Special Anti-Terrorist Unit (Serbia)

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Special Anti-terrorist Unit
SAJ emblem.png
SAJ emblem
Active 1978–present
Country  Serbia
Branch MUP
Type Special forces
Role Domestic anti-Terrorism and Law Enforcement
Size 264[1]
Garrison/HQ Batajnica
Nickname SAJ
Current commander Lt. Colonel Spasoje Vulević

The Special Anti-terrorist Unit (Serbian: Специјална Антитерористичка Јединица, CAJ / Specijalna Antiteroristička Jedinica, SAJ) is a special operations and tactical unit of the Serbian Police.


The SAJ was established in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia due to the increasing activity of violent non-state actors in Western Europe that was occurring at the time from such groups as the IRA, ETA, Red Army Faction and the Red Brigades. The unit was founded on 13 May 1978.[2]

The first commander was Franz Kos. Seven months after the founding of the unit, a decision was taken to establish on republic and provincial levels a unit with the same purpose. The Anti-terrorist Unit (Jedinica za antiteroristička dejstva - JATD) of the Republic Secretariat of Internal Affairs - RSUP of SR Serbia was established in Novi Beograd on December 18, 1978.

The first commander of this unit was Miloš Bujenović. The ain tasks of the new unit were to prevent aircraft hijacking, release of hostages, the fight against organized crime and similar. In 1983 units base was relocated to Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport and renamed Units for Special Effects (Jedinica za specijalan dejstva RSUP). In 1991 the unit was again renamed to Special Units (Specijalne jedinice), and its new commander was Radovan Stojičić. On June 1, 1992, the command of Special Anti-terrorist Units (Komanda SAJ) was established, with Živko Trajković as commander. It consisted of Belgrade SAJ under the command of Zoran Simović and Novi Sad SAJ under the command of Branko Ćuričić.[3]

SAJ team descend from Bell 212 helicopter

Publicly known operations[edit]

As well as killings of Kosovo Albanians, SAJ was also involved in "sanitation";[4] bodies were moved to mass graves in Serbia, in an attempt to conceal ethnic cleansing. The Batajnica mass graves, on a SAJ firing range,[5] are estimated to contain between 700[6] and a thousand[7] victims. Dead bodies were brought to the site by trucks from Kosovo; most were incinerated before burial.[8] After the war, SAJ restricted investigators' access to the firing range, and continued live-firing exercises whilst forensic teams tried to investigate the massacre.[9]

  • 1989 - On 27 February 1989 when, during the 1989 Kosovo miners' strike, the most persistent "Stari Trg" 50 strikers barricade on the horizon ninth, (850 m underground). The campaign was launched at midnight, and because they lift a disability, special forces have descended through the fire holes and surprised strikers.
  • 1997 - action against hijacker in Smederevo.
  • 1998 - counter-terrorist operations against the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA); attack on Prekaz and killing of 54 people including Adem Jashari.
  • 1999 - Račak massacre, involving the killing of Kosovo Albanian civilians[10] and nine members of the Kosovo Liberation Army.[11]
  • 1999 - Podujevo massacre. Members of the "Scorpions", attached to SAJ, killed 14 women and children.[12]
  • 2003 - "Operation Sablja" Arresting members of the Zemun organized crime gang.
  • 2007 - Arresting the mass murder in the Jabukovac killings.
  • 2010 - First Belgrade Pride Parade security


SAJ officer

SAJ has four teams: "A", "B", "C" and "D". "Striking force" are teams of "A" and "B" which solve complicated hostage situation, quickly enters into kidnapped airplanes, buses, breaking into barricaded buildings, arresting a dangerous person with guns and criminals. Team C is a specialist and make it: sniper group, underwater diving group, group guide service dogs, the group of engineer for explosive land mines and group for biological and chemical agents (BHS). In executing task A, B and C have coordination team work, as a single entity, a team in which everyone has clearly defined tasks. Team D a protect important persons and objects which is an exposed threats of terrorist attack. Logistical support provided by medical group, the group for the construction and testing of weapons and ammunition, technical and emergency services.[13]

  • Team A - Assault
  • Team B - Assault
  • Team C - Logistics
  • Team D - Support




  1. ^ "Novi odred Žandarmerije sličan JSO" (in Serbian). B92. 24 January 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Naša elita sa tradicijom". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  3. ^ "Специјална Антитерористичка Јединица(Serbian)". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  4. ^ Julian Borger. "Kosovo Albanian mass grave found under car park in Serbia". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "B92 - News - Protected witness on Batajnica mass graves". B92. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  6. ^ http://www.ic-mp.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/icmp-fsd-16-04-2-doc.pdf
  7. ^ Julian Borger. "Kosovo Albanian mass grave found under car park in Serbia". the Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "Vreme 618 - Druga sezona iskopavanja "hladnjaca": Batajnicka arheologija". Nedeljnik Vreme. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Slobodan Mitrovic. "Fresh scars on the body of archaeology, excavating mass-graves at Batajnica, Serbia". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  10. ^ Julius Strauss (30 June 2001). "Massacre that started long haul to justice". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  11. ^ Judah, Tim (2000). Kosovo: War and Revenge. Yale University Press. p. 193. ISBN 978-0-300-09725-2. 
  12. ^ http://www.icty.org/x/cases/djordjevic/tjug/en/110223_djordjevic_judgt_en.pdf
  13. ^ "Komandosi uvek spremni za zestoku akciju". Blic Online. Retrieved 15 November 2014. 
  14. ^ "Moderan "gradski" karabin". Retrieved 15 November 2014. 

External links[edit]