Military Wiki
Recherche Assistance Intervention Dissuasion
Active 1985 – Present
Country  France
Branch French National Police
Type Special Forces
Role Domestic anti-Terrorism and Law Enforcement
Size 168 policemen
Garrison/HQ Bièvres (Essonne)
Nickname(s) RAID, Black Panthers
Motto(s) Servir sans Faillir (To serve without failing)
Mascot(s) Panther

Neuilly hostage crisis
Anti-Action Directe arrests
Anti-GIA operations
2005 Paris Riots

2012 Midi-Pyrénées shootings
Amaury de Hauteclocque[1]
Ange Mancini , Christian Lambert

Recherche Assistance Intervention Dissuasion (Research, Assistance, Intervention, Deterrence) or RAID is, like the GIPN, a special operations tactical unit of the French National Police with more manpower and equipment. It is a nationwide unit, and, as an counterterrorism unit, has an exclusive jurisdiction on the 21 closest Département_in_France of Paris. It is the National Police's primary anti-terrorism unit and the counterpart of the GIGN of the Gendarmerie Nationale. RAID was founded by Robert Broussard and Ange Mancini in 1985, in response to a bombing and murder campaign. Since 2009, RAID is included within The French Police Intervention Force, alongside with GIPN and the BRI of Paris.


  • Counter-Terrorism in coordination with UCLAT: In that case, The RAID can intervene nationwide if the situation is very risky.
  • Hostage Situation
  • Mutiny
  • Arrest of high-profile criminals


On 13 May 1993, a disturbed man named Erick Schmitt, calling himself "HB" (for "Human Bomb", in English), and carrying large quantities of explosives, took 21 children hostage in a school in Neuilly-sur-Seine. Nicolas Sarkozy, mayor of Neuilly at the time, managed to obtain the liberation of several children. He was later put aside of the negotiation process, as he was not a professional negotiator and thus risked interfering with the police forces. After 46 hours, with the hostage-taker falling asleep, members of RAID crept into the school to evacuate the 6 remaining children. Schmitt was shot dead by 3 bullets to the head as he tried to reach the explosives.[2] All the children were safe, as well as their teacher and a nurse.

RAID also arrested members of Action Directe in a more anti-terrorist action.

In 1996, in Roubaix, the unit neutralized a 14-terrorists group tied to the GIA, suspected of several bloody bank robberies, murders and a missed attack against a G7 meeting in Lille. The assault was very violent and resulted in the death of 4 terrorists. 2 RAID operatives were also injured, one by a grenade blast, the other one hit by a bullet in a lung. Christophe Caze, the head of the group, escaped the building in flame but was killed at a Belgium checkpoint during a gunfight with Customs agents. Several days later, thanks to an electronic device found on Caze's body, Fateh Kamel, head of a terrorist cell in Montreal was arrested in Jordan and tried in France.

Recently, RAID operators saw action during the 2005 and 2006 riots in France, as well as in a hostage situation in Versailles, where an armed man was shot dead by RAID operators after coming under attack.

On March 21 and 22, 2012, RAID was in charge to arrest Mohammed Merah, the main suspect of the shooting sprees in Toulouse and Montauban. RAID surrounded the house where Morah was entrenched. After 30 hours of siege, the RAID stormed the house to apprehend Morah who fought back. After a 4 minutes of heavy gunfight, Merah was shot down by a RAID sniper while exiting the building.[3]

RAID is in charge of the protection of foreign dignitaries traveling in France. During special events, the RAID is also in charge of protecting French individuals abroad (For example, the French Delegation during the Olympic Games is under RAID protection during the whole event). Three of its members have died in service.


RAID has a strength of around 180 men and is divided into three main sections with about 60 members each:

  • First Section - The first section deals with the usual tasks of special forces: intervention, monitoring, protection.
  • Second Section - The second section is the Research and Development unit of the RAID. It studies techniques and collects information. This section is divided into three groups:
    • Intelligence Group
    • Technical Group
    • Weaponry Group
  • Third section - The Third section deals with the psychological aspects of the interventions. It is in charge of negotiations and crisis management. It also provides psychological support for the policemen in the unit and in the whole French Police. It is composed of forensic experts, a psychologist and physicians.

The Negotiation group is on permanent alert. It deals with suicides, violent crises, mental disorders, hostage crises and other major troubles, independently from the rest of the RAID. It assesses the dangers of the situation, suggests possible solutions, and helps with the negotiations and the resolution of the crises. If the whole RAID has to intervene, the Negotiations section is used as a reconnaissance unit, and prepares the intervention of the other sections. To join the unit, an officer needs five years duty within the Police Nationale and after passing a thorough test he will serve in the RAID for five years. With a commendation he can expand it further five years. All members must leave the tactical unit after ten years. Officers over forty cannot make an application.


  • Assault Groups
  • Sniper
  • Parachutist
  • Diver
  • Demolition
  • Breaching
  • Group of Research and Information
  • Dog handlers
  • Logistics
  • Negotiators


See also



All the following articles are in French

  • Le RAID, l'ultime recours (RAID, the last resort) by Jean-Louis Courtois published by Crépin-Leblond in 2000
  • Le RAID, Unité d'élite de la Police Nationale publié aux éditions The RAID, an elite unit of the National Police published by Crépin-Leblond in 2005 (DVD included)
  • Le RAID, l'unité d'élite de la Police Française de Jean-Louis Courtois RAID, an elite unit of the French police by Jean-Louis Courtois published by Pygmalion-Gérard Watelet in 1999
  • HB, 46 heures qui ont bouleversé la France de Jean-Pierre About HB, 46 hours that shook France Jean-Pierre About editions Tarcher in 2005
  • Le jour où j'ai tué HB de Daniel Boulanger The day I killed HB Daniel Boulanger Literature published by Hachette in 2007
  • Le RAID en action Hors Série RAIDS n°19 paru The RAID action RAIDS Off Series No. 19 issued in 2005
  • RAID, 20 ans d'action, RAID, 20 years of action, article published in the magazine Commando No. 20 January–December 2005
  • La sélection du RAID, The selection of RAID, article published in the magazine Police Pro No. 8 March–April 2008
  • Le RAID, 20 ans d'opérations, RAID 20 years of operations, article published in the magazine RAIDS No. 233 in October 2005
  • RAID: refuser la fatalité paru RAID: reject the inevitability published in the magazine Police Frequency No. 2 October 1987
  • La police face à l'exception: flics de choc article paru dans le magazine Civic n°53 août-septembre 1995 The police deal with the exception of shock cops article published in the magazine Civic No. 53 in August–September 1995

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).