Aaron Cohen (counterterrorist)

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Aaron Cohen
Born (1976-02-28) 28 February 1976 (age 45)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Allegiance Israel
Service/branchBadge of the Israel Defense Forces.svg Israel Defense Forces
Years of service1995–1998
RankStaff Sergeant (סמל ראשון (סמ"ר
UnitDuvdevan Special Forces Counter-Terrorist Unit
Other workwriter, 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 soldier specializing in counter-terrorism and best known for his international bestselling memoir Brotherhood of Warriors.[1]

Early life and education[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, moving with Aaron and his sister to Beverly Hills.[2] Although raised in a non-religious household, he decided to study for his Bar Mitzvah and obtaining his mother's permission, moved to live with his father in Montreal for a year. He then spent the next several years shuttling between California, Canada, and Florida.[2] For secondary school he attended the Robert Land Academy, a military academy in Canada,[2] and graduated Beverly Hills High School in 1995.[3]

Israel and military service[edit]

After high school, Cohen left Los Angeles for Israel, working on a kibbutz before enlisting in the Israel Defense Forces. After passing the consolidation, a demanding screening process for elite unit candidates, Cohen was one of the few non-Sabra volunteers accepted.[2] In the mid-1990s, he became a member of the undercover Duvdevan Unit (Hebrew: דובדבן; lit. cherry) of the IDF Commando Brigade, performing counter-terror operations targeting suspects among the Palestinian Arab population in the West Bank.[4] Aaron Cohen also worked for the Mossad in their covert black operations during his time serving in the Israeli Special Forces.[citation needed] He has stated his belief in Zionism and has said his family has a strong Jewish identity.[5]


After his service, Cohen left Israel for Los Angeles and founded IMS Security Consultants, Inc., a Hollywood VIP protection service that has done security work for Hollywood actors, VIPs, rock stars and dignitaries.[6] IMS Security Consultants recently changed their name to Cherries Counter-Terror School and is a leading tactical training firm offering Israeli Special Forces style counter-terrorist and "active shooter" training to vetted members of local, State and Federal law enforcement as well as police SWAT teams and the U.S. military Special Forces.[7]

Film and television[edit]

Cohen has appeared in numerous films including End of Watch, Haywire and Get the Gringo. In Haywire, he was assigned 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 a 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.[8]

He is the stepson of the American filmmaker Abby Mann.[9]


Aaron Cohen's 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 has been translated into six languages.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cohen, Aaron; Century, Douglas (28 April 2009). Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in One of the World's Most Elite Counterterrorism Units: Aaron Cohen, Douglas Century: 9780061236167: Amazon.com: Books. ISBN 978-0061236167.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Brotherhood of Warriors By Aaron Cohen and Douglas Centur Harpercollins.comy
  3. ^ Shuman, Phil (10 October 2002). "Security—Israeli Style". Jewish Journal of Los Angeles. Retrieved 1 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Fearing a third intifada, the IDF's elite undercover unit steps up its training". The Times of Israel.
  5. ^ "Aaron Cohen: Soldier, Actor, Writer, Spy". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. 11 September 2019.
  6. ^ Jo Piazza. "Celebs shell out big bucks for security". CNN.
  7. ^ "Montgomery Police Department's SWAT Team Learns Israeli Tactics". Wsfa.com.
  8. ^ Aaron Cohen (11 April 2013). "Overwatch Official Trailer – YouTube" – via YouTube.
  9. ^ Martin, Douglas. "Abby Mann, 'Nuremberg' Screenwriter, Dies at 83". The New York Times.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]