Top 10 Best Elite Counter-terrorism / Special Purpose Units

The Top Ten
1 United Kingdom S.A.S.

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.

I have to say the S.A.S is the best. It's easier to getting in the U.S. NAVY SEALS and graduating. In reality Americans have no idea at the out break of WWII the U.S. had no special forces. The. U.S. Rangers and Airborne did not exist and the nation that trained them is Great Britian. An ironic slap in the face for Americans.

The first and best special forces in the world. All other special forces were based on their standards in the beginning. But they didn't stop to raise the standards since its inception.

Fact - Nearly all the world's special forces units are based on the British SAS model. This includes the USA. The SAS have 3 regiments, one regular army and two reserve.

2 United States DEVGRU (SEAL Team Six)

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.

I am 100% sure that they are the best team.. They recruit not only the fit ones, but the fittest ones. Because of that, they were able to kill even the ghost (Bin Laden). They have more experience/techniques than any other special forces in the work.

These seals are the best of the best and no one can compare to there expertise in rescuing hostages, tactical assaults, and assassinations. These guys are both overrated and extremely underrated by a lot of anti-Americans.

These guys rescued hostages, terminated Osama Bin Laden. They're smart, very fit and have smart fighting techniques that pulverize terrorists.

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

To become a U.S. Navy Seal you only have to go through B.U.D.S to be qualified. Where as to become a part of Delta Force, you have to spend 5 years in the U.S. Army Rangers or Green Beret and have combat experience. On top of that, Delta is so top secret that the U.S. government does not recognize their existence. And finally, I'm tired of hearing people say that Seals are the best because they can operate in sea, air, and land. Delta does too, and just to give some perspective on their missions, Seals are sent in only if it is water infil and extract where as delta goes in if it is anything else.

By far the most respected and mysterious force in our military. They recruit only the best from SEALs, Marines Force Recon, 75th Rangers, and special forces units. SEALs are like the Marines, all over T.V. and the news but the guys doing high level stuff today usually don't make the headlines or have commercials all over cable.

Delta force doesn't deserve spot five on this list they should be 3 at the very least. delta force has rough training but keep in mind they recruit from the navy seals making them the best of the best. there is no reason delta force is below the navy seals, SAS or YAMAN other than people don't know there facts and they just assume that the navy seals are more elite becuase they have a reputation. but why doesn't delta force?

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...

4 Isreali Matkal / Shayetet 13 (YAMAN)

Israel has had thousands of years of experience in warfare and combat. That's something the US nor Great Britain don't have. They train our SEALS. Their fighting system called Krav Maga is by far the best fighting system I have ever encountered. It is aggressive, effective, and deadly. Their advanced technology is truly incredible. The Iron Dome, the Tavor, and the UZI are prime examples of Israel's superior knowledge in weaponry. The fact that Israel is surrounded by enemies and yet suffers small causalities while their enemies suffer IDF's wrath says it all. It is as my friend stated, "Israel would most likely be in control of the entire Middle East if it wasn't for the UN." The Israeli YAMAM deal with with terrorism encounters on a daily basis. This, along with their intense training, tech, superior fighting skills, and prolonged experience makes them the best of the best.

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.

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

Israel stands in a sea of insurgency and still manages to survive and prosper. This is a testament to the prowess of their counter terrorists.

5 Germany's GSG9 / KSK

When you face them in daily. You'll find them seems has no lungs, no fear, no doubt, no feels of sorrow. They will kill anybody easily for their country.

They well trained, exceeds any other human limitation...

They're identical with red. Their red beret, red striped on their camo, means they're ready to sacrifice their blood as their honor..

Greetings, I am an observer of special forces, judging rationally and the reality that the Indonesia people themselves do not know the privileges of the secretive elite units. By the standards of the world only knowing, Kopassus is the Indonesian elite, but it is necessary to note that within the Kopassus unit itself which has the right capability above the world elite average, and has multi-functional expertise ie, Detachment 81 or which was nicknamed "Den 81" or Gultor 81. Thus the conclusion, KOPASSUS should be the world's best Elite Forces (king of kings over kings), or number 1. (Efrizal Tanjung).

The German ksk and gsg9 are two completely different units. the ksk is comprised of elite soldiers from the bundeswehr, and the gsg9 is an elite police unit. the gsg9 executed more than 1500 missions, but in only 5 of them, had to make use of firearms.
Members of the ksk are frequently asked to join counter terrorism missions together with the SAS and the Seals. the ksk has received numerous decorations from NATO and is with no doubt one of the top units in the world.

