Sniffer Dogs lead the way in war on terrorism

As the world reels from the devastating terrorist attacks in Paris last week, specialist handlers and sniffer dogs are playing a vital role in the fight against terrorism.

In light of the Paris attacks, which claimed the lives of 129 people, a key component of France’s and Britain’s strategy to track down, detain and deter terror suspects has been to deploy specialist dog handlers and explosive detection dogs. 

Less than 24-hours after the Paris attacks, anti-terror police and sniffer dogs were dispatched to locate suspects in Molenbeek, a deprived area in east Brussels. A commune well known for its jihadist and criminal-gang connections, numerous police vans, sniffer dogs and bomb disposal experts closed off a main road before making multiple searches and arrests.

In Britain, where the terror threat level continues to remains ‘severe’, steps have also been taken to beef up our policing effort in the wake of Friday’s attacks. To help keep the public safe, Special Forces and sniffer dogs have been stationed at some of the country’s busiest landmarks and transport hubs. At St Pancras Eurostar Terminal armed police with machine guns and sniffer dogs patrol the concourse, while the number of handlers and sniffer dogs trained to detect explosives has been increased at UK airports, including Gatwick, Heathrow and London City.

Police presence has also been stepped up at high-profile public events. Following the suicide bombers decision to target the France versus Germany match at the Stade de France, specialist counter-terrorism officers, mounted police and police handlers with sniffer dogs created a ‘ring of steel’ around the France vs England match at Wembley Stadium on Tuesday night.

How Detection Dogs help counter terrorism

Sniffer dogs are a low cost, effective way of detecting and deterring terrorist threat. Here’s why:

With up to 300 million scent receptors, dogs can smell up to 10,000 times better than humans, so are well-equipped to sniff out substances from drugs to explosives

Detection dogs can be trained to identify several different explosive compounds, including PETN, C4, Semtex and dynamite. They can also detect explosive device equipment, such as, detonation cord and black powder (gunpowder) fuse 

Dogs can be trained to sniff out the distinctive odour of ammunition and even firearms    

Able to cover a large amount of area quickly, specially trained sniffer dogs are ideal for searching for explosives in airports, shopping centres, theatres and sports grounds, such as Wimbledon and Wembley Stadium. They can also pick up the scent of explosive substances and bomb making equipment in suspects’ homes.

ICTS are a leading provider of highly-trained handlers and detection dogs for private and public operations. For information about ICTS Canine Services and how we can support you with your operations, please contact Jed Marshall our Canine specialist on 0207 874 7576 or email