Friday, September 30, 2016

Nigeria Describes 3 Failed Negotiations With Boko Haram on Kidnapped Girls

DAKAR, Senegal — Two and a half years after more than 200 girls were kidnapped from a school in northeastern Nigeria, the government on Friday described for the first time the failed efforts to negotiate for their release.

Nigerian officials revealed that talks had been underway since July 2015 between the government and Boko Haram terrorists to gain the release of the girls taken from a school in Chibok. The talks began shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari took office.

Three times the negotiations were derailed, in one instance at the last minute even after...

Read more at the NY [HERE].

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ex-hostage tells of terror as friends beheaded in Philippines

A Norwegian former hostage on Sunday described his psychological torture as he heard his friends being beheaded by Islamic militants during a year-long captivity in the southern Philippines. 

A heavily bearded and gaunt Kjartan Sekkingstad, who was released on Saturday by the feared Abu Sayyaf group, also said he narrowly survived military attacks against his captors, with a bullet piercing his backpack. 

"Basically, I've been treated like a slave, carrying their stuff around, time to time abused." 
Read more [HERE].

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New Melle Native Writes Book on Crisis Negotiations

Doering Book photo web 2016-09-11 11.38.35_resized.jpg

Patrick Doering is a police Lieutenant with the Lake St. Louis Police Department and a skilled hostage/crisis negotiator. He recently published his first book: Crisis Cops — The evolution of hostage negotiations in America.

Patrick started his law enforcement career in Lake St. Louis about 20 years ago. As a new officer, he often looked for new and interesting training classes to attend, and soon decided he wanted to find a “niche” in which he could develop some specific area of expertise. One day he saw a flyer for a class called “Initial Response to Hostage/Crisis Situations.” He didn’t think the likelihood of ever being involved in such a situation was very high, but the class sounded “cool” so he signed up.

Read more from Boone County Connection [HERE].

Read more about the book and purchase it from Amazon [HERE]. 

Crisis Cops: The Evolution of Hostage Negotiations in America

(From Hostage/Crisis negotiations is one of the most demanding and stressful jobs in law enforcement. Crisis Cops will put you into the action, whether it be a bridge jumper, hostage taker or suicidal subject. 

These are the origin stories from the early beginnings of Hostage/Crisis negotiations throughout the country. From New York to Los Angeles you will see how Hostage/Crisis negotiation evolved into the art form that it is today. some of these stories may make you laugh, cry or sweat bullets. 

This isn’t what you see on television, these are real stories, from real negotiators who have saved hundreds of lives throughout their careers. You will hear how their teams got started, what hurdles they had to overcome and most importantly you will hear stories from the negotiators that were there in the moment.

Read more and purchase the book by Patrick Doering [HERE]. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Abu Sayyaf's Malaysian hostage pleads for help in phone call to media

A Malaysian hostage held by the Abu Sayyaf militants sent an SOS message, pleading for help as he has been starved and beaten up.

Wednesday, Abu Rami, Abu Sayyaf spokesman called The Star from Jolo island, southern Philippines, and passed the phone to the 32-year-old hostage for sending a message to the Malaysian government.

"I'm a hostage from Malaysia. My name is Mohd Ridzuan Ismail. And I'm asking for help from the government and my boss to rescue us as soon as possible," he said in Bahasa Malaysia.

Read more from the International Business Times [HERE]. 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Nine months in ISIS captivity, a Rudaw journalist’s story

Massoud Aqeel and Farhad Hamo, from Qamishlo, were two freelance journalists covering the war with the Islamic State in northern Syria.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Transcripts of 911 calls reveal Pulse shooter's terrorist motives

The conversations between the Orlando Pulse nightclub attacker and Orlando PD negotiators was made public recently. The release of this information provides insight into the interaction between a negotiator and subject and how the skills taught in crisis hostage negotiation course are used, even in dire situations such as what occurred in Florida.

