By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
September 7, 2009
HarperCollins Publishers has published a great non-fiction (and bestselling) book called Brotherhood of Warriors that is, in DefenseReview’s opinion, a must read for anyone interested in Israeli Special Operations, anti-terrorism, counterterrorism, and security operations–or anyone interested in a great read, for that matter. Written by Aaron Cohen and Douglas Century, Brotherhood of Warriors is a real page turner. It tells the rather fascinating story of Aaron Cohen, an American who grew up as a somewhat troubled and rebellious rich kid in posh Beverly Hills, hung out with the Hollywood A-list crowd while going to school with their kids, and then took off for Israel to lead a seemingly non sequitur and highly-dangerous secret life as an elite IDF (Israel Defense Forces) Spec-Operator in an elite Special Operations unit called Sayeret Duvdevan. Sayeret Duvdevan (formal name) is a very interesting Israeli military anti-terrorism/counterterrorism unit that specializes in enemy infiltration, surveillance and targeting, Direct Action, and snatch-and-grab missions in urban environments. Discreet, surreptitious urban warfare and ant-terrorism/counterterrorism operations are their business, and as Brad Pitt’s character Lt. Aldo Raine a.k.a. “Aldo the Apache” says in Inglorious Basterds, business is a boomin’.
After finishing his stint with the IDF (Israeli Army), Cohen would return to Los Angeles to establish his security company, IMS/Security360 (“IMS” standing for “Israeli Military Specialists”), becoming a top-tier anti-terrorism/counter-terrorism training and security specialist, specializing in two disciplines: 1) Executive/VIP Protection for A-list celebrities, corporate executives, and politicians, and 2) Anti-Terrorism/Counterrorism training and Tactical Training for military, law enforcement, and security personnel in Israeli anti-terrorism/counterterrorism, Direct action, and security TTP (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures). Brotherhood of Warriors touches very slightly on this current gun-for-hire chapter in Cohen’s life towards the end of the book, but the bulk of the book is spent on his Israeli military Special Operations work–thus the title.
At this point, I should probably disclose that Aaron has been a friend and professional contact of mine for the last five years, or so. I’ve also trained with him. So, I’m arguably not completely unbiased where he and his company are concerned. I’ve seen his tactical training work firsthand, and it’s superlative. I also like and get a kick out of him, personally, so I can’t help being somewhat biased in his favor. However, if the book weren’t good, I wouldn’t tell our readers to go out and get it. “Brotherhood of Warriors” really is a terrific book, a fun read, and highly informative about a traditionally-secretive Israeli counter-terror unit. If you have any interest whatsoever in that subject matter, I highly recommend it. But don’t just take my word for it. Here’s what General Tommy Franks (ret.) has to say about it in straight-to-the-point fashion: “Riveting. Read this book.” That pretty much sums it up. Listen to the General.
Regarding my training with Cohen/IMS, I attended and participated in the IMS/Security 360 Advanced Israeli Anti-Terrorist SWAT School at Camp Bonneville, Washington in December, 2005. It was a fantastic law enforcement SWAT course. Cohen/IMS had us assaulting structures, shooting from moving vehicles, shooting on the move (I was using a select-fire, full-auto-capable Colt M4 Carbine), popping corners, performing malfunction clearance drills, conducting tactical reloads, and more, all via the Israeli military method/TTP (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures). I recommend this course for any LE SWAT operator or patrol officer that wants to learn the skills necessary for dealing with a terrorist or active shooter immediately and effectively.
I subsequently wrote about the Advanced Israeli Anti-Terrorism/Counterrorism SWAT Course for Tactical Response Magazine, and my article, appropriately titled Israeli Anti-Terrorist SWAT School, was published in the March 2007 issue of the print version of the magazine. You can see some of the course activities in the accompanying photos if you click on the above article link.
On a side note, Mr. Cohen and his company’s services have become so ubiquitous in Hollywood that the HBO show Entourage featured him and his company’s celebrity-protection/security services in their latest episode, The Sorkin Notes (Episode #74). Unfortunately, Cohen didn’t play himself. That job went to eccentric character actor Peter Stormare. In the episode, Stormare, playing Mr. Cohen in high-octane, no-bullshit fashion, turns fictional actor/movie star Vincent Chase’s house into a veritable fortress and drills him and his gang in emergency action procedures, in case said fortress gets breached. You can catch Entourage Sunday nights on HBO.
Photo/Image Credits: Image 1&2: HarperCollins. The top right image (Image 1) is the cover of the hardcover version of the book, and the middle-left image (Image 2) is the cover of the softcover version. Image 3 (Bottom Right): IDF Counter-Terror School.
Company Contact Info:
10 East 53rd Street
New York, NY 10022
IMS CT School / Security 360
Counter-Terrorist Training and Security Services
269 South Beverly Drive, Ste 987
Beverly Hills, CA 90212