RALF KASSNER is a former special forces member and mission leader of the German anti-terrorist groups GSG9 and SEK. He has instructed and trained with most of the European special teams, to include the GIGN, SAS, Le Raid, GOE, as well as Delta Force, SEAL Team Six, HRT, and more. He is now the CEO of Wodan Security.

SOFREP: You have carried out close protection operations in Nice, how do you regard the recent terrorist attack?

Ralf Kassner: I have operated several times in Nice this year and during my time there we observed several Gendarme and Military operations, especially in the area of the Massena square, a popular tourist location.  During our operational preparation we also came across a number of terror warnings for the Côte D’azur.

The Nice attack is once again a cowardly act that indiscriminately killed innocent people including many women and children.  Tactically, from the terrorist’s viewpoint, the attack was well thought out and executed, targeting the celebrations on a National Holiday.  I emphasise this because as with many other attacks it indicates a high level of preparation by the terrorists.  I also believe that the security forces present in Nice were only able to identify the attack as such fairly late, which made the response extremely difficult.