I never expected the reaction that I got on these books. When I started typing the first Mean Streets Book in 2012 I did so to leave a story behind, to tell the truth as I saw and experienced it. The time was right for me, I left the Police force 21 years previously, I learned and grow since then, and I could look back dispassionately or so I thought, I was wrong. The more I wrote the more I realised the lies, the untruths, half truths and the utter nonsense since then. The problem was that if something is not challenge, in law, it stands and so history is rewritten. Through the years, since Apartheid ended officially in 1994, a lot was written about the South African Police Force (SAP), the country’s National Police Force. Not all of the books were true to facts and many with a clear left-wing liberal political motive behind them. Many “anti” books were published, especially by the mainstream publishing houses and although they have a function and fulfilled a financial need, the Mean Streets Series is not like that. This is a story of a man, a junior officer that grew up in Apartheid South Africa and joined the Police at age 18 with the specific purpose to serve, to hunt criminals and terrorists and to kill them if needs be. He would go on to become an attorney at one of the most famous human rights law firms in Africa. A mesmerizing story. For those that were not members of the SAP between 1985 – 1991, and most were not, this is the closest you will ever get to see the world from the policemen’s viewpoint: “Makes the world of a policeman come to life. Brilliant expose of what it really feels like to have been part of the SAP during the years of apartheid. The author is painstakingly honest about his emotions and experiences during that time. A must read...” is one reviewer’s remarks. “Outstanding book, 1 of 3 on the SAP by this author... Genuine honest look from the inside by one who was there, did that, got the T-shirt and all the rest” said another. “These books provide an entertaining glimpse into not only the world of Law Enforcement but also into a department which has been under media attack for decades. Of course Apartheid was a terrible and racist system, and the police enforced those very laws, but the author does an excellent job in explaining the reasons behind this in a clear and concise manner. If you try to understand ANYTHING from the police point of view, the author's reasoning will answer some tough questions. The series is informative, funny, entertaining and a series I enjoyed reading...” wrote a former NYPD officer.
The various Mean Streets Books were read by many, criticized by some and loved by a lot more as an eyeopener to that closed world. The South African Police Force had almost nothing in common with a Sheriff's Department or the “Bobby on the Beat” – think Marines with police powers and you are closer to the truth. The highly-trained policemen were fighting terrorists as mechanized infantry besides dealing with “normal” crime in between. The statistics show that most of the terrorists were killed by the South African Police Force, not the Army, during South Africa’s Border War. 98% of all terrorists inside South Africa died by police bullets. The Police likewise had a decade more experience in counterinsurgency, learning their trade during the Rhodesian Bush War. Their daily duties involved dealing with vicious and brutal crime, counterterrorism, counterinsurgency and full-scale riots, depending on where they were. The Mean Streets Book Series is a warning. The books will show you what happens when unscrupulous politicians gain control of a highly-disciplined Police Force and there is no “Bill of Human Rights” to stop them from implementing the country’s laws. No matter how unfair the laws may be or no matter what opposition is faced, these police officers will not turn a blind eye or walk away. They will react in kind every time and violently if provoked or not. They were feared with good reason - they were brutally effective and true to their traditions. Yet they also showed kindness and saved life at times. The Series is an account of the author's basic training and six-year career in the South African Police Force between 1985-1991, the years before Mr Nelson Mandela was released and the changes came. It is not merely a police biography but an intense look at how an honourable Police Force became an “Instrument of Terror” mostly because of politics way above the policemen’s pay grade. Funny, and insightful with much history and background explanations. Everyone that reads the Mean Streets Books take something away. At times you laugh, at times you cry, and sporadically you shake your head, absolutely worth reading according by most.
Terrorism is never static. It evolves all the time as one side tries to gain the upper hand over the other and in open conflict, where the terrorist makes a stand, he is usually annihilated by the Security Forces, it is never a good tactic unless the terrorism phase becomes a conventional phase but then it is not strictly speaking terrorism anymore. Terrorism also moves around the world. Without the religious or political changes or compromises that started the terrorism or the insurrection, depending, the war is never ending and may carry on for decades. This means that the counterterrorism operative should be able to operate in any environment where the terrorist is to be found, from the African bush to the Middle East to your own cities – that is the nature of the beast. In October 2017, Donald J Trump, 45th US President, said: ““We are decimating ISIS in the Middle East. What’s happening is, they’ll go to parts of Africa, they’ll go to other places. When they get there, we meet them. It’s a dangerous business. It’s a tough war. We’re beating ISIS very badly.”
