FBI, This Week: 35th Anniversary of the Hostage Rescue Team
January 18, 2018
Federal law enforcement’s only full-time tactical counterterrorism unit—the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team—celebrates its 35th anniversary.
Mollie Halpern: Federal law enforcement’s only full-time tactical counterterrorism unit—the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team—celebrates its 35th anniversary.
FBI agents undergo a competitive selection process to become part of the elite Hostage Rescue Team, or HRT. In its history, only about 350 agents have ever been accepted to the team.
Section Chief David Sundberg says the HRT is operationalized more than ever before because the team’s capabilities are expanding.
David Sundberg: No one outside of the military can bring to bear the specialists and the resources that today’s Hostage Rescue Team can bring forward, and that is why the Hostage Rescue Team was created.
Halpern: Despite its name, the Hostage Rescue Team is deployed for more than rescuing hostages. Its missions include responding to complex terror attacks and major criminal incidents. Since its inception, HRT has responded to 900 events at home and overseas in all kinds of conditions and environments. In 2013, for example…
Sundberg: We responded to the remote mountains of Idaho to rescue a teenage girl whose family had been killed and she had been kidnapped and taken there, and later in the year we were able to capture the only surviving Boston Marathon bomber.
Halpern: HRT often works in partnership with the FBI’s SWAT teams as well as local and state law enforcement. Learn more about HRT at www.fbi.gov. With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.
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