New ISIS “Just Terror Tactics” Calls For Hostage Taking

Crisis Negotiator Blog by Jeff Thompson

The latest issue of ISIS’s terror magazine, Rumiyah (issue 9), addresses hostage taking. This is important for crisis and hostage negotiators to read and understand as it presents the potential perspective of a terrorist-subject when the incident involves a hostage standoff situation.

Unfortunately terrorists have previously taken the approach of taking hostages and murdering people in the past in Dhaka, Bangladesh; The Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris, France; and the Bataclan concert hall in Paris, France.

Additionally, while reading the excerpts below, it is also important to keep in mind just because this is the recommended approach by ISIS, it is not necessarily the tactic that will be used by the subject. One example that comes to mind is the incident at the Lindt cafe in Sydney, Australia. Did the attacker have a plan? What impact did mental illness have?

Further, it is worth discerning (and discussion with your team) the actions taken by the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida with respect to the recent ISIS suggestions.

Ultimately the point of this (and my forthcoming report in the Canadian Critical Incident Inc. publication) is to help crisis/hostage negotiation teams be informed while also adapt and train for future incidents.

From Rumiyah issue 9, released May 4th, 2017 (recap snippets from MEMRI.org):

“The objective of hostage-taking in the lands of dis­belief [i.e. West] – and specifically in relation to just terror op­erations – is not to hold large numbers of the kuffar hostage in order to negotiate one’s demands.

Rather, the objective is to create as much carnage and terror as one possibly can until Allah decrees his appointed time and the enemies of Allah storm his location or succeed in killing him [i.e. the attacker].”

ISIS goes on to detailing the best locations and scenarios for taking hostages, while reiterating the notion that any undertaken operation that aims to trap people within any confined space is not meant at taking those people as hostages per se, but at killing as many of them as possible and as fast as possible before authorities arrive.

Any remaining people, it notes, can then be used as human shields or to add up to the terror effect of the operation until the inevitable occurs (i.e.  authorities storm the place, attacker is killed, etc.). “It is also essential for one to know that the aim is to kill as many kuffar as one possibly can, and as quickly as one can before the initial police response.

After kill­ing those present one should keep a few of his victims alive as hostages to be used as human shields against the anticipated response of the kafir armed forces.”

It then goes on to further discuss “ideal locations”:

“Ideal target locations for hostage-taking scenarios include night clubs, movie theaters, busy shopping malls and large stores, popular restaurants, concert halls, university campuses, public swimming pools, indoor ice skating rinks, and generally any busy en­closed area, as such an environment allows for one to take control of the situation by rounding up the kuf­far present inside and allows one to massacre them while using the building as a natural defense against any responding force attempting to enter and bring the operation to a quick halt.

Similarly, characteristics of a good target location include low light conditions, as it grants one the ability to maneuver between the people, taking advantage of the confusion and killing as many of the kuffar as physically possible.”

Read more of the review [HERE].

                        author

Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School… MORE >

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