Latvian security services train for terror attack in Liepāja

On September 29 and 30 Liepāja was the location for a training exercise organized by the State Security Service (VDD) preparing a co-ordinated response in the event of a terrorist attack, a press release from the VDD said October 1.

"On September 29, VDD counter-terrorism experts conducted an informative seminar for the representatives of the Kurzeme region operational services on the actions to be taken at the scene in the event of a terrorist attack. On September 30, the representatives of the operational services had the opportunity to test their theoretical knowledge in practice during a table exercise, during which they had to plan the coordination and deployment of their resources at the scene. Representatives of the services also played a role in co-operating with each other and leading the operation, bringing them as close as possible to action in the event of a real terrorist attack. The table training scenario predicted that a terrorist attack took place during a public mass event, using a combination of attack methods - non-firearms weapons and a vehicle crashing into a crowd," . 

In 2018, the VDD developed guidelines for the actions of the responsible services in the event of a terrorist attack. During the exercise on 30 September, representatives of the operational services tested and improved their readiness to act in accordance with the guidelines. 

It was the first time such an exercise was organized in one of the regions of Latvia. The VDD said it "continues to pay special attention to improving the response and cooperation capabilities of operational services in the regions of Latvia."

Representatives from the Emergency Medical Service, the State Police, the State Fire and Rescue Service, the General Prosecutor's Office, the Liepāja City Municipal Police, the State Border Guard, the National Armed Forces and the Liepāja City Council participated in the training led by the VDD.  

The level of the terrorist threat in Latvia is currently low, and the information available to the VDD does not indicate that it could increase in the near future. At the same time, the terrorist threat remains high in several European countries. Mass gatherings remain one of the main targets of terrorist attacks, the release said.

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