They not just trained, but also battle hardened with countless operation through out Indonesia and abroad. Even SAS learned a thing or two from these guys. They keep practicing together with the known world best Special Forces such as Navy Seals, British SAS and so on.

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

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.

Never Failed a mission, Can sneak into your house at night and can place a sticker on your hand. I don't know how these guys are not #1

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.

Also known as GIGR.
France is a great country in fighting against terrorism, they know what does it means, unfortunately.

These guys are heroes.

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

Aussie SAS every bit as good as their UK counterparts. Not sure if they still mentor Kopassus (Indonesian Army SF) but they used to..they would be nothing without training and advice in CT from SASR. Aussie SAS were first troops to cross into Iraq in 2003, as confirmed by George W Bush to Aust PM John Howard. They had the Western Desert under control within a few days. Outstanding efforts of Aussie SAS in Afghanistan has resulted in award of countless medals for heroism including two VC's. Not bad for a country that has a military force outside the worlds top ten in size and expenditure.

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

Easily the best

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

9 Russian OZNAZ (Alpha Group)

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.

I think Alpha Group is one of the best. If not, the best simply because they have no limits or law to restrict them. All Tier 1 Units are pretty much the same in terms of effectiveness in their role, but the difference comes with what they can get away with.

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

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.

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

They are not even regular army special forces, they are a counter terrorism unit and the very best in the world. Only 19 casualties in 30 years since their inception, countless impossible missions completed by them with ease and they also showed their mettle in the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Though I believe the regular Indian special forces (paratroopers, marcos, garuds) should be in the top 5.

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!

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.

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.

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

They are the best in Asia! They have gone through many wars in history. As General Douglas McArthur said, "Give me ten thousand Filipinos and I shall conquer the world." --during the Korean War. Their skill in jungle warfare is superb.

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.

They can track down anyone in the jungle and they are highly skilled lads, even if it's on close combat.

This guys gone through 6 months of hell. Their training is deadly as your mother got angry because of your math s test score

14 The Reces - South African Special Forces

Although a cliche the training regime of the SA Recces is extremely though. Definitely tougher than the Seals, but on par with British SAS and US Green Team (Seal Team 6) training. In my opinion, and this is just considering what is required from these special OPS, the British SAS, South African Recces (SAS) and US Seal Team 6 are top notch. Also worth mentioning Shayetet 13, South Australian Special Regiment (SASR) are right up there. No doubt the Rangers are tough as nails but someone please tell me why people go on about Rangers when most of the time they work hand-in-hand with ordinary foot soldiers.

Strange list at one time the "Recces", The South African Special Forces were considered the best in the world when it came to bush warfare during the Angolan where they were fighting the Angolans, Cubans and Soviets and their selection process was reputed to be the toughest in the world. Then you also had the ex Rhosesian SAS and Selous Scouts from Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) a force that no longer exists, though I will still rate the South Africans in the top ten. If not, the top five?

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.

Isolated up to 2000km behind enemy lines with packs up to 130kg, these guys statistically only had a 20% chance of long term survival when deployed at the height of the war due to the nature and frequency of deployments during the war. You don't get any tougher than these guys.

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)

Not only do they look cool, but during Serbia's darkest times they fought on the battlefield against wholescale rebellions, NATO "Peacekeepers", and, of course, terrorism.

17 Polish GROM

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

... 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

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

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

18 Tunisian BAT

They are the absolute best counter-terrorism unit on the entire planet.

They terminated the Bardo National Museum deadly attack in no time, who can top that? Even US S.W.A.T can't do it.

They are the worlds best trained and most effective special forces / anti terrorist group with limited resources. Amazing team.

They are the Best in Africa, they killed a lot of terrorist without killing hostage.

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

19 Japanese S.A.T.

Japan will not make the same mistake as the US.

Most disciplined soldiers in the world.

Japan knows what its doing.

Why didn't 9/11 happen in Japan?

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.

21 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.

22 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.

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.

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...

Have counter operations to their credit since its inception in 1982

24 Iraqi Special Operations Forces

Iraq has one of the best special forces in the world.
Equipped with American weapons and communication gear the Iraqi Special Forces have been ranked by the U. S military advisor as one of the best in the world.

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.

25 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.

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