By Alastair C. MacWillson

ISBN-10: 134912477X

ISBN-13: 9781349124770

ISBN-10: 1349124796

ISBN-13: 9781349124794

ISBN-10: 1591621631

ISBN-13: 9781591621638

Examines the issues governments face or tend to face in dealing with a hostage state of affairs. The ebook seeks to deal with the really good topic of concern administration whilst utilized to hostage/siege incidents and concentrates, specifically, at the thoughts utilized in siege negotiations.

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Additional info for Hostage-Taking Terrorism: Incident-Response Strategy

Sample text

During an incident the absence of small, often simple things like having a room to rest in, having food and drink when required and a change of clothing, add to the stress and physical deterioration and weakens alertness, so it is a very important factor. The next characteristic is personality. Although it may be thought that wit and humour ought not have any place in what is potentially a deadly business, the fact is that a judicious sense of wit and humour in dealing with terrorists can be extremely useful, especially in successfully establishing rapport between negotiator and terrorist, which is required if a proper basis for subsequent and more meaningful discussion is to be achieved.

Calmness in manner and in words, similarly help to diffuse the tensions and excitement within a terrorist's mind, not only during the initial stages but later, during those high peaks of drama when a threat has been made and deadline is fast approaching. Firmness is important insofar as the implementation of decision is concerned, as it helps the negotiation of minor concessions and for the maintenance of the credibility of the government's policy. Foresight By examining the options open to the terrorists either by events taking place or prompted by government initiative, and as a rule of thumb to assess the worst case of their possible responses to statements or conditions imposed by the negotiator's authorities, in respect of assessing options open in negotiations, there is a cardinal rule which I suggest should be borne in mind: every communication, be it condition, concession, tactic or delay, needs to be credible in the ear and the mind of the hostage taker.

Did the negotiator have some simple prescribed form of directive or notes in guidance for the initial handling of the incident, in terms of his responsibilities as a negotiator? The final question above mentions notes, which may infer standard operational procedures for the entire handling of a crisis, but this point needs clarification. I suggest that it is near impossible - indeed it would be unwise - to devise 42 Hostage-Taking Terrorism a check-off list of procedures for the handling of an incident, as each incident has its own character and uniqueness beyond the initial stage.

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Hostage-Taking Terrorism: Incident-Response Strategy by Alastair C. MacWillson


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