In the wake of Sunday’s humiliating defeat in the national referendum, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has posted a video of a simulated terrorist attack on a crowded bus station presided over by the fearless head of government itself.
Hungary’s counter-terrorism force (TEK) held a training exercise Wednesday night at the Stadion Volán bus station and Puskás Ferenc Stadion metro station. Unlike previous training exercises, this one was observed by Orbán and members of the press.
A high-definition video of the drill was posted Thursday on the prime minister’s Facebook page. “During ticket purchasing and all other activities, a terror attack occurs at the bus station,” explains a TEK member to the assembled audience and Orbán. “Three terrorists are going to attack the people. When they are done with this action, they will leave toward that direction.”
The video then graphically depicts three men entering the bus station and opening fire on the crowd. The “victims” of the exercise are seen lying on the ground or slumped against the wall, covered in copious amounts of fake blood. One of the terrorists is seen lifting a man off the ground and commencing to saw his head off with a knife. The prime minister watches intently as the tragedy unfolds.
The drill was ostensibly meant to depict a potential terrorist attack and how anti-terrorism forces would respond. At the end, Orbán is seen addressing masked TEK agents and the press.
“The goal we set out is that if a Hungarian youngster wants to conduct the hard work of counter-terrorism, for which we are grateful, then there should be no difference in his equipment, safety, supply and remuneration compared to let’s say an American, German or Austrian colleague,” Orbán said.
The video continues to roll, and another man is threatened with a knife to his neck. Crowds of people flee the metro station as the gunmen are confronted by the arriving TEK force. Orbán’s words continue, and he makes reference to the September 24 bombing on Teréz körút in Budapest.
“The most shocking thing in all that we have seen here is the shortage of time,” Orbán said. “I can imagine how hard it is for you to prepare for this, since the last bombing on Teréz körút…happened in eight seconds, and you have to prepare for years because you might come across a challenge to fend off an eight-second action,” he said, correlating the domestically planned bombing with terrorism.
While it is a common and essential practice for counter-terrorism forces to conduct training drills in lifelike situations, such exercises are not typically conducted in the presence of the press, nor are they usually depicted in professional-quality videos posted to the internet. The video is violent and disturbing to watch, and the liberal use of fake blood makes it seem less like a training exercise and more like an action movie. It is conceivable that in the political climate of fear that Orbán has created concerning immigration, the production of such a video serves to send a bloody message to the public that they are not safe without TEK and their heroic patron, Viktor Orbán.