Published on December 7, 2007
Slide1: The Kidnap for Ransom Industry By: Jack Cloonan Risk Mitigation for the International Traveler UT System 2007 Risk Management Conference Are these your most valuable assets?: Are these your most valuable assets? University of Texas Students Definition of Kidnapping: Any illegal capture or detention of a person or people against their will: Promise to release if monetary demands to a third party are met Threat to use violence to cause harm or death if demands are not met Victim (s) held until demands are met Definition of Kidnapping Types of Kidnappings : Types of Kidnappings Political: Coerce the corresponding government of the kidnapped victim to take certain political actions under the threat of harming its citizens) if there is no compliance. Minors: Kidnapping of minors by a family member or by a criminal predator seeking personal companionship. Criminal: Kidnap for ransom or kidnappings related to organized crime. Religious: The motivation behind the kidnapping is strictly religious and the kidnapped victim is chosen strictly because he/she belongs to a different religion. Political Kidnapping: Political Kidnapping Gloria Arroyo’s government announces that it will withdraw its 51 troops from Iraq and prohibit Filipino citizens from working in Iraq. Angelo de la Cruz Angelo de la Cruz appears in a video in Al Jazeera TV. His kidnappers demand that the Philippines withdraw its troops from Iraq or de la Cruz would be beheaded in 72 hours. Iraq – July 2004 Religious Kidnappings: Religious Kidnappings Laurence Wagih Emil Laurence Wagih Emil, a 15 year old Christian, is drugged and kidnapped from a public transportation bus. The kidnappers demand that the family move from Cairo or Laurence would be raped and converted to Islam. Laurence was able to escape and notified the authorities who investigated the case. Her family moved neighborhoods within Cairo. Cairo, Egypt – October 2006 Kidnapping of Minors: Kidnapping of Minors Psychopaths who kidnap minors with the intent of having them as personal companions. Example of Natascha Kampusch who was kidnapped in Austria and held captive from 1998 to 2006. Natascha Kampusch Two Categories: Familial or Criminal Parents or family members who lose custody of a child after a divorce. FBI statistics put the number at 350,000 reported cases a year, most with no criminal intent. Reason: 1 million new divorces a year in the US Kidnap for Ransom: Kidnap for Ransom Sanyo pays the ransom and Mamoru gets released unharmed. Tijuana, Mexico – August 1996 Japanese executive Mamoru Konno is kidnapped by a heavily armed gang. They demand $2 million USD for his safe return. Kinappers: Kinappers Criminals Guerrilla Groups Terrorist Groups Professionals Criminals: Criminals Express Kidnappings. Violent semi-organized criminals. Organized crime composed of ex military/police forces. Strictly kidnapping for ransom. Guerrillas: Guerrillas Kidnapping is a source of income to fund guerrilla activities. Foreigners or travelers are prime targets for higher payout. Foreigners from certain countries can be a political kidnapping target to achieve foreign policy goals. Kidnappings tend to last a long time. FARC Guerrilla Terrorist Groups: Terrorist Groups Kidnappings can be political or for ransom. Kidnap for ransom is used to fund their activities. Foreigners from certain countries are a prime target. Political kidnappings become more dangerous if demands are not negotiable by targeted country. Al Qaeda in Afghanistan Professionals: Professionals Hire someone else to do the kidnapping. Have proper logistics in place. Great knowledge of the targeted victim. Negotiations are carried out in a professional manner. Slide14: Works best in areas with weak law enforcement systems. Kidnapping for Ransom Industry Over 15,000 global kidnappings per year. A profitable business model – high return for low risks that can be repeated constantly. Slide15: Global Trends in K&R Improved security shifts target selection to middle class. Hotspots proliferate in regions of conflict, poverty, class disparity and inefficient governments. Increased use of violence in many countries. Rescue attempts are extremely dangerous. Initial ransom demands are getting higher. In the end, K&R comes down to monetary gains. Kidnapping Outcomes : Kidnapping Outcomes Majority of victims (90%) are released unharmed. Small percentage (10%) die in captivity. Period of captivity varies greatly: 75% last between 1 and 50 days. Only a small number last over 100 days. Ransom Paid 64% Released without payment 18% Rescued 6% Died 10% Escaped 2% Kidnapping Global Breakdown: Kidnapping Global Breakdown Africa and The Middle East 17% Europe 11% Asia Pacific 17% America and Caribbean 7% Latin America 48% Slide18: Nigeria Centred in the Delta Region - oil industry. Over 130 foreigners kidnapped in 2007. Conducted by political and criminal groups, with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta leading the way. Trend moving towards wealthy Nigerians and their families and to expats outside the traditional Niger Delta center. Slide19: Iraq Since April 2004, estimated 400+ kidnappings of foreigners in Iraq for criminal, political, or religious reasons. Majority of victims are from neighbouring countries (Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey). Estimated that 15 Iraqis are kidnapped in Baghdad each day. Some criminal groups will sell victims to extremists if demands are not met quickly. Israel/Occupied Territories: Israel/Occupied Territories Main kidnap threat is in the Palestine Administered area of Gaza. Main