Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 2016 Newsletter

April 2016 | Visit the section website HERE
2016 Events

Have a look at our new page that lists all of the Crisis/Hostage organizations and their conferences [HERE]. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mental Illness & the #ManInTree Creates Spectacle

A man who remained near the top of an 80-foot tall sequoia tree in downtown Seattle on Wednesday, and has refused hours and hours of police coaxing to come down, has become an Internet curiosity.
Seattle police said when authorities arrived at the base of the lofty conifer next to Macy's department store, the man refused to speak with them and threw an apple at medics.

"Issue appears to be between the man and the tree," Seattle police tweeted.

By Tuesday afternoon, police said traffic was being tied up as officials closed nearby roads as a precaution.

"It is quite a spectacle, honestly," police spokesman Patrick Michaud told the Seattle Times.
From another report:
SEATTLE - Last week's standoff with a man who climbed to the top of downtown Seattle's iconic sequoia tree tied up 70 Seattle police officers, administrators and crisis responders for 25 hours, along with four fire engine companies, battalion command staff and two SWAT teams, according to court documents released Monday.

"This caused an incalculable waste of time and services and arguably the efficacy of local law-enforcement's reaction time to other serious calls for service around the city," court documents say.
In addition, the drama caused nearly $8,000 in damage to the tree itself, according to documents, which also say that a firefighter was nearly struck by a large metal ring the man threw down from the treetop.

And one other article:

Miller’s mother, Lisa Gossett, of Wasilla, Alaska, said she had not talked to her son for about five years when a friend called saying he was on the news.

She said she could hardly recognize him.

“There are all these people out there worried about the tree, but they’re not worried about him, the human,” she said. “He’s obviously sick.”

She said Miller had been a “regular” kid with attention deficit disorder until his late teens or early 20s, when he came up to visit her in Alaska and she noticed that something was “off.”

When she straightened his room, she noticed he had knives stashed under a pillow. He warned her there was an evil “presence” in the house and while they were out to eat he insisted “everybody” was looking at him.

“I did not know it was mental illness at first,” she said during a telephone interview on Monday.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Hostage US Launched

Make sure to check this out all and help spread the news of this new important organization:


We are pleased to announce the launch of Hostage US, the first support and resource centre for American hostages and their families. Hostage UK is a co-founding partner along with the James W Foley Legacy Foundation. Hostage US also receives funding from the Ford Foundation. 
Watch the Hostage US video below to learn more and visit the Hostage US website.
 Hostage UK has been supporting American hostages and their families for a number of years – but unfortunately from a distance. We knew there was a need for a similar support service in the US to the one we have been able to deliver successfully in the UK and further afield for over a decade.
Like Hostage UK, Hostage US provides families with a range of support, including a dedicated team member to walk alongside them every step of the way and access to a range of professional support services, such as legal, financial management, health and counseling. 
Help us to spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – tell your friends and colleagues about Hostage UK and the launch of Hostage US. You can also follow us on Twitter @HostageUK and @HostageUS.

For families going through the horror of a kidnap, Hostage UK provides pastoral care and practical support. Because we are independent, families can be confident that we are there for them without any competing interests. We provide impartial yet knowledgeable information and through our network we can help families to solve the problems they will face along the way. We often work with families who have nowhere else to turn.
Hostage UK also provides education and training for organisations to help them to improve the support they can provide to families, colleagues and returning hostages. We do this through seminars, in-house training sessions, providing expert speakers for events and scenario sessions. We want to use our experience to help organisations provide the level of care, support and assistance that we do.
Hostage UK advocates publicly and privately for the needs of hostages and their families, improving the care and support offered by the government, police, statutory agencies, employers, the health service and a range of other organisations. Hostage UK rarely speaks in the media, apart from to advocate for hostage and family support.
Hostage UK does not engage in operational response to kidnaps. We cannot bring the hostage home, but we can help to make a very stressful experience just a little bit more bearable.
If you are the family member of a hostage or a former hostage and need our support, call our 24/7 local rate helpline on 0845 608 1360 or email us.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Jakarta sets up task force to tackle hostage crisis

( Indonesia has set up a crack team of experts in counter-terrorism, intelligence and diplomacy to resolve the hostage crisis involving 10 of its citizens now being held by the Abu Sayyaf in the southern Philippines.

...One of its key objectives is to analyse intelligence, including that gathered from domestic militants in prison, which may aid in the release of the hostages, General Tito had said previously.

Red more [HERE]. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

EgyptAir hijack: Man held after using fake suicide belt Cyprus has approved the extradition of an Egyptian national who faces charges of hijacking a plane, in response to a request from the Egyptian government, Cypriot government and court officials said on Wednesday.
... Mostafa hijacked the plane shortly after takeoff from Alexandria en route to Cairo and demanded to be taken to Greece, Cyprus or Turkey.
During six hours of negotiations on the tarmac after landing in Cyprus, Mr. Mostafa insisted that a four-page letter be passed to his ex-wife and demanded the release of 63 women imprisoned in Cairo.
What he said was an explosive belt strapped around his torso turned out to be fake. 
Read more [HERE]. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Terrorists, Lone Wolf Attacks & Mental Illnesses

BY RAFFAELLO PANTUCCITerrorist groups thrive on attention. Keen to bring the world screeching to a horrified halt, they launch brutal attacks against civilian targets with whatever tools they have at their disposal. Until last November’s attack in Paris, it seemed the biggest menace the Islamic State posed to the West was the threat of so-called lone-actor terrorists, striking without any clear direction from the group’s leaders. Using a relatively simple form of messaging to strike wherever they could, the group bombarded its followers through social media with calls to launch random attacks against the societies in which they lived. That nihilistic messaging continues. But now, in the wake of Brussels and Paris, the Islamic State has also demonstrated an alarming capacity to launch large-scale, coordinated plots far from its territory. The threat the Islamic State poses is multifaceted and multi-directional.

...The Islamic State has, of course, also exploited the mentally unwell, preying on their vulnerabilities to turn them into lone-wolf actors. In late 2014, Sydney came to a terrified standstill when Man Haroun Monis, a disturbed Shia convert with a record of run-ins with authorities, held up a coffee bar in the middle of the city. He claimed to be carrying out an attack on behalf of the Islamic State. But he was so underprepared...

Read more from [MORE].