The President’s statement came as no surprise to the author, a sub-Saharan Africa counterterrorism expert, that predicted that in 2013 already. The problem is that Africa has never been important to the West. I dedicated an entire chapter here on why the West is not getting the intelligence they need. It is the big unknown and yet, within Africa and the Middle East, you will find 80% of the radicals. The rest are hiding in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Wherever the War on Terror is being won, as Mr Trump noted, the threat moves away and mostly into Africa, the new battleground. The West will follow but don’t think for one moment that the fighting will be easy. Africa is like no other theatre in the world and the West in no way capable. Yet, the answers on how to conduct successful counterterrorism and counterinsurgency operations in Africa are available. You only have to read the fictionalised George M James Series of Books (www.georgemjames.com) and you will know more than any Western War College professor.
The enemy has the same problems as you, no advantage or disadvantage. The terrain is neutral, remember that - “The Jungle is Neutral” is a book written by Spencer Chapman, a man who fought behind enemy lines against the Japanese during World War Two. He did not achieve much except to show it could be done and that was probably his most important legacy, ending the war as a lieutenant colonel and awarded the coveted DSO on top of his Polar Medal. Chapman was one of those schoolmasters which only Pommies can produce, a decent education at Cambridge University and a sense of adventure second to none, from mountain climbing to polar expeditions to Special Forces in the War. His other claim to fame is that he once taught Prince Phillip, later to be married to the current Parasite and still around. When the British Special Air Service got themselves recreated during the Malayan Crisis with Rhodesian help, this book became the manual for all jungle operations, you can read it, it is available on Amazon. Essentially Colonel Chapman said that the theatre you operate in is the same for the enemy, the bastards too have to adapt and hence it is neutral, you can abuse it to suit you. We wholeheartedly included the concept of being able to work in the African bush better than anyone else, based on his philosophies. It was not that simple as it sounds though. Not everyone grew up on a farm in Africa, most had to learn the skills which means anyone can learn it with enough training. Being part of the veldt and listening to the signs is what we do. There is no logical reason why an American soldier, an outdoorsman and “Indian” fighter back in the day, will not be able to abuse any terrain as much as the enemy do and more. It is just proper training and outlook.
Numerous counterinsurgency wars took place in sub-Saharan Africa since the 1950s. The author, as part of the South African Police Force COIN Units in the 1980s touched this subject briefly in his autobiography, Mean Streets – Life in the Apartheid Police. What should be fascinating to the reader is how the terrorists and the Security Forces evolved through the years, countering each other. This book is a comparative study of the history of terrorism operations starting with the Kenya Uhuru. Then the Rhodesian Bush War and lastly the South African Border War as well as counterterrorism operations inside the country. All had highly successful outcomes for the Security Forces and all were lost at another level. Like the US Army in Vietnam, the wars would be lost at the negotiation table far away from the theatre. Yet, the lessons learned are still extremely valuable and appealing to the student of war. Particularly the chapter on why Western Intelligence Agencies are failing in sub-Saharan Africa is important – nothing has changed. Unless you know who to attack, you will, as is happening right now, kill 2 innocents for every terrorist that dies. That is bad for counterterrorism, extremely bad and creates more terrorists by the hour. Then, it is known that drones fail to hit their intended target 96.5% of the time, and it is that pathetic because of a lack of clear intelligence. Nor is it believed here that the US Army is good enough to train anyone in Africa, the knowledge is just not there and since Mogadishu, it is believed that the US Army will run for home as soon as the body bags arrive. That is Bill Clinton’s legacy on counterterrorism, he owns that perception, wrong as it is. Nevertheless, you need to know what you are doing, or you will die. To find out how you look at history, you see what worked and what did not work. In addition to the GMJ Books mentioned, this is a book that must be read as background before deployment takes place.
Many times, when you have the good fortune to look at a problem objectively from the side, you see more clearly than those right inside the problem. Thus, it was easy for me to see what was happening, there is no terrorist threat where I live, yet, some may want to argue the point relating to white farmers being murdered but that is crime, not terrorism, in my view. It stays though highly regrettable that we live in perilous times where terrorist attacks are a fact of life if you live in the USA or Western Europe, but, of course, they can happen anywhere. At the end of the say, it does not matter whether the attack is from radicals, Muslim or Christian or Atheist, or the criminally insane - it is happening - and no end is in sight. It is predicted in this book that a terrorist attack will take place every three months in the USA or Western Europe for the foreseeable future... since publication in 2016 nothing has changed to challenge the prediction.
