Foreigners that end up kidnapped are typically victims of their own naivete. They go to a war torn country and have no means of protecting themselves. Or, they foolishly put themselves in situations where they can be observed, and ultimately abducted, all the while thinking to themselves that it wouldn’t happen to them, or these people love me, or some other illusion along the lines of downplaying the realistic security threats that exist for foreigners, and especially westerners, in these geographical theaters.
As a security contractor in the region, it’s astounding to be asked by a protectee to be left alone outside of the relative safety of the walls. “You guys can head back, I’ll just grab a taxi when I’m done.” Sorry, but that’s a BIG negative.
Some plain and simple rules:
- Don’t go to a hot spot in the world if there is no method of protection. If you’re living out in town in an unprotected villa, and no one has weapons for defense, find another employer/charity to work for, because your safety is in jeopardy.
- No matter what kind of an American you are, don’t assume you are safe, let alone safe away and outside of the protection of your secure compound or your protection team. The, “they love me” attitude can be a huge mistake.
- If you’re a tourist, don’t be a tourist in volatile countries such as Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, etc. There is a whole wide world out there, be a tourist somewhere other than a place that you can be held hostage or imprisoned indefinitely for no other reason other than wandering to close to a border.
The three Americans that were recently kidnapped in Iraq broke these rules. They felt that the horrors that had befell others that had been kidnapped wouldn’t happen to them because of their origins, and therefore had the, “they love me” attitude. Unfortunately, there is an abundance of this viewpoint out there.
To be fair, this is not the case of a handful of people that find themselves kidnapped. This other group is a circumstance of war. Ambushed, blown up and knocked unconscious only to awaken in the custody of the enemy. For this group, stay strong, and resist as long as there is a will to resist.