Thursday, May 25, 2017

Terrorism and Hostage

My recent report on terrorism and hostage negotiation was recently published by Canadian Critical Incident Inc.'s Command Post. Due to its length, they decided to break it up into two parts. The second part will be published in their summer issue.

If you would like a personal copy of the report (not the full issue) feel free to email me. To access the full report and the entire issue, I highly recommend you subscribe to CCI by becoming a member and visiting [HERE].


Law enforcement crisis hostage negotiators are called into action during situations that are tense, unpredictable, anxiety- lled, potentially volatile, and often emotionally driven. The negotiation team must enter a chaotic situation, bring calm, and work collaboratively with the subject to initiate a behavioral change for the purpose of gaining the subject’s voluntary compliance.

Terrorist attacks across the world have demonstrated that these attackers are no longer relying on the use of explosions and gunfire. Many incidents now involve kidnapping as well as hostage-taking, where the attacker will barricade himself to prolong the incident (examples are included in the report).

It is necessary for both American and Canadian crisis hostage negotiation teams (C/HNT) to ensure they are prepared to respond to these unique incidents. They should understand how to work toward a peaceful resolution, and when that is not possible, how to “buy-time” for the tactical team, and develop an effective strategy that considers the conditions of that particular incident.

This article provides techniques and strategies to consider when preparing a C/HNT for a terrorist incident involving hostages and a barricaded subject. These suggestions are not an all-inclusive list. Instead, they should serve as a starting point for negotiators who can further develop and adapt them according to the unique needs of each individual C/HNT. What is universal, however, and should be part of any terrorism-related training, is the inclusion of both lectures and interactive elements...

The first part of the report includes sections on:

  • Recent Attacks Involving the Use of Crisis Hostage Negotiation Teams
  • Use of Third Party Intermediaries
  • Social Media
  • Situation Boards, Role of the Scribe