Lessons from Bangalore Kidnapping

  • Stratfor just had interesting article on ways to minimize chances of being kidnapped.

    Having personal experience, I pay attention to articles like this…now.

    Last place I expected to be kidnapped was at the drive through window of my bank. Had I been paying more attention I may have averted situation entirely. (Failing to notice that no bank employee was at drive up window. Watching my mirrors to see bank robber with mask and guns coming toward my vehicle would have enable me to just drive off. Surprise factor would likely avoided any gunfire from robber. Picking up gun when he through first one through window. Turning it on him would have produced stalemate.

    I thought I was someplace safe…my mistake

    Like most victims, I had lot of things I could have done…had I been  paying more attention to my surroundings.

    Student in the Stratfor article was abducted from restaurant on his way home from university. His motor bike was his normal mode of transportation. But it was in the shop…which meant shop employees knew he would have to alter his mode of transportation home.

    Keys kidnappers use to identify potential victims:

    -Visual that victim is in higher economic bracket than most.

    -Career of parent that tips off economic status of family.

    -Anything that “tips” kidnappers that your status could benefit them.

    -May kidnappers have business or people that alert them to potential victims.

    Steps to minimize chances of kidnapping.

    -Always be aware of your surroundings. Are there a group of  people where they normally would not be? Anyone observing you? Someone suspicious parked across street?

    -Adjusting one’s personal routine. Don’t go home the exact same way every day, choose different side of the street, etc.

    -Identify choke points when traveling, on foot, public or private transportation. You may not be able to avoid choke points but if you know where they are, you know to be more aware of your surroundings.

    -When dropping off vehicle for repair, keep quiet about how you will be getting around. Don’t give the shop employees information they could use against you. Applies to any business you frequent. Less they know about you the safer you are likely to be.

    -When varying your routine, pay attention to restaurants or businesses you step into. Take a quick “read” on the business and the attitude of employees and customers. Is this business you would normally visit? If not, move on.

    -Pay attention when checking out of a store, or placing an order at fast food restaurant. Anyone hanging around close by? Anyone showing more interest in you than normal?

    -Be sure you know where you are and your surroundings before accessing your cell phone, email, or texting. When outside or in different place than normal, spend as much time glancing around your surroundings as you do on your cell phone. You can’t afford to spend 2 minutes ignoring your surroundings. Only takes few seconds for someone to put hand over your mouth, get you off balance and force you into a vehicle…especially if they have a knife or gun in your ribs.

    -If you find yourself in a kidnapping situation pay attention to all the little details. Nerves of your attackers, their dress, what are they paying attention to (often tip you off on a way to escape), try to engage them in conversation, or at least listen to them, to learn as much as you can. (This can be bad thing to do if kidnappers appear highly agitated.)

                   When I was kidnapped in bank robbery I quickly saw that kidnapper was very     nervous. Probably had not planned  on kidnapping anyone.  That knowledge enabled me to help kidnapper calm down by talking calmly and in low voice, and giving him some options. That eventually enabled me to escape. What worked in my instance would not have worked had the kidnapper been highly agitated. Key was getting a read on kidnapper so I could figure out what  could help me out of the situation.

    -Keep friends and family apprised of any potential threats you become aware of…including potential bad business deals.

    -Understand that any behaviors that make you stand out, like fancy cars, expensive private schools, etc., are things kidnappers look for. It doesn’t mean not having those things, just be aware where you are using them. Drive a nondescript vehicle through the worst part of town, not your Ferrari.

    Most kidnappings are for financial gain. But that doesn’t mean they can’t still go bad.

    Be aware of your surroundings.

Stratfor Daily Intelligence Brief: Sept. 1, 2016 Stratfor.com is excellent source of information about world events…presented without political agenda. There are universal lessons to personal security.

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