It can happen to you and it usually does when least expected. The threat is very real and if so, what then? What do you do to survive? What can you do? How do you protect your family, yourself during such an attack? What happened in the past? What is the most likely scenario taking place in the future? What does the police expect you to do if anything? What happens if taken hostage and a rescue take place? Do you understand the “Entebbe Principle” in use by most SWAT and Special Forces Rescue Teams worldwide? The different types and phases of kidnapping? What do the words “Double Tap” mean to you? Do you know what pipe bombs look like in real life? A pressure cooker bomb? Any type of non-Hollywood high explosives, military, civilian or homemade? Do you know what an attack looks like, a looming attack? The signs are always there to spot. Can you read the warning signs from body language? What do you do at a crime scene? How do you deal with the media after surviving an attack? Do you understand that no matter what you say or how you say it even, the mainstream media will twist your words around to make you look bad, leading to all sorts of legal problems later? Do you understand bullet ballistics, what bullets can do and what not? The different types of weapons habitually used in terrorist attacks... what they look like? The profile of a modern terrorist? This book will show you how to effectively deal with a surprise terrorist attack before the police arrive to take over. They cannot be everywhere and for the time being, you will be on your own depending on your wits and prior training to survive and if possible, counterattack, ending a mass killing before it starts.
Terrorist Takedown takes a hard look at the current wave of terrorism in America and elsewhere. The author analysed what happened before and what can be learned from the prior attacks, discussing with expert knowledge and in detail weapons & ballistics, terrorism counteractions, hostage survival, dealing with crime scenes, the media, working safely with found explosives such as pipe bombs and protecting yourself and your family from harm. Ronald Reagan explained preventative measures best when negotiating with the last Soviet Premier Gorbachev on strategic missile defence systems (SDI). The President explained that in World War Two and since, fully functioning gas masks were available to all soldiers and most civilians as a matter of course. All the Armies, Allied and Axis, had gas shells available, none used them because of the clear threat of retaliation. Nevertheless, the soldiers and civilians carried their gas masks along anyhow, in case they are needed. You cannot go wrong by being prepared, by knowing what to do in an emergency, especially here where we know that attacks are coming. The knowledge and survival skills inside Terrorist Takedown will save lives as 99% of people unless ex-Special Forces, will not know how to survive a terrorist attack and they will die needlessly. This is a book which every firearm enthusiast will enjoy and learn from. Based on experience and written by a former policeman & lawyer and security expert, Terrorist Takedown is instructive, practical and to the point with pictures added where necessary to explain the contents on how to take a terrorist down and to survive. Because of the contents, it is not suitable reading for minors.
I wrote the book to assist my late wife’s people. I contacted many major conservative websites, offering the book free of charge to their readers. Not one even bothered to respond and yet, once they have your email address, they keep on asking for money to be donated to their cause (clearly to get rich quickly). It is sad. I could also have given the book away free of charge, I don’t mind and several of my books are free of charge (Your Worst Enemy, The Drug Addict Pattern, The Circle of Life, Gewetenlose Strate) to assist those that may not be able to afford legal advice. But I also learned that when something is given out for free, it is never really appreciated. The haters, you meet too many of them when an author, say then that the book is not worth paying for, the author desperate. The other problem is, it is downloaded but never read, which defeats the purpose entirely. Therefore, I charge a nominal fee and obviously, the paper versions cost money to print. But if you read here and you cannot afford my books, write to me, I will help you out within reason.
As an afterthought, when this book, Terrorist Takedown, was advertised on Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, it was first rejected as “hate speech.” Yes, I have the evidence on file, and I had to explain that it is the name of a published book and not at all “hate speech.” How ridiculous can we be? None of my books is now marketed through their search engine, end of story. I will not even use the search engine no matter what incentives they offer. I wonder though, will political correctness save your life one day? We should wake up and face reality.
Koos Kotze is a former member of the South African Police Force. He served between 1985 and 1991 primarily as a sergeant in the Pretoria Flying Squad. During his police years, he was awarded the South African Police Medal for Combating Terrorism twice besides lesser awards. After leaving the Police Force he obtained the law degrees B Iuris & LLB at the University of the Free State (Bloemfontein, South Africa) and was a commercial law attorney for eight years. These days he is the owner of JKLS Africa and Associates, a specialist legal consultancy which specializes in reducing legal risk in sub Saharan Africa. He wrote several books on business, law, counter-terrorism and security issues. At times he is asked to participate on the Voice of America regarding legal forensic matters.