Friday, January 29, 2016

Testing the Role Effect in Terrorist Negotiations

Here's another great academic paper from Paul J. Taylor. This time he teamed with William Donohue (another great researcher/academic) to write Testing the Role Effect in Terrorist Negotiations (International Negotiation, 8, 527-547). .

Some important snippets and findings from the article:

  •  Religious fundamentalists showed greater levels of aggressive strategies than both nationalist-separatist and social revolutionary terrorists
  • Consistent with predictions, the data presented in Table 2 indicate that the use of power and affiliation behaviors by terrorists have quite different associations with the degree that authorities capitulate. Of the power-orientated strategies, violently controlling hostages, damaging the building or aircraft, and extensively using weapons were all associated with lower levels of concessions from the authorities. The exception to this trend was the correlation for the Demand scale, which suggested a positive relationship between making more demands and concessions by the authorities. 
  • Regarding the prominence of role identity, when compared to nationalist-separatists and social-revolutionaries, the terrorists with a religious ideology typically used more aggressive strategies
  • Religious terrorists engaged in very little affiliative behavior compared to nationalist-separatists and social-revolutionaries. This unwillingness to engage in normative interaction illustrates the religious terrorist’s lack of interdependence with the system they are attacking and their determination to achieve a set of goals without giving consideration to alternatives (Silke 2003). 
  • Perhaps the most significant implication of these findings is... when the lower-power party (i.e. the terrorist) engaged in extreme aggression, the higher-powered authorities quickly reciprocated with tactical attempts to resolve the dispute.
I encourage you to read the full article [HERE]. 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

UK police start review of Sydney siege

(AAP)- A team of top UK police with expertise in counter-terrorism, hostage situations and firearms has arrived in Sydney to review how local officers responded to the Lindt Cafe siege.

...Hostages and law enforcement officers involved in the incident will be among witnesses called to give evidence and the UK officers are also expected to give evidence about their review.

Read the full article [here]. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Beyond Bombings: The Islamic State in Southeast Asia

Beyond Bombings: The Islamic State in Southeast Asia

Note the importance of the tactics being used includes hostage-taking and kidnapping:

On 30 June 2015, a Malaysian court convicted a man and his son for fighting with ISIL and planning terrorist incidents at home. But it was not a wave of bombings they were plotting, but rather the kidnapping of politicians.  While hostage taking, executions and barricade style attacks garner less concern from security services than bombings, this is potentially an important development at both the tactical and strategic levels for Southeast Asian militants.  If we are to understand the real impact of ISIL on Southeast Asian militancy, it is this.
Hostage taking has become the face of ISIL terror in the Middle East....

Read more [HERE].

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Verbal Communication & Text Messaging in Crisis Negotiation

While the use of mobile phones and text messaging has made it easier for hostage negotiators to communicate with other law enforcement personnel in crisis situations, little research has examined how text messaging could be used to communicate with the perpetrator. The purpose of this preliminary, qualitative study was to explore the similarities and differences in communication patterns of two hostage negotiations, one that took place verbally and one that occurred through text message. 

Both transcripts were analyzed using the Crisis Communication Rating Scale (CCRS), a behavioral coding system developed by McClain (2004). The study provided initial insight into several important similarities and differences between the modes of communication. First, the hostage negotiator relied heavily on the use of personal and situational disclosures to resolve the situation, regardless of the mode of communication. 

Additionally, both the hostage negotiator and barricaded suspect used reflective statements more frequently when they were able to communicate verbally. Lastly, when communicating through text message, the hostage negotiator used persuasive statements more frequently, while the barricaded suspect used expressive statements of anger more frequently. Possible implications for training and practice are discussed. 

Full paper [HERE]. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In This Corner: The Conflict Paradox

IN THIS CORNER: The Conflict Paradox
By Lynne Kinnucan  
With his newest book, The Conflict Paradox, Dr. Bernie Mayer joins the likes of Aristotle, Voltaire, Chesterton and Escher in their fascination with paradox: the contradiction that is not.

The Conflict Paradox is a book infinitely rich in its variety, worth reading again and again as the reader’s understanding grows and reshapes itself in interaction with it.  However, it is a disaster if you are the sort of person who underlines the important parts of a work. My own copy looks like it went through the printer backwards and forwards.

Dr. Mayer’s goal in writing the book was to “challenge the fundamental way we think about conflict itself.” And he has done it.  Focusing on the “polarized, bifurcated view we take of conflict,” he notes that the more aggressive the conflict, the more we are apt to regress to primitive, oppositional thinking, and from there to greater conflict. With a deeper understanding, we can see that the assumed polarizations are not only part of each other but, in fact, need each other to be complete (think DNA strands). 

 The book is structured around the seven core dilemmas posed in any conflict:

Monday, January 11, 2016

NYPD Hostage Negotiators On How To Persuade People: 4 New Secrets

I’m pretty sure I just heard a gunshot. And that means she’s dead.
Hold on, I guess I better back up and explain…

A 911 call came in. A domestic dispute turned into a hostage situation. The perpetrator has a gun on his wife and child.

ESU (Emergency Services Unit, basically, the SWAT team) arrived, as did 4 NYPD hostage negotiators. And me.

We stacked up outside the door to the apartment. But things were not going well. Shouting between the husband and wife was preventing Liz, the lead negotiator, from making much headway. She repeated her question:

“Is Erin okay?”

The perpetrator screamed back, “You’re taking her side because you’re a woman!”

Chris, one of the other negotiators hands her a post-it note: “Should we swap in a male negotiator?”

Liz considered it, then replied to the perpetrator:

“But I’m talking to you, Grant, not her.”

This seemed to calm him down. Chris nodded and crumbled up the post-it note.

Read more from the popular blog by Eric Barker (it's a must read) [HERE].

Sunday, January 10, 2016

NYAHN 1 Day Seminar

The New York Association of Hostage Negotiators and the Canadian Critical Incident Inc. are excited to present a one day seminar Tuesday, March 1, 2016 located at the Marriott Niagara Falls Ontario (more info to follow on hotel pricing and location). 
This seminar is a must for Incident Commanders, Tactical Officers and Crisis Negotiators to enhance their knowledge and skills in dealing with the radicalized home grow extremist.