Pakistan – American development expert abducted in Pakistan


Sounce: CNN

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) — Gunmen abducted an American development expert early Saturday, pistol-whipping him and his driver, and tying up his guards after getting past security by posing as neighbors offering food, U.S. Embassy and Pakistani officials told CNN.

The U.S. embassy identified the man as Warren Weinstein, and a Pakistani official said he works for a U.S. consulting firm based in Arlington, Virginia. He’s is a world-renowned development expert, with 25 years of experience, according to his company’s website.

As Weinstein’s security guards prepared for the meal before the Ramadan fast early Saturday, three men knocked at the front gate and offered food for the meal — a traditional practice among Muslims during the Ramadan holy month, according to senior Lahore police official Tajamal Hussain.

Once the gate was opened, the three men forced their way in, while five other suspects entered the house from the back, Hussain said. The men tied up the three security guards and duct-taped their mouths, he said. They pistol-whipped the driver and forced him to take them to Weinstein’s room where the men hit Weinstein in the head with a pistol, and forced him out of the house and into a waiting car, Hussain said. He said Weinstein is in his 60s.

There has been no claim of responsibility nor any demands by any groups so far, according to senior police official Awais Ahmed.

Weinstein has lived in the residence in an upscale Lahore neighborhood for several years, Ahmed said. He works for JE Austin Associates Inc., according to Lahore police chief Nayab Haider.

According to the company’s website, the consulting firm is based in Arlington, Virginia. The site says he was heading what the company described as the “Pakistan Initiative for Strategic Development and Competitiveness.”

It also says Weinstein is a Fulbright Scholar in Belgium and is proficient in six languages, with a doctorate in international law and economics.

U.S. Embassy officials are working with Pakistani authorities on the case, embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez said

The U.S. State Department this week updated a travel advisory for Americans traveling and working in Pakistan, warning that extremist groups operating in the country were continuing to target U.S. and other Western citizens and interests.

It cited part of the reason for the advisory as “reported” abductions of U.S. citizens “for ransom or personal reasons,” including the kidnapping of a U.S. citizen in Lahore in June. No further details about that incident were released.

Abductions are not unusual in Pakistan, though those targeted are typically Pakistani rather than American or Western.

In early July, a Swiss couple was grabbed at gunpoint while traveling in the town of Loralai in the volatile southwestern Balochistan province, provincial officials said at the time.

Three weeks after their abduction, Pakistani authorities said they believed the couple was still alive.

Weinstein’s abduction follows another high-profile incident involving an American in Lahore.

Raymond Davis, a CIA contractor, was charged with killing two men in January, but was released in March after compensation was paid to their families.

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Tiger Kidnap – The Threat To The Financial Sector


Tiger kidnappers are usually able to coerce their victims into unlocking doors, entering the right codes in vaults and even warning them of special secret security measures.

‘Someone will be killed’

Although no relative has ever been murdered in such a situation, the thought in the back of the victim’s mind is enough to coerce them into co-operating with the gang.

“The increase in the rate of tiger kidnappings within recent years is believed to be attributable to a hardening of physical security standards while overlooking the important human factor.”

Mr Lewry  at Control Risks says the media under-reports tiger kidnappings, usually because the police and security companies are not keen to highlight the problem.

He says it is wrong to think only managers of banks and cash depots are vulnerable, pointing to tiger kidnappings involving jewellers, supermarket managers and even McDonald’s staff.

Mr Lewry says victims are usually terrified and traumatised, and rarely return to the workplace afterwards.

He adds it is very hard to combat tiger kidnappings.

“One way is to have a system whereby more than one person needs to be present for a door or a vault to open, but even then if someone’s family has been kidnapped, they will do everything they can to persuade their colleague to come in and help them.”

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Intelligence available to Crime and Security, the force’s intelligence department, indicates that gangs from Finglas and Coolock were trained in the use of military firearms and surveillance while attending a bodyguarding course in eastern Europe. They enrolled on the private military courses using the internet.

“A handful of suspects have attended bodyguarding and weapons courses taught by former commandos in the eastern bloc. These courses are usually offered to people who want to become bodyguards. They teach everything from how to use guns to counter-surveillance. Some courses train students in how to deal with armed confrontations,” said one security source.

“In this case, they are effectively training for kidnappings and armed robberies, and the day when they will encounter an armed response unit.”

Detectives have long suspected that certain criminals had received military or special-forces training. Kidnap victims taken in recent tiger raids have told investigating gardai that raiders operated in a military-style fashion and didn’t seem to panic when confronted with problems.

