Potential economic kidnapping victims are frequently characterized by their high social status, remarkable level of well-being, and praiseworthy education attainment. The wealth they are in possession of is in majority of cases inherited from their predecessors or a result of their quickly expanding economic activity. Some of the aforementioned individuals even boast about the owned assets and their exact localization. Actions in question may result in luring potential wrongdoers. On numerous occasions, kidnapping victims are mature or even elderly individuals who have no enemies and are not to any extent aggressive towards the environment. According to executed examinations, the representatives of high risk group are children of parents owning prosperous business undertakings, entrepreneurs themselves, as well as individuals running their businesses on the brink of the law. Kidnappers rather avoid choosing multimillionaires, politicians, and celebrities that are highly recognizable in a given country. The offenders rather seek someone capable of paying ransom in a jiffy for he or she has recently sold a house, inherited a large sum of money, or finalized a big transaction. Kidnapping-related considerations should start from a brief definition of the problem itself. The “kidnaping” or “taking” term refers to taking someone hostage. The aforementioned names are used interchangeably to specify the act of depraving a person, especially a child, of his or her freedom in order to force other parties to pay ransom. The definition proposed by W. Kopalinski includes forceful, sudden taking of an individual, preferably – a woman. Currently, experts rather consider kidnapping (of a child, a woman, or a man) to be organized by a group of criminals or terrorists to demand ransom or freeing their imprisoned fellow criminals. The general definition of kidnapping or taking also points to illegal and forceful keeping one as a hostage without one’s will for financial and economic reasons, as well as tricking third parties into abandoning certain actions for the hostage to be set free. The very term in question was coined by English scientists by combining two words – a kid (a small lamb) and a napper dawn (a burglar). It is defined as an organized undertaking oriented towards depraving someone of his or her freedom, keeping him or her in a confined place, and then – formulating demands that often circulate around ransom or fulfilling certain other requirements of the kidnappers. According to B. Holyst, kidnapping in its exact sense is the attempt to take children of well-off individuals and demand certain criteria to be met for them to be freed. The subject of the said act may be extended to beloved ones, acquaintances, favorite animals (such as dogs or cats), as well as expensive cars. The definition provided above fully pictures the scope of the action that is becoming gradually more severe, widespread, as well as aimed at an increasing number of goods, possessions, and people. A given organization may resort to kidnaping to achieve its personal (taking a girl to marry her), political (kidnaping a hostage to force the government to abandon adopting certain resolutions), and economic goals (receiving ransom). Therefore, proper legal acts minimizing the severity and universality of the discussed crime must be adopted. While taking a closer look at history, one can analyze methods of penalizing kidnapping and protecting rights of the victims. The very first kidnaping that comes to mind is taking Helen of Troy. Most notable Greek heroes tried to win the attention of the beautiful daughter of Zeus. She decided to marry Menelaus, the king of Sparta-to-be, but beforehand, during a quarrel of three goddesses, she had been promised to Paris. The latter took Helena to Troy, but it caused the reaction of Menelaus, who decided to take over Troy by sending his soldiers led by Agamemnon to the battle. The prince managed to capture the city after 10 years. Even today, the literature of the subject is full of considerations as of to what extent Helena was responsible for the outbreak of the Trojan War. Historical accounts of kidnapping also touch upon taking Sabine women by the citizens of Rome. Romulus, the founder of the city, decided that he needed to strengthen his kingdom. That