Danny O. Coulson is Former Commander of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team. Based on his 30 years of experience and expertise in hostage rescue, major crime investigation and counter-terrorism in the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Coulson has become a successful security consultant, author and guest speaker at a number of universities, corporations, and television news programs.
Born and raised in Texas, Danny Coulson attended Texas Christian University, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Government. He later was awarded his Law Degree from Southern Methodist University, and passed the Texas Bar. Danny joined the FBI as a special agent and served in the New York Division, where he spent the next nine years working on Bank Robbery, Fugitive and Police Assassination matters.
Coulson led SWAT teams and developed the FBI’s manual on dealing with Bank Robbery and Extortion matters. He rose through the ranks of the FBI and in 1982 he was assigned to create the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT), the FBI’s elite counter-terrorism unit. The HRT is the civilian equivalent of Delta Force or SEAL teams. While in command, Mr. Coulson developed tactical programs, gained extensive experience in surveillance, close quarter battle, sniper techniques, executive protection, and crisis management techniques. He commanded all Federal resources at the standoff with domestic terrorists in Mountain Home, Arkansas. These terrorists were the most heavily armed group ever faced by law enforcement in this country. Coulson personally negotiated with the group’s leader and ultimately secured their surrender without the loss of life. He received the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service for his actions. In 1986, Danny Coulson was assigned to lead the FBI’s role in the Iran Contra Investigation and was later detailed to assist Judge Lawrence Walsh in the overall management of the investigation. The following year he was the on site tactical commander during the November 1987 Atlanta Prison Riots, the most protracted prison riot in history of the country. Once again, he successfully secured the negotiated release of all one hundred hostages without bloodshed. In fact, while the commander of the HRT, Mr. Coulson successfully negotiated the release of hundreds of people.
After serving as the Special Agent in Charge for a number of divisions throughout the country, in 1991 Danny Coulson was named Deputy Assistant Director of the FBI, Criminal Investigative Division, in which he oversaw all FBI investigations of international and domestic investigations, violent crimes, civil rights and special inquiries for the White House. After assignment to the Bureau’s Dallas Division in 1994, he later headed the investigation of the Murrah Building Bombing in Oklahoma City. Coulson coordinated the rescue and evidence recovery efforts, and the arrest of Timothy McVeigh and all subsequent investigative activities in Arizona, which resulted in the capture of his accomplices. Upon his retirement in 1997, Danny established his own private security firm, which assists a number of corporations such as the PGA Tour, and law firms dealing with litigation matters.
Currently, Danny Coulson resides in Texas, where he has co-authored No Heroes, an anthology of major criminal and terrorism investigations and the development of the Bureau’s HRT. He also appears regularly on a number of television shows, including FOX and Friends, Today, Good Morning America, and 60 Minutes, where he answers questions and gives expert opinion on current events dealing with national security, hostage-taking, negotiating tactics, terrorism threats and counter-terrorism measures.