One witness described her captors as operating in such cohesion that she likened them to a Swat team. Other kidnap victims have made statements saying their captors worked as a close unit and were notably polite to them.

Another feature in several of the raids was the absence of CCTV footage of the suspects, leading detectives to conclude the culprits had been trained in counter-surveillance.

Gang members have also shown themselves to be more than adept at departing from crime scenes without leaving DNA traces.

The suspicion that Irish criminals have received firearms training poses a serious problem for specialist garda teams like the elite emergency response unit, which is tasked with combating armed gangs. It has also forced gardai to re-evaluate the threat posed by some gangs in the Dublin region.

Gardai believe the criminals enrolled on courses by booking over the internet. Private firearms and bodyguarding courses are advertised widely on the internet and in security publications.

Read about Panic/Safe Rooms here

Course attendance fees range from €4,000 to €25,000 depending on the tuition provided. Former commandos retired from the Croatian and Serbian armies act as course tutors. There is no indication that the course operators are aware of the ultimate intentions of their clients.

Modules for most courses include firearms instruction, counter-surveillance and siege situations. Students are also permitted to use a variety of weapons including Uzi submachine guns and semi-automatic revolvers while being drilled in firearms and shooting techniques.

There have been about ten tiger kidnapping in the past ten months, netting a few gangs in excess of €2.5m. Among the high-profile raids was the theft of €800,000 from the Permanent TSB in Coolock, Dublin.

A gang held the manager’s family hostage overnight before forcing her to hand over the cash.

Michael McDowell, the justice minister, has warned banks against co-operating with kidnappers. McDowell has told financial institutions that if they pay a ransom to gangs involved in tiger robbery kidnappings, they are endangering people’s lives.

Source: BBC and The Sunday Times

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What to do if you are kidnapped -Kidnapping and Hostage Survival Guidelines


The chances of your being kidnapped or taken hostage are small. If it does happen, your chances of survival are high.

Kidnapping is a terrifying experience, but you probably possess more personal resources than you think to cope with the situation. Remember, you are of value to those who are holding you only if you are alive, and they want to keep you that way. Your best defense is passive cooperation. The more time passes, the better your chances of being released alive.

Note: 

For the CAC course (Conduct after Capture) contact ABP World Group. The objective of this course is to better prepare civilians for a kidnap/hostage situation and improve their chances of getting home alive.

kidnap_Negotiation_Hostage_Rescue

Kidnapping can happen anywhere –

you can be taken off the street, from a car, or from your hotel room or residence. The best opportunity for escape is in the beginning, during the confusion of the apprehension while you are still in a public place. If escape is impossible or too risky, you should nevertheless try to cause as much commotion as safely possible to draw attention to the situation. You need to make others aware that an abduction has taken place so that the authorities are notified and the search can begin. Otherwise, it could be hours or days before your absence is reported.

Once you have been forced into a vehicle, you may be blindfolded, beaten (to cause unconsciousness), drugged, or forced to lie face down on the floor of the vehicle. In some instances, hostages have been forced into trunks or specially built compartments for transporting contraband. If drugs are administered, do not resist. Their purpose will be to sedate you and make you more manageable. It is probably better to be drugged than to be beaten unconscious. If you are conscious, follow your captors’ instructions.

While being confined and transported, do not struggle. Calm yourself mentally and concentrate on surviving. Attempt to visualize the route being taken, make a mental note of turns, street noise, smells, etc. Try to keep track of the amount of time spent between points. You will be asked questions about this after your release in an effort to determine where you were held.


Once you have arrived at your destination, you may be placed in a temporary holding area before being moved again to a more permanent detention site. If you are interrogated:

  • Retain a sense of pride but act cooperative.
  • Divulge only information that cannot be used against you. Make every effort to avoid embarrassing the U.S. and the host government.
  • Do not antagonize your interrogator with obstinate behavior.
  • Concentrate on surviving. If you are to be used as a bargaining tool or to obtain ransom, you will be kept alive.

After reaching what you may presume to be your permanent detention site (you may be moved several more times), quickly settle into the situation.

