There are different types of ‘terrorist attacks, but one of them we’ve been increasingly seeing in the news lately: Islamist Jihadists take over a public place or business and immediately create terror victims resulting from being taken hostage.
The likelihood of these incidents compared to other dangerous daily events in America are still basically slim, when you do the math. The bad news is that even the government ‘projections’ imply that these types of hostage style acts of terror will be the most prevalent in the immediate future, due to their ease of implementing by the ‘lone wolf’ type of terrorist cells.
The ‘location’ factor also plays a significant role in the frequency potential. If you live in New York, for instance, and you frequently patronize Delis and other crowded places, your odds of experiencing something will increase compared to the very low probability of a farmer in South Dakota. But never say never…
Are you prepared to face this type of hostage situation, and get through it alive? Read the following article and you probably would.
The Creepy Journey into the Mind of the Attacker
Terrorist are addicted to the adrenalin from an ’avenging power of God’ rush they get when creating a situation of horrific fear for ordinary defenseless people.
It satisfies their need to dominate, subjugate, and punish people in the name of their delusional belief of the interpretation of their religion. It seems like this is something that can’t be reasoned with or mitigated in objective social integration. It’s their way, or the beheading way.
But to understand the personal survival plan for these specific scenarios, you should know the psychology behind the deadly motivation. Islamic terrorist hostage involved scenarios are almost diametrically opposed to hostage situations related to crimes such as bank robberies, ransom kidnappings, or ’standoff’ situations by a desperate fugitive trying to escape capture or death by police.
While the basic mechanics of the violence, the statutory designations and punishments of the crimes might be similar, there are important differences when it comes to the foreseeable future of your life.
The common attackers are not typically concerned with hostages except as an impromptu ‘in-progress’ detour from their original plans. The taking of hostages is then caused by a need to stall an unexpected rapid responding police obstruction, or facilitate their escape if surrounded.
The Muslim terrorists don’t care about ‘escaping’: they are on a ‘mission from god’. They not only are NOT afraid of police, but inclined to kill them at any opportunity. Recently news videos recorded a home grown Jihadist who actually attacked New York patrolman with a hatchet as a primary target right on a public street! These terrorists only care about proliferating the maximum ‘terror’ effect against their perceived enemies, which is just about anybody else but themselves.
In fact, they accept the fact that they’ll likely not make it out alive and they act accordingly and plan on it! It’s called being a ‘martyr’ for their cause, so they always ’default’ to the ’martyr mode’… and try to murder as many others as they can before the police take them down.
This is an IMPORTANT DIFFERENCE to make for your personal safety if you are one of the hostages.
But the thing to accept without doubt, is that there is a much more unlikely survival success ratio in a radical Islamist terror hostage situation. The police already know this, which creates another danger level in and of itself.
The police sometimes think that the hostages will die anyway, so they might as well shift their tactical priority to a direct assault mode and maybe they can take out the terrorists before they try to kill ALL of the hostages. Police rely upon their superior training and tactics to mitigate that outcome and hopefully save some of the hostages.
Your actions, or inaction, should reflect that understanding. Instead of negotiating with police so that snipers don’t take him out while he surrenders or gets away like a bank robber would usually do, the Muslim terrorist would rather go out like a zombie and take as many of the hostages with him if he doesn’t get his way.
And that is what happened in the Charlie Hebdo situation. Some hostages died, but most were saved. But becoming a terrorist hostage is one of the worst predicaments to be in.
But is there ANY WAY OUT OF THIS?
So the difficult to accept reality is that if you are taken hostage by Islamist Jihadist Terrorist, there will almost certainly be an attempt by the terrorist to kill the hostages, if the police don’t kill the terrorists first.
The only other reasonable options are to consider the following if caught in such a situation…
1. Immediately Try to Escape
AAM (Accute Awareness Mode) is essential when out in the public especially at potentially targeted locations. In today’s world you can’t be an airhead anymore. It’s just too dangerous in many ways. The best preventative measure is to avoid danger by focused awareness.
