Pub. date: 2002 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412950664 | Print ISBN: 9780761922582 | Online ISBN: 9781412950664| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Jonathan R. White
The term counterterrorism refers to any number of methods used to prevent or react to terrorism. Some specialists also use the word antiterrorism to describe security measures used to combat terrorism. Such measures may include installing security devices and cameras, establishing security zones with guards, screening people who enter a secured area, and building physical barriers around secure areas. These practices are called target hardening. Counterterrorism can also be used to describe procedures security forces put into effect to protect facilities or dignitaries. Protection teams provide security for a potential target. The U.S. Secret Service performs this type of function when protecting the president. Specialized units designed to counterattack terrorists often augment protection teams. They are called counter attack teams (CAT). Another type of counterterrorist unit is designed for offensive fighting. This type of unit is used to rescue hostages or to destroy terrorist bases. Both CAT teams and offensive ...