Guile & Deception as Kidnapping Tools

Most people when they think of a kidnapping think of a violent, dramatic event. The victim is ambushed, dragged from his car, threatened with weapons and restrained before being moved to a location where he is isolated. Many kidnappings do follow this model or something very similar. Speed, violence, “shock and awe” are effective tools…

When Cultural Faux Pas and Inadvertent Rule-Breaking Lead to Detention

US citizen Shezanne Cassim and four other men are currently being detained in United Arab Emirates for making a satirical film about a fictional martial arts school in Satwa neighborhood of Dubai.  The 20-minute film, which follows the format of shows like Fight Quest and Human Weapon begins with the film makers visiting the fictional…

Probability: Looking at Likelihood When Assessing Risk

There is a tendency to be drawn to the more exotic, spectacular or exciting threats when considering personal risk rather than the more likely but more mundane threats.  In many parts of the developing world your greatest risk is a vehicle accident.  Poorly maintained vehicles, lack or total absence of professional driver training and licensing,…

The Amorphous Threat

Amorphous:  Without a clearly defined shape or form; vague; indeterminate or unclassifiable When contemplating personal security situations we often envision the threat – whatever it may be – to be clear and direct.  Sometimes it is but often that is not the case.  Many crimes are direct and overt.  A blitz attack, a knife or…

Dangerous Business

If you do business in an international environment then chances are you deal with a wide range of people with different ideas about acceptable business practices, business ethics, conflict resolution and competition.  While some of these people may hold views very similar to yours many others may have a different perspective.   Generally speaking the further…

Travel Security: Keeping it in Perspective – Part 2

Continuing with the theme of keeping travel security in perspective that we introduced in the last article I’d like to stress again the need to keep a realistic and practical view of your personal security when traveling overseas and to avoid alarmist perceptions that often follow incidents like the Sarai Sierra case and the sexual…

Travel Security: Keeping it in Perspective

The dramatic disappearance and murder of US solo tourist Sarai Sierra in Istanbul and the recent gang rape of a Swiss female tourist in India have brought attention to the darker side of travel.  In the wake of these incidents, in particular the Sarai Sierra case there were numerous ill-informed comments by columnists and bloggers…

The Insider Threat & Risk of Kidnapping

This is excerpted from the Integrated Protective Concepts book Kidnapping Prevention & Avoidance. Without a doubt the greatest threat you are likely to potentially encounter is the insider threat. Numerous kidnapping cases throughout the world have involved a person close to the victim or with inside knowledge of the victim’s activities and routine facilitating the…

The Gang of Blondes – Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Looks can be deceiving and more than one person has fallen victim to becoming complacent because a person they were dealing with turned out to be more dangerous than they initially appeared. A great example of this is the “Gang of Blondes” (Gangue das Loiras) a female kidnapping ring that was believed to be responsible…

Cultural Awareness – the Security Dimension

Being culturally aware is important for anyone traveling abroad or conducting international business.  It’s important to recognize that not everyone around the world sees things the way we do and understanding others’ perspectives and customs will allow us to better relate and avoid inadvertently offending someone. Noted cultural trainer Dean Foster recently wrote a piece…