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A terrorist's guide to kidnapping.

Upon kidnapping a group of people, execute any security forces immediately. "This prevents others from showing resistance." That chilling comment is contained in al Qaeda training manuals on kidnapping, recovered by Western forces and translated by the Search for International Terrorist Entities Institute (SITE Institute).

The translated materials, while disturbing, offer valuable insight into terrorist thinking. They should be read by professionals in the field.

The manuals discuss rationales for kidnapping and requirements for forming a kidnapping group as well as types of kidnapping and their stages. They also discuss methods that can be used to elude security. For example, the manual states that before attempting to abduct people from a building, "a thorough study of the fences around the building as well as the security protection teams and systems" is in order. "A plan of the building with information on its partitions should be reviewed," the document continues. "The kidnappers could use cars that enter the building without inspection to smuggle their equipment."

Other tips include targeting victims on connecting flights rather than the first flight and looking for "homing devices" on VIPs.

Perhaps most alarmingly, various historical abductions are cited for lessons learned. For instance, the manuals note that the Red Army's takeover of the Japanese embassy in Lima, Peru, in December 1996 failed because the hostage situation dragged out for more than a month. That gave rescuers a chance to dig tunnels under the embassy, from which they carried out their rescue mission. Consequently, the manuals warn kidnappers to resist negotiators' delay tactics: In case of any stalling, it says, starting to execute hostages is necessary.

@ The SITE Institute has posted these translated documents. Get there via SM Online.
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Title Annotation:News and Trends; International Terrorist Entities Institute
Author:Gips, Michael A.
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Aug 1, 2004
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