Special Operations and Counterterrorist
of the Interior
Units of the DGSN (National Security General
URS, Unités Républicaines de Sécurité – Republican Security Units
These are units initially tasked with duties as
public order enforcement and the protection of sensible
sites. Because of the terrorist threat, they were
forced to adapt and to transform themselves into rapid
intervention & CT units. Men should take into
notice that before 1992-93, there were no units
effectively specialised in CT missions.
The URS main complex and command center is situated
at the El Hamiz barracks in Algiers. The URS count
app. 45 operational units; i.e. almost 1 operational
unit for each geographical department (= wilaya).
Each unit is organised into 4 Intervention and 1 Command
& Support Section.
URS Command has also the responsability over the
SCAP – Central Service for Pyrotechnical Activities
(= bomb squad), whose mission is to dispose of explosive
devices and mines.
In the course of the years, and with the experience
gained in fighting terrorism, such missions were passed
to other Police services, specially created for that
BMPJ, Brigades Mobiles de la Police Judiciaire – Judicial Police Mobile Brigades
SCRB, Service Central de Répression du Banditisme
– Crime-Fighting Central Service
Units of the DCST (Directorate for the Co-ordination
of Territorial Security)
DCST’s Special Group
Counter-Intelligence service of the Ministry of
(The main CI agency in Algeria is the DRS).
of National Defense
Units of the Gendarmerie Nationale
The Gendarmerie Nationale is a paramilitary corps.
DSI, Détachement Spécial d’Intervention – Special Intervention Detachment
Assault & Rapid Intervention unit.
– Special Brigade
Also named ‘Brigade 127’.
– Republican Guard
Elite corps of the Gendarmerie, responsible
among other duties for the protection of the President
in a broad perspective, and for the protection of
presidential resorts. Acts also as Honor Guard.
Units of the DRS (Research & Security Directorate)
The DRS is the main Intelligence agency, tasked
with internal security, counter-intelligence, military
security and intelligence gathering missions. Very
few sources of information are available on the DRS
or on its organisation. Known sub-units are:
Special Unit of the Service Action
Tasked with sensitive missions at different levels.
Similar units are subordinated to others sub-directorates
of the DRS (like CI).
GIS, Groupe d’Intervention Spécial – Special Intervention Group
Created at the end of the 1970s, its existence
was kept secret for a long time, until a Second Lieutenant
of this unit killed President BOUDIAF at Annaba, on
June 29, 1992, where the GIS was backing-up the Presidential
Despite this event, the unit remains wrapped in
secret. It is known that the GIS participates efficiently
and successfully in many CT-missions, especially in
Algiers, where it is based. There is also a facility
at Blida, 50 km of Algiers.
Due to the organisation of the Algerian Armed
Forces, where the distinction between Ground, Air
and Naval Forces is relative, the military special
forces of the three arms operate with eachother, sharing
training facilities. The Air Force provides the aircraft
and helicopters for the operations of other branches
of the Armed Forces. The school at Biskra is long
known for its training of all the three branches’
Based at different places in Algeria. Sometimes
participating in CT operations in co-ordination with
other types of special units. These units are formed
at Boughar, Medea Wilaya, 75 km SW of Algiers.
The ‘Special Troops’
Include the Airborne forces, the air assault and
reconnaissance units and some specialised assault
and combat groups (of which the names remain somewhat
A well-known unit is the 18° Régiment Parachutiste
Commando (Special Force Airborne Regiment), trained
and formed at the Special Troops Implementation School
at Biskra, 330 km SE of Algiers.
Naval Units (Marine Nationale)
The Navy’s Special Forces include 1) the so-called
Marine Fusiliers and 2) the Offensive (Combat) Divers.
Both are trained at the school of Jiel, 250 km E.
Air Force Units
The Special Forces of the Air Force are the ‘Air
Commando Fusiliers’, seemingly similar to the Airborne
units, but in fact only airmobile. Act as security
and protection force for the Air Force sites/bases.
These troops are trained at the CIFA (‘Air Forces
Instruction Center’) at Mechria, 485 km SW of Algiers.
For more information on Algeria,