targets are foreign aid workers and journalists. Kidnappings tend to be politically motivated or aimed at airing local grievances. Kidnapping in August 2006 of two foreign journalists by new group, “Holy Jihad Brigades” lasted nearly two weeks and victims were badly treated. Slide21: Afghanistan Rapidly increasing K&R market. Kidnappings began as politico-religious trend, now shifting to criminal. Criminal motivated kidnappings centered around Kabul area. Foreign aid workers are most vulnerable. Slide22: India Over 700 Kidnap gangs and over 4,000 gang members. Targets are the wealthy, politicians, businessmen, Bollywod movie stars, and their dependents. Motives are: political, ransom, sibling rivalry, human trafficking, and “kidnap for marriage”. Kidnap for ransom accounts for about 20% of total kidnaps in India. Slide23: China 1984, 5 K&R cases reported, 2004 China officially announced 3863 K&R cases; no figures announced since. Targets wealthy but focus on locals due to heavier sentences against kidnapping foreigners. Police always involved in investigations. Police strategy shifting to using negotiators to first secure victim’s safety and second, investigate, arrest, and prosecute. Philippines: Philippines K&R is prevalent, especially in Manila, Davao City, and Mindanao. Some groups show considerable sophistication, others show inexperience and are dangerous. The New Peoples Army, The Mindanao Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Abu Sayeef Group (ASG) are primary actors. Majority of victims are members of the local business community with increase in tourist being kidnapped in holiday resorts. Indonesia: Indonesia K&R is a long standing problem. 25% of cases involve foreign nationals, mainly tourists and journalists. Many incidents go unreported – Indonesia's socio-economic and political climate make effective law enforcement almost impossible. Kidnappers stem from three main groups; criminal groups, separatists and the armed forces. Threats by Al Qaeda affiliate, Jemaah Islamiah to launch Iraqi style kidnapping against foreign nationals and government officials. Russian Federation: Russian Federation Kidnapping threat in Moscow, St Petersburg and North Caucasus. Moscow and St Petersburg criminal gangs mainly target Russian business executives. North Caucasus: Majority of victims are Russian, although high threat to foreign journalists and aid workers. Chechnya – estimated at 1 K&R/day. Spreading into neighbouring Dagestan, Ingushetia and North Ossetia. Criminal gangs and Russian security forces are also involved. Argentina: Argentina Significant increase in kidnaps since the 2001 economic crisis. Both “traditional” and “express” kidnappings. Estimated over 300 K&R per year. Highest risk is in greater Buenos Aires area. Slide28: Brazil Third highest number of kidnaps per year in the world. Traditionally concentrated in Rio de Janeiro, pattern now shifting to Sao Paulo. Shift of focus from targeting wealthy to middle class and demanding lower sums that can be paid more quickly. “Express” kidnaps remains a significant problem. Colombia: Colombia Rated second highest in world (average 3,000 per year between 1996 and 2003). Principle threat from FARC and ELN (left-wing guerrillas), and from right-wing United Self Defence Forces (AUC). Targeting of wealthy locals, employees of multi-nationals and contractors (average of four per month). Victims often held in remote mountain camps for extended periods of time, even years. Haiti: Haiti An emerging kidnap hotspot. Increase in targeting of foreign nationals, especially US citizens. In July 2006, 29 westerners abducted, a third of them US citizens. Most kidnaps occur in Port-au-Prince and on the road linking the capital to the main airport. Presence of 9,000 strong UN peacekeeping force is having little impact. Mexico: Mexico Overtook Colombia as world leader in kidnappings with over 3,000 per year in 2006. K&R “market” estimated at US$100 Million a year. Majority of kidnappings are criminally motivated, conducted by professional gangs. Less experienced groups are often the most violent. Emerging trend of targeting middle and low income groups. Recent increase in drug cartel involvement. Venezuela: Venezuela One of the fastest increasing countries in kidnappings (207 officially registered cases as of September 2007). Kidnap and extortion prevalent along Colombian-Venezuelan border. Most common victims are ranchers and related business personnel. “Express” kidnappings are a frequent occurrence in Caracas. Slide33: Target Selection Local Businessmen Family members of above Students travelling Expatriates Slide34: Execution of a Kidnapping Operation Squad Size Elements Full Tactical Team Heavily Armed Complex Plan Logistics Safe House Hi-Tech Communications Most vulnerable at point of arrival and departure from Home and Work Danger of Notifying the Authorities*: Danger of Notifying the Authorities* Threats to harm victim Family under surveillance by kidnappers Current or former law enforcement Authorities have varying degrees of competence Rescue attempts endangers the life of the victim * Particulars of each case determine the risk, if any, in notifying the authorities Slide36: Media is sensational Media does not respect privacy Media awareness might be inevitable The Media Recommendations: Do not notify the media Prepare a statement in case it is necessary Never reveal K & R insurance to the media Slide37: Main Threats to Travelers Terrorism Kidnap (for Ransom/Express) Wrongful detention Common assault - pick pocket - armed or unarmed robbery - carjacking Common Factor: All seek vulnerable victim. Slide38: Rejection of US Foreign Policy Increase targeting of US and Western affiliated targets. Increasing Anti-US protests world wide. Anti-American sentiment carries on to US citizens traveling overseas. Your nationality can make you a target to kidnappings and/or political acts of violence. Slide39: Know Your Destination Avoid travel in large processions or marches. Study the news – papers, web, TV, radio. Political, economic, religious, and social climate. Be aware of local transportation concerns. Slide40: Before Departing Remove company information from luggage. Keep details of travel plans on a need to know basis. Be aware of latest airline travel security warnings, regulations, and restrictions. Stay up to date on travel visa requirements of countries you will visit and obey them. Slide41: Airport Security Do not stand near a waste container in airports in high risk areas as they tend to be locations for explosive devices. Avoid standing or walking near uniformed personnel. Use code name if necessary: “Maria Garcia KS.” Do not use greeter with name sign. Slide42: Airplane Security Be prepared to take control of the plane if situation warrants it. Hijacking is the main threat while in flight. If it is a political hijacking, remain calm and follow instructions from hijackers. Do not attempt to hide anything, passports, ID’s, money. If a rescue is attempted, do not try to assist. Be aware of a sleeper hijacker amongst the passengers. Slide43: Hotel Security Choose good hotels – between 3rd and 10th floors. Use hotel security features – safes and door locks. Avoid congregating in hotel lobby in high risk areas. Use personal credit cards and name to check in. Slide44: Maintain Low Profile Avoid wearing clothing with company logo. Learn local dress customs and follow them. Dress and act as anonymously as possible upon arrival and relevant meetings. Do not wear expensive jewelry at street view in high crime areas. Slide45: Personal Information Security Have a back up story of your identity. Do not disclose personal information to anyone taxi drivers, bartenders, waiters, vendors. Be cautious of strangers – hotels, bars, dining, street who might be engaged in surveillance activities. Do not carry Military, Police, or Government ID’s when on non-official duties. Slide46: Financial Security Carry the right currency: travelers checks? USD? local currency? Carry only ATM/credit cards that are needed. Be cautious when handling currency. Use ATM inside a secure building during the day. Slide47: Local Security Stay abreast of local events and possible dangers - strikes, demonstrations, marches, processions. Know the emergency contact information for local authorities, hospitals, and your embassy/consulate. Get oriented on the Go and No-Go areas of the city and country and stay away from there. Have an action plan in case of an emergency. Slide48: Considerations for Universities In an era of globalization, study abroad is no longer optional. International experience and language skills are increasingly valuable to employers in today’s global economy. During the past decade, the number of U.S. students studying abroad each year has more than doubled. The University of Texas at Austin ranks third in the nation in the number of study abroad participants with 1,340 students. University of Texas Slide49: Crisis Management for Universities Most planning is focused on US based campuses. Campus security is focused primarily on reacting to day to day offenses, not crisis management. Background of campus security is focused on domestic not international background and experience. Crisis committee has been unprepared to deal with domestic crisis. Preparation is lacking to react to international crisis management. Slide50: Crisis Management Crisis Management Committee decides: Strategy to be followed throughout the incident Communicating with kidnappers Managing internal communications Liaison with US, foreign authorities Managing media CM plan should be formulated, practiced before crisis strikes. Slide51: Strategic objectives: Safe, speedy recovery of victim. Reduce risk of future kidnaps. Activate/organize Crisis Management Committee (CMC) Notify consultant, appropriate authorities. Focus on security of victim and family. Crisis Management (cont) The Police Were Called: January 2001 De Anza College, Cupertino, CA Al De Guzman planned an armed attack at the College. An employee at a Longs Drugs store developed pictures of De Guzman posing with guns and homemade bombs. Police was called and De Guzman was arrested. Police found in De Guzman’s bedroom handmade bombs and a map of De Anza College, marked with locations where bombs would be placed. In October, 2002, De Guzman was sentenced to seven years in state prison. De Anza College was unprepared to react had this plan been carried out. The Police Were Called Al De Guzman University Violence: April 2007 Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA Cho Seung-Hui kills 32 people in two separate locations, first two in a dorm and the rest in a classroom building. Incidents are two hours apart. Virginia Tech officials notified students via e-mail almost two hours after the first incident. State review panel concluded that University officials erred in their initial conclusion and in delaying a campus wide notification or in cancelling classes which could have reduced number of casualties. University Violence Cho Seung-Hui Are you prepared to handle a domestic or international crisis?: Are you prepared to handle a domestic or international crisis? Thank You Questions?