Al Jazeera Blogs


'Crazy response unit'

Afghanistan's counter-terrorism police unit has had a makeover.

Last modified: 25 Apr 2010 10:41
Photo by Gallo/Getty

Our most recent video report from Afghanistan covered the Taliban plots to attack Kabul, which the Afghan government says it has thwarted:

A number of different agencies are involved in these operations.

We filmed at one specialist police headquarters in the capital.

As Al Jazeera reported last year, the Counter Terrorism Police (CTP) suffered a spate of resignations after the presidential elections, because of allegations of political interference.

This unit, an elite force mentored by the New Zealand special forces, is easy to spot. All its men wear black uniforms. Their police cars are also painted black.

The unit has now been reconstituted, and many of the highly trained officers who left the force have been persuaded to return.

The police unit is known for its daring, and the men are often first on the scene after a Taliban attack.

When I visited, I noticed all the black police cars had been repainted. "CTP" has become "CRU."

I asked one of the officers what the new initials stood for. His English was not good.

"Crazy Response Unit," he said.

"The what?" I asked.

"Craziest Response Unit," he seemed to say this time.

It was only when I asked a third time that I realised what he was trying to say. The new unit is called the Crisis Response Unit.