  • Be observant. Notice the details of the room, the sounds of activity in the building and determine the layout of the building by studying what is visible to you. Listen for sounds through walls, windows or out in the streets, and try to distinguish between smells. Note the number, names, physical description, accents, habits , and rank structure of your captors. Try to memorize this information so that you can report it after your release.
  • Know your captors. Memorize their schedule, look for patterns of behavior to be used to your advantage, and identify weaknesses or vulnerabilities. Use this information to assess opportunities to escape.
  • Expect to be accused of being an intelligence agent and to be interrogated intensively. Do not admit to any accusations. Keep your answers short and don’t volunteer information or make unnecessary overtures.
  • Try to establish a rapport with your captors. Family is a universal subject. So are sports and many hobbies. Your goal should be to get the hostage takers to view you as a real person, rather than simply an object. Listen actively to the terrorists’ feelings and concerns, but never praise, participate in, or debate their “cause.” If you know your captors’ language, use it. Ask them to teach you their language.
  • Speak normally. Don’t complain. Avoid being belligerent and comply with all orders and instructions. Once a level of rapport or communication is achieved, try asking for items that will increase your personal comfort. Don’t be afraid to ask for anything you need or want such as medicines, books, or papers. Make requests in a reasonable, low-key manner.
  • Plan on a lengthy stay and devise a way to keep track of the passage of time. If isolated, you can approximate time by noting changes in temperature between night and day, the frequency and intensity of outside noises (traffic, birds), and by observing the alertness of guards.
  • Establish a daily schedule of mental as well as physical exercise. If your movement is extremely limited, use isometric and flexing exercises to keep your muscles toned. To maintain your strength, eat what you are given even if it does not look appetizing and you don’t feel hungry. Use relaxation techniques to reduce stress.
  • If you detect the presence of other hostages in the same building, try to devise ways to communicate.

During interrogation, do not be uncooperative, antagonistic, or hostile towards your captors. Captives who display this type of behavior are often held longer or become the object of torture or punishment. Take a simple, tenable position and stick to it. Be polite and keep your temper. Give short answers. Talk freely about nonessential matters, but be guarded when conversations turn to matters of substance. Don’t be lulled by a friendly approach. Remember, one terrorist may play “Good Guy” and one “Bad Guy.” This is the most common interrogation technique.

Watch for signs of “Stockholm Syndrome” which occurs when the captive, due to the close proximity and the constant pressures involved, begins to relate to, and empathize with, the captors. In some cases, this relationship has resulted in the hostage becoming sympathetic to the point that he/she actively participates in the activities of the group. Establish a friendly rapport with your captors, but maintain your personal dignity and do not compromise your integrity.

If forced to present terrorist demands to authorities, either in writing or on tape, state clearly that the demands are from your captors. Avoid making a plea on your own behalf.

Be patient, as hostage negotiations are often difficult and time consuming. Remember, your chances of survival increase with time. Most episodes of kidnapping or hostage-taking end with no loss of life or physical injury to the captive.  Eventually you will probably be released or rescued. Do not try to escape unless you are certain of success. If you are able to escape, go first to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate to seek protection. If you cannot reach either, go to a host government or friendly government office.

If an attempt is made to rescue you, keep a low profile and immediately follow all instructions. Rescue will generally be attempted only after negotiations have failed. That means that lives of hostages, terrorists, and rescue forces are all at risk during the rescue. You don’t want to be shot in the confusion while the rescue team identifies the terrorists, who may try to disguise themselves as hostages. To protect yourself, follow these rules:

  • DO NOT RUN. Drop to the floor and remain still. If that is not possible, cross your arms on your chest, bow your head, and stand still. Make no sudden moves that a tense rescuer may interpret as hostile.
  • Wait for instructions and obey all instructions you are given.
  • Don’t be upset if a rescuer isn’t sure whether you are a terrorist or hostage. Even if you are handcuffed and searched, do not resist. Just wait for the confusion to clear.

Note:

For the CAC course (Conduct after Capture) contact ABP World Group. The objective of this course is to better prepare civilians for a kidnap/hostage situation and improve their chances of getting home alive.

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ABP World Group Risk Management

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01 442 9322 Ireland

031-753 83 77 Sweden

Mexico’s kidnapping nightmare


In 2008, a thousand people were kidnapped in Mexico according to official data, though the real figure is claimed to be at least three times more, and the phenomenon is increasing dramatically.

Three years ago, Hugo Wallace was kidnapped. Kidnappers wanted his money so they led him into a trap and killed him.

And Hugo Wallace is not an isolated case. In Mexico, kidnapping is big business. As France and Mexico negotiate the case of Florence Cassez, a French woman convicted of kidnapping, FRANCE 24 takes you to a country were over a thousand were kidnapped last year.

In Mexico, a country rife with corruption, our reporters met the victims as well as the authorities who are meant to be fighting this plague. Families who have a lost a member to kdinapping assaults must cope with an inefficient and sometimes complicit police.

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ABP World Group Risk Management

Contact us here: Mail

NOTE: We are always available 24/7

(646) 502-7443 United States

069 2547 2471 Germany

020 3239 0013 United Kingdom

01 442 9322 Ireland

031-753 83 77 Sweden