In particular, note the use of active listening skills such as reflect/mirroring, moving from large/abstract conversations to the situation at hand, and open-ended questions. 
From the article:

The transcripts were made public after the Federal Bureau of Investigations approved releasing calls or records not exempt under Florida public-records law. The city did not release the 28 minutes of audio from which the transcripts were written.
At 2:48 a.m., the negotiator called Mateen, who was holding hostages inside the club. Throughout the calls, Mateen said he committed the attack to “to stop the U.S. air strikes” on Iraq and Syria.
Here's an excerpt from the transcript. I highly recommend you read the article and the full transcript at the links below. 

SUSPECT: ...They are killing too many children, they are killing too many women, okay? 
NEGOTIATOR: I understand that. Here is why I'm here right now. I'm with the Orlando police. Can you tell me what you know about what's going on tonight? 

SUSPECT: What's going on is that I feel the pain of the people getting killed in Syria and Iraq and all over the Muslim (unidentified word). 
NEGOTIATOR: Okay. So have you done something about that? 
SUSPECT: Yes, I have. 
NEGOTIATOR: Tell me what you did, please. SUSPECT: You already know what I did. 
NEGOTIATOR: Look, I'm trying to figure out
how to keep you safe and how to get this resolved peacefully because I'm not a politician, I'm not a government. All I can do is help individuals and I want to start with helping you. 

Read more from the Orlando Sentinel [HERE] and read the transcript [HERE]. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Is Obama the Last Hope for American Hostages?

Team Obama is pushing hard to free the seven Americans being held hostage in the Middle East. Would a President Trump or Clinton do the same? Hostage families fear not.

(TheDailyBeast)- The families of Americans held hostage in the Middle East are used to counting the days their loved ones have been in captivity. But now, they’re counting the days left in President Obama’s administration—and are fearful that if some deal isn’t brokered to bring their family member home before he leaves office, the window of opportunity will have closed.

Two U.S. officials told The Daily Beast that these efforts have been making slow but steady progress. And in a sign that the FBI in particular is trying new approaches, the bureau has contacted at least two journalists with contacts in the Middle East and asked them to provide information that might assist in individual hostages’ cases, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter. That’s a major change for the FBI, which has faced criticism from lawmakers and some family members for not acting aggressively enough.

...The period between now and Jan. 20 is “the best chance we have” to free captured Americans, a person familiar with one hostage’s case said.

Read the full article [HERE]. 

Monday, September 12, 2016

In a Shift, U.S. Includes Families in Hostage Rescue Efforts

... Perhaps most important, the government has designated officials — many of them senior — to talk with the families. During the period starting in mid-2014 when the Islamic State was beheading large numbers of captives, family members repeatedly complained that they did not know who in the American government was in charge or whom to call with questions. Many times, they received conflicting information.

Among the families who criticized the government’s actions was that of the slain journalist James Foley. The family did not learn of his beheading in 2014 until being told by a reporter. Mr. Foley’s mother accused the government of showing a lack of compassion and threatening prosecution if the family paid a ransom. She was not consulted before the military attempted a failed raid in Syria to save her son.

The improvements since then seemed to be clear to Sam Farran, 55, a security consultant who was freed last year after being abducted and brutalized in Yemen. “My family says the F.B.I. was good,” he said.

“They were on the phone with them on a daily basis,” he added. “So that provided some relief that they were engaged. This is one good thing.”

Read the full article from the [HERE].  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Stress & Crisis Hostage Negotiation

Stress is something synonymous with the world of crisis and hostage negotiation. Stress is expected but when unchecked and unaccounted for, it can lead to spontaneous actions, foolish moves, inaccurate assumptions being made, and potentially violence.

As with much of what I post here, I try to incorporate the "science" with the "practical" work being done by negotiators. The following ten articles are all grounded in research and can be helpful from a understanding the physiology of stress, how to manage stress, and how it impacts decision-making.


A Guide To Managing Stress in Crisis Response Professions
Behavioral, physical, and emotional/psychological reactions to stress; cycle (p.1-2)

How Anxiety Affects Your Decision-Making Skills
New research points to the connection between bad choices and anxious personalities.

Decision-Making Under Stress: The Brain Remembers Rewards, Forgets Punishments
It's counterintuitive, but under stress we tend to focus more on the rewards than on the risks of any decision.
A new review shows that acute stress affects the way the brain considers the pros and cons, causing it to focus on pleasure and ignore the possible negative consequences of a decision.