With police work it’s called ‘profiling’. And that’s not necessarily a ‘bad’ thing unless the MSM blows it out of proportion and tries to make it a racial issue. ‘Profiling’ is a daily part of social integration with all of us. We use it to find the person we want to be friends with, the people we want to hire, and even more importantly to avoid trouble. And certainly your ‘profiling skills’ should be ‘fine tuned’ in the expectation of serious personal danger.
While on patrol a cop sees a group of known gangsters walking down an alley and they’re all wearing T-shirts but one is wearing a long raincoat when there’s not a cloud in the sky. In the performance of his duty, the cop has immediate ’reasonable suspicion’ justification to ‘check this out’ and can lawfully affect an ‘information query’ as part of the job description. This can then lead to ‘probable cause’ for a stop and frisk.
It is well known in documented police cases that this type of ‘attire’ in public under certain attendant conditions might mean that the purpose of a raincoat when there is no normal need for it, is to hide a shotgun or other weapon under it.
Similarly you are in a shopping mall or a social event and a person walks in with a buttoned up jacket that appears inordinately and strangely bulky in fit. He’s looking around suspiciously and nervously and perhaps he has a certain type of beard that also raises red flags which push all channel buttons on your 6th sense intuition TV. Then you should immediately turn around, and get away from there as smoothly, quietly, and as rapidly as possible.
You can always go back in later if nothing happened. But if an explosion goes off, or shooting starts, you’ll be forever thankful that your AA mode saved you by getting you out of there before the SHTF!
Proactively practice awareness techniques require a shift in mental attitude when out and about. Don’t have your ear constantly glued to the Smart Phone while you are walking somewhere, tuning out everything around you making yourself an easy target for any predator. And don’t be concentrating on what you are planning to make for supper to a point that all your senses are now locked in visualization of savory stews and delicious desserts.
Make these few things instead:
- Keep checking your outer perimeter circle down the street several yards ahead,
- Check across the street to the side, and even occasionally behind you to get a perspective of who might be following you and how long have they been there,
- Visualize certain potential reaction to danger scenarios
- See yourself ’reacting’ in your mind’s eye.
You’ve probably seen the news videos of those gangs who are practicing those ‘Knock -Out’ games where they literally cripple some innocent passers-by from a quick ambush punch from within the cover of the group to the victim’s face. This would never happen to me and others who, almost as an automatic second nature by now, are constantly in AA-Mode. At least not before I put the one trying to do the ’knock out’ in the hospital if he was lucky.
If something starts to seem strange, focus more on it, even if you have to momentarily change direction. This also goes for being stationary in a place of business catering to the general public. When you look up from what you are doing, always slowly scan in a clockwise 360 degree circle if possible and then back scan once more over the same scenery counter clockwise. Your subconscious ‘eye’ will do the rest.
I was once talking to a man I knew outside of a shopping mall and the woman he was with said “what’s your problem with maintaining eye contact when someone speaks to you, don’t you know that makes you seem suspicious?” I asked her if I seem as suspicious as the two punks I’m watching who keep circling that nice BMW I believe is yours? They both turned around and she later apologized for her pseudo body language analysis as we walked over to her car which prompted the guilty looking punks eyeballing some items in the back seat to walk off quickly.
Begin training yourself to anticipate danger at every turn and visualize how you’d escape in real time observation. That’s why you can usually tell the plainclothes cops in a restaurant because among other things they like to sit in a corner where they can observe most of the surroundings.
It’s not being paranoid, it’s being intelligently prudent.
2 . Hide in Place
Maybe you can’t immediately escape, such as in certain businesses where the terrorist is blocking the main egress to the inside of where you are trapped, like an old style school room with only one entrance door or a similar office environment. If so, try to hide at the first sign or sounds that indicate something is wrong.
