Tuesday, December 20, 2016

'Captive in the jungle' An Account From A Hostage Held By Terrorists

The last photo taken of Marites Flor and Robert Hall, only days before they were captured.
The last photo taken of Marites Flor and Robert Hall, only days before they were captured.

Marites Flor was held hostage in the Philippines alongside Canadians John Ridsdel and Robert Hall. She survived. They didn't. This is her story.

...Flor had known how dangerous the Islamic State-affiliated militant group was. But up until then, the militants had lied to them constantly about whether they were going home or not. By Christmas. Before the New Year. Every date they set came and went, so she didn’t believe they would follow through with Ridsdel’s execution.

...Now, months after her own release, Flor gave her first wide-ranging interview to VICE News over Skype, shedding light on the harrowing ordeal she and the hostages who did not make it endured. She revealed new details of just how close the Philippine military was to the Abu Sayyaf camp — at one point, the gunfire exchange between the militants and the army was so close, Flor could smell the smoke — and a $1 million ransom offer by the Ridsdel family that fell short of the captors demands.

Read more from Vice.com [HERE]. 

Monday, December 19, 2016


Martin Michaels is the pen name of a police lieutenant in Silicon Valley whose specialty is hostage crisis intervention.

...Our coffee break was interrupted by our radios blasting tandem alert signals. A teenage boy had just threatened to stab his mother at a local housing project. Back to work.

More information was broadcast over the radio as we headed that way. The boy was African-American, 6′2″ and 260 pounds. He had threatened to stab his mother with a large kitchen knife when she tried to make him go to school.

...The mother displayed symptoms of aggression and paranoia and was physically trying to stop the officers from entering the house to speak with her son, demanding they speak to him through her. I was able to eventually calm the mother down and she changed her story. 

Her son now never threatened her with a knife — he had only threatened to harm himself.

Now dealing with two different stories, both involving a weapon and erratic behavior, I rushed to re-brief my sergeant and go over the plan of contact: 

“We will have a negotiator talk to the teen from behind a shield,” I said. “Under no circumstances are we going inside the apartment. 

We need to defuse the situation and treat this as a mental-health intervention case, not a crime.”

Read the full story at OZY.com [HERE]. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Chained up alone in the dark for five years hostage Terry Waite only communicated by tapping on the wall in code

96 foreign hostages were taken and held during the Lebanon hostage crisis between 1982 and 1992 and ten of them died in captivity - British church envoy Terry Waite survived.

Held hostage for four years in solitary confinement, Terry Waite had no one to talk to, no pen to write with, and no books to read.
A quarter of a century on from his release, the man who endured 1,763 days in captivity is still making up for lost time.
Read more from the Mirror [HERE].

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kidnapping for ransom works like a market- How it is organized is surprising (Washington Post)

Economists and social scientists often think about difficult economic transactions. Surely, one of the trickiest possible transactions is when ransom-payers try to bargain with kidnappers to get a hostage back. In an article recently published in Governance, I look at how the business of kidnapping works. Here is why kidnapping involves some tricky business relations, how private sector institutions work to resolve them and why governments have a harder time preventing kidnapping from escalating.

Kidnapping is hard

There are three important factors that make transactions between kidnappers and ransomers difficult — problems of trust, problems of bargaining and problems of execution.

Read more at the Washington Post [HERE]. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Inside Look: How Hostage Negotiators Break Through the Mind Game

When there’s a life-or -death crisis, one word or one look can make or break the situation.

That’s why crisis negotiators are trained to get inside the minds of people in distress.

It's an intense job and really takes a special kind of person to want to do it and do it well.

On Nov. 2, Fadel Jabado, a father of six, allegedly shot his wife and son to death, and then his attorney.

Miami-Dade Police Crisis Negotiator Victor Millian was dispatched to a location where Jabado was held up. Millian was literally the last line of communication where anything could have happened.

“One of the things he kept telling us from the minute I started my conversation, he wanted us to kill him he wanted to be suicide by cop, he implored me,” said Millian.

Read more from NBC 6 [HERE].