Aaron Cohen (counterterrorist)

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Aaron Cohen
Born (1976-02-28) 28 February 1976 (age 40)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Allegiance  Israel
Service/branch Badge of the Israel Defense Forces.svg Israel Defense Forces
Years of service 1995–1998
Rank Staff Sergeant (סמל ראשון (סמ"ר
Unit Duvdevan Special Forces Counter-Terrorist Unit
Other work writer, director, actor, author, private military contractor, security consultant, news commentator

Aaron Cohen (born 28 February 1976) is an Israeli-American writer, director, actor, author and former Duvdevan Special Forces operator specializing in counter-terrorism and best known for his international bestselling memoir Brotherhood of Warriors.[1]

Early life and Israeli special-forces[edit]

Cohen was born to a Jewish family in Montreal, Quebec.[2] His parents divorced when he was young and the family moved to Miami where his mother believed she could advance her career as a screenwriter and producer.[2] She remarried to film producer Abby Mann, and moved Aaron and his sister to Beverly Hills.[2] Although raised in a non-religious household, he pressured his mother to let him get a bar mitzvah and moved to Montreal with his natural father for a year; and then spent the next several years shuttling between California, Canada, and Florida.[2] He attended Robert Land Academy, a military academy in Canada, for high school.[2] After high school, Cohen left Los Angeles for Israel, working on a kibbutz before enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces. After a grueling tryout process known as a “gibush”, Cohen was one of the few non-Sabra volunteers accepted into the elite ranks of the Israeli Special Forces.[2] In the mid-1990s, he became a member of the secretive undercover Sayaret (commando) unit known as Duvdevan, (Hebrew: דובדבן‎‎; lit. cherry) a counter-terrorist unit that runs missions targeting wanted terrorist suspects in the occupied territories of the West Bank, often while dressed as Palestinian Arabs.[3]

Post military[edit]

After his service, Cohen returned to Los Angeles and launched IMS Security Consultants, Inc., a Hollywood VIP protection service that has done security work for Hollywood actors, VIPs, rock stars and dignitaries.[4] IMS has also been a leading tactical training firm in offering Israeli-style counter-terrorist and “active shooter” training to members of local, State and Federal law enforcement, SWAT teams and the U.S. military Special Forces.[5] Cohen frequently appears as a national security analyst on various major news networks.

Film and television[edit]

Cohen has appeared in numerous films including End of Watch, Haywire and Get the Gringo. In Haywire, he was tapped by director Steven Soderbergh to serve as the film's technical advisor and tactical weapons trainer prepping actors Channing Tatum, Gina Carano and Michael Fassbender for their roles as well as consulting on the script.

In 2013 Cohen wrote, directed, and co-starred in the short action war film Overwatch, a war drama about post traumatic stress disorder and the high emotional price paid by American special operations soldiers who carry out dangerous and complex missions. [6]

He is the stepson of the American filmmaker Abby Mann.[7]


Aaron Cohen’s first book, Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in one of the World’s Most Elite Counterterrorism Units, coauthored with journalist and best-selling author Douglas Century, was published by Ecco Press in April 2008. The book is now available in six languages.

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]