There are cases where people hid under their desks or in closets virtually right in front of the armed predators and even called the police and directed them to their rescue. If you are not noticed and relatively secure, you can also plan your escape from your hiding place if the opportunity presents itself. Especially if there are other exits the hostage taker(s) aren’t aware of.
This can be an option even though you are in a group that is being watched by the hostage taker, as long as you maintain a low profile and his attention is not unduly focused on you. If you have a cell phone, forget about keeping your best friend, family members, or sweetie-pie as the number one speed dial button. Make that one 911. You don’t want to be pushing too many digits under stress and time constraints.
Remember this very important fact about the dynamics of such situations. Unlike the movies, a moving target is very hard to hit, especially with a pistol, even if you are a trained marksman, which the average armed terrorist is certainly not. So making a ‘break for it’ is not a bad option if you have an open way out. If you are fairly athletic or a fast runner, your odds might be much better of surviving the incident if you try a quick escape when nobody is watching you.
If it is a lone gunman, he might take a shot at you, but he won’t chase you if he misses and risk the chance of more of the hostages escaping. And even if you get hit but not mortally wounded, you’ll be able to keep running and as soon as you’re outside you’ll be in the hands of paramedics.
If you noticed in the recent Australian hostage situation, at least four hostages were seen running out the door into the arms of police. They made the critical choice to escape, when the terrorist was distracted and not watching them even though it sounded like the terrorist took a couple shots at them as they fled.
They all survived physically, at least, unscathed. They also helped save the other hostages because they gave the police critical inside info to facilitate their rescue strategy.
3. Don’t Provoke or Irritate the Terrorist
Believe it or not, some people think they’re going to use the same intimidation techniques they use on their errant teenagers, or learn in their Power Sales seminars on Jihadists. It may have worked at some time or another in the past with an armed criminal to some extent – so maybe another hostage could attack the perpetrator while distracted, but I guarantee you this won’t work with a Muslim Jihadist. They’ll likely just immediately shoot you as an example so others don’t try to get froggy.
Don’t forget they are into ‘submissiveness’ to their god and they expect and demand anyone else provide the same submissiveness to them. So you would want to act very ‘submissive’ and compliant.
One little secret trick a hostage could try, would be to politely say to your captor if he focuses on you that ‘… I think you should know, sir, that I’m not a Jew or Christian but I am thinking about becoming a Muslim because I have good friends in my building who are Muslims… so I sympathize with your cause…”
In understanding the Islamist mentality, this ‘might’ gain you an immediate psychological advantage. At least not get you picked first if he decides to start shooting one of you every hour if his demands are not met.
This also might give you another tactical ’advantage’ when trying to implement your escape or resistance. Because he might trust you enough then to let you get closer than the others would.
Otherwise, maintain the lowest profile you can. If you are a female hostage and are heavily plastered with make-up and attention drawing lipstick, discreetly try to WIPE IT OFF when nobody is looking. And DON’T SPEAK with the terrorist(s) or even make noticeable eye contact until spoken to. But definitely DON’T STOP ‘thinking’.
4. Control Yourself
The Terrorist WANTS you to immediately be extremely afraid of him, this is how they control and manipulate you.
So if you can’t immediately escape early and quickly in the initial dynamics do not succumb to fear and emotional collapse from hopelessness, which detracts from actionable ability and success. There’s always hope. The evil one in the move Hunger Games said ’hope is more dangerous than fear’ to the aggressor.
Don’t think about anything but surviving. Control your fear but don’t aggravate the situation.
Spec-ops mission preps now includes an esoteric exercise which consists of slowly and quietly taking a deep breath, holding it for a count of three seconds, then slowly exhaling. Then repeating this as much as you can just before the actual stress launching event. You’ll be surprised at how clear thinking and focused you become without being irrationally fearful.
Once under control of yourself, then begin to think about how evil this horrible monster is and begin to build up a ‘righteous offensiveness’ within your survival spirit. This becomes the fuel which will power your inner physical strength to save your life if you choose to. Don’t let it be seen by the terrorist, just let it cook and simmer until you need it.
5. Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way–But Please Do Something
Last but not least, is that you will invariably be compelled to make a critical choice one way or the other in your hostage situation . You will either resolve yourself to the acceptance of your demise, and go quietly mewling like a lamb to a slaughter, or you may decide that you are not going down without a fight?
Doing ‘something’ sometimes means to just ‘wait’ for the opportune time to ‘make a move’. Einstein said that ‘nothing happens until something moves’. Therefore the first person to move has the advantage of initial action as opposed to the delayed factor in reaction. What ‘happens’ then, depends upon two things: How ‘good’ you are and how lucky you are. And not necessarily in that order.
Good means different things in various applications. If you are a good ‘actor’, this often helps as a distraction advantage in a hostage situation. If you are physically superior to your captor then this would certainly be good if you decided to ’jump him’
If you make the decision to ‘die trying’ and you’re not a trained fighter watch for any weapons you can use. Restaurants have a lot of knives and forks and even a spoon in the eye would immediately change the dynamics of advantage. Almost everybody these days should be carrying at least a lock blade pocket knife or a small pepper spray. And anything that can be used as a rapidly deployed club would be helpful.
A lot depends on your integration with any other hostages. If you had the opportunity to discuss your situation because you’ve been herded into a room together but not directly watched, there might be others willing to go on the offensive as well.
In this case your plan would be for a sudden surprise attack/ambush at a predetermined signal or move by one of the hostages, whereupon all would converge on the terrorists at once, as rapidly and viciously as possible. Or perhaps one of you who was a good ‘actor’ would serve to somehow ‘distract’ the terrorist momentarily while the ones with the most potential for subduing him will attack directly.
These situational variables are almost impossible to train for in a ‘simple’ lesson, and ultimately depends on the psychology and presence of mind of the hostages. None of the tactics fit all, and there are often too many complications to ensure 100% success. There may be two or more terrorists, and only two hostages. If the terrorist appears to have a bomb strapped to him/her and a detonator switch in his hand, this is a highly dangerous scenario.
However not entirely without remedy.
In Israel a suicide vested bomber walked into a restaurant and an Israeli commando happened to be there and attacked him when he was distracted and prevented him from detonating the bomb. But unless you are a hand to hand combat expert your odds are pretty bleak in that type of hostage situation.
These days there are many more concealed carry people out there than a few years ago who are trained well enough to attack the terrorist, having a good chance of succeeding. Add in the off duty cops everywhere and former military vets and you might be fortunate enough that one of these people would be among the hostages.
If I, personally, somehow got caught in one of these situations I would fight back at the earliest opportune moment. But I happen to be an extensively trained combat pistol shooter and I usually carry a weapon with a 17 round capacity mag in it loaded with special hot and frangible rounds. In other words I can almost instantly take out a terrorist, or two, or three, while minimizing the chance of anybody else getting hit.
If you feel your lifestyle might put you much more in proximity of such dangerous situations, then it might be prudent to become ’highly skilled’ ins such ’martial’ applications. Ultimately the decision to ’fight’ will be a commitment to a ’fight to the death’.
Only you can make the critical choice to risk your life, as there are never any guarantees in such circumstances. Only perhaps the police will be moving quickly with total success to save the hostages, or some of the hostages will have the presence of mind and physical capacity to favorably change the inevitable outcome if the terrorist maintains his purpose.
But if you just remember these tips your chances of survival will at least be higher, all things considered.
Some experts say that the pragmatic terrorist threat in this country is ’greatly exaggerated’ because of agenda based ’politics’ and that in reality you have a better (or worse, depending upon perspective) chance of getting hit by a car or shot by a confused police officer than to be involved in a terrorist hostage situation.
I guess we’ll all find out sooner or later, won’t we?
In the meanwhile consider what this visionary American Patriot once said: “Those who fail to prepare…are preparing to fail.” – Ben Franklin.