, and have trained alongside the FBI Hostage Rescue Team, British SAS, French RAID & GIGN and German GSG9. The Garda ERU re-trained Norway's Delta Force (as known as "Emergency Response Unit") in the aftermath of the 2011 Anders Behring Breivik terrorist attacks, which left almost 80 dead. Ireland's ERU ensured that Norway's special police units will never be left wanting again. The ERU has killed 5 people since 1998, including three terrorists and hostage-takers. The ERU are a formidable armed fighting force, and have never lost a firefight, earning the nickname "Every Round Used" (ERU). You don't mess with the Irish!

47 Australian 2nd Commando Regiment (Tactical Assault Group - East)
48 Philippines Light Reaction Unit (LRU)

Involved in several successful rescue operation but remained low profile

The best Philippine National Police Anti-Terrorist Unit

49 Tanzania People's Defence Force

But this special force deserve to be in the 30s not 41 position, because I think we consider the number of operations the force has participated and achieve success

This is one among the best special forces with well trained soldiers engaged in different operations.I.E. commoro, Congo, DR, Liberia

One of the best special force in east Africa and all a

50 Somalia Special Forces Alpha Group

They're known for guarding the presidential palace and have the best bomb defusing team in Eastern Africa because they are the sole elite unit remaining for their homeland. Everyone must be able to speak 3 languages and run under 17 minutes the 5K as a basic requirement. These guys are under funded and ill equipped against their number one enemy Al shapoop/shabaab who are supposedly funded by the Mideast mock kingdoms. Yet, Alpha group do best to eliminate cowards of alshaboob.

Not good at all

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