On 14-15 September 2010, the Protection and Rescue Department of the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina managed the implementation of a field exercise on "terrorist attack response and relief management".
According to the simulation, on 14 September flight controllers at Sarajevo International Airport received a call from the pilot of flight 413, seeking permission to land as the plane was hijacked by an unknown terrorist group. All national actors involved in terrorism crisis management, including the National Operations and Communications Center – 112, were immediately informed and activated to solve the crisis.
On 15 September at 08:30, the Border Police confirmed to the 112 that a number of passengers were held in an Airport building by unidentified armed hijackers. Terrorists were asking for the release of their comrades from prison and for a departure by a special airplane or, if their demands were not met, they would have executed one passenger every hour. Police negotiators started negotiating the hijackers' demands while local security forces, a special police unit, and medical and firefighting teams arrived and were deployed in the area.
In the following simulation scenes special forces intervened to free a group of hostages during the bus transfer to the place of take-off while the terrorists still in the building engaged the security personnel in a conflict, injured two policemen, escaped with some hostages and leave all the others with an activated chemical poison gas.
Eventually terrorists were captured and the hostages freed. First medical aid was provided to the hostages and the consequences of the poison gas were dealt with, including transport of injured by an helicopter.
Based on the assessment that the relief forces after the terrorist attack were not sufficient to carry out a full search of the airport, the National Operational/Communications Center – 112 and NATO activated and coordinated international assistance (through the CBRN Decontamination Team of the State Protection and Rescue Authority, Republic of Croatia).
Over 350 persons from 15 national institutions, 3 neighboring countries institutions - Serbia, Montenegro and Croatia- and 3 international bodies participated to the simulation exercise. A full exercise analysis including lessons learned and recommendations is made available for download thanks to Mrs. Olga Slagalo, PPRD South National Correspondent for Bosnia and Herzegovina.