The September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centre in 2001 exposed an entire nation to horrors of terrorism like they had never seen before. Unfortunately, acts of terrorism on both a large and small scale remain a threat to the United States and the rest of the world. Hostage situations, bombings and assassinations are only a few more examples of terrorist acts that need to be defended against. Thankfully, specially trained counter-terrorism dogs are working day and night to help defend against the threat of terrorism.
The most important part of defending against terrorism is prevention. With their keen sense of smell, canine units can aid considerably in the early detection of explosives or weapons. Bombings are the single most commonly used terrorist tactic throughout the world. Most people are familiar with the sight of a dog sniffing out a plane’s cargo for explosive material before it goes on board, but routine inspection for such harmful devices also occurs in many other places such as government offices, political venues and even concert halls. Preventing terrorism also involves preventing terrorists from obtaining many potentially devastating devices such as nuclear arms or chemical weapons. Guard dogs play an important role in safe-guarding enriched uranium stock-piles and chemical research facilities to prevent the wrong materials from falling into the wrong hands.
Of course, while prevention is incredibly important, not all situations can be prevented. Counter-terrorism dogs are trained to act fast in a dangerous situation. A well-trained German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois can disarm a would-be assassin faster than any human body-guard.