Practical, Tactical and Legal Perspectives of Terrorism and Hostage Taking

Author: Poland, James
McCrystle, Michael
The tragedies of failed negotiations and tactical rescue attempts at Ruby Ridge, Waco, and the Good Guys electronic store highlight the difficulty of peacefully resolving hostage/crisis situations. The volatility of hostage-taking events, especially terrorist hostage takers, demonstrates the complicated challenges negotiators and tactical response teams face as they attempt to resolve hostage/crisis events. This text provides practical, tactical, and legal information concerning the interactive strategies of hostage negotiations. One of its major strengths is a comprehensive review of the legal perspectives related to hostage-taking incidents. The text is well-documented and draws on the experience of scholars and practitioners in an effort to provide the best information on determining the outcome of hostage-taking events. It ads to the behavioral science literature associated with the complicated process of hostage negotiations. The book is a blend of theory, research, practical, and legal discussion that makes it a valuable contribution to the literature on hostage negotiations.


“. . . an excellent source document for anyone responsible for the resolution of critical incidents including hostage, barricade and terrorist activities. The material is laid out in a logical and systematic format taking the reader on a detailed and comprehensive tour of hostage/crisis negotiations. . . . the legal issue chapter will educate the entry-level tactician and serve as a wake-up call for the seasoned practitioner. . . . this text will be a valuable resource to those individuals who are involved in the area of law enforcement that has a specific role in handling critical incidents involving people in crisis.” – Robert Lozito, Hostage/Crisis Negotiator, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office

“. . . a fact-laden text that is well documented, well structured, thorough, concise and gives an imaginative treatment to the significant problem of hostage taking. . . . the case studies are specific, original, and carefully supported by facts surrounding each case. Also of interest to high-risk professions is a chapter on how to survive a hostage situation. The entire text offers a fascinating in-depth analysis of terrorist hostage-taking episodes.” – Robert Lorinskas “. . . this text will play a vital role in the further understanding of terrorism and hostage-taking. The text has met the challenge and presented a well documented and reasoned approach that is a valuable addition to the literature on hostage-taking, terrorism, and crisis management.” – Thomas R. Phelps

Table of Contents

Table of Contents (all chapters include objectives, summaries and questions for review and discussion)
Foreword, Preface
1. Terrorism – Hostage Typologies and Beyond: Typologies of Hostage-Taking; Typologies of Hostage-Taking
2. Key Perspectives and Issues on Hostage-Taking: Law Enforcement; Potential Targets; Security Arrangements; Psychological Interaction; Stockholm Syndrome; London Syndrome; Contagion Syndrome; Impact of Hostage-Taking on Society
3. Hostage-Taking Concepts and Effects: Phases of Hostage-Taking; Guidelines and Intelligence; Information about Hostage-Takers, Hostages and Locations
4. Process of Negotiations, Some Consideration: The Negotiator; Team Concept and Process of Negotiation; Negotiator Selection; Negotiator Training; Negotiator Strategies and Styles
5. Hostage Rescue, Tactical Considerations: Hostage Rescue – The US Experience; Entebbe and Beyond; Growth of Hostage Rescue Teams; Tactical Teams; Tactical Team – Responsibilities and Selection
6. Case Study Analysis: The Good Guys; Ruby Ridge – Weaver Incident; Waco Incident; Skyjacking – Croatian Nationalists
7. Legal Considerations of Hostage-Taking and Crisis Situations: The Duty to Negotiate – The Down’s Case; Use of Deadly Force; Miranda and Hostage-Taking; Media and Crisis Situations; Eavesdropping, Wiretapping, Video Surveillance and Other High Technology Devices; Crime Scene Searches – Post Emergency; The Hostage-Taking Act; Contracts of Immunity
8. The Future of Terrorist Hostage-Taking: Hostage-Taking and Terrorism; A New Generation of Hostage-Takers; Super Terrorism and Hostage-Taking; Future Hostage-Taking Strategies - Some Considerations
Appendix: How to Survive a Hostage Situation; Security Preparation – Assessing the Threat; Open-Source Information; Human Sources; Single Intelligence Collection; Photographic Intelligence Collection; Surveillance; Hostage-Taking Countermeasures; The Capture Phase; Surviving Captivity
Bibliography; Legal References; Index; Index of Authors