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Wackenhut Creates an Anti-Terrorist Division

September 10, 1986|Associated Press

MIAMI — Wackenhut Corp. announced Tuesday the creation of an anti-terrorism division headed by former agents of the FBI, CIA and State Department.

The director of the new division said it will not provide "rent-a-commandos" but will provide training on how to survive a terrorist attack.

The anti-terrorism and crisis management division will be for hire to advise corporations or governments, said Richard R. Wackenhut, president of the international security firm.

"This is a new corporate division to deal not only with the threat of terrorism but with a major industrial accident, hostage taking or any other crisis facing an organization," said Wackenhut, whose firm is based in Coral Gables, Fla.

He said the new division will seek customers from among the company's 15,000-member base of clients as well as from the United States and unnamed foreign governments.

"We are aiming at some U.S. government contracts," said Conrad V. Hassel, the director of the new division, which is based in Reston, Va.

Hassel served as chief of special operations for the research unit of the FBI for part of his 23-year career with that agency.

"There's no way we're going to be rent-a-commandos," Hassel said. "We're not going to put a force together to storm any airplanes."

Joining Hassel are Christian F. Frederick, a 30-year veteran of the CIA, and Christopher A. Ferrante, formerly a special agent with the U.S. Department of State specializing in Latin American and Caribbean counties.

Embassy security is one potential marketplace, Hassel said, adding that Wackenhut already posts guards at five U.S. embassies.

"We will try to instruct them how to survive over there, but we're not going to train them how to become 'Rambos' and kick their way out of a room," he said.

He said the new division will provide training for clients and their families who might be targets of terrorism. Training is to include discussions by former hostages, he said, and focus on psychological preparedness, such as teaching potential victims to humanize themselves in the eyes of their captors.

"The terrorists are reacting against a symbol of what they are fighting against," he said. "Once you become human, it becomes damn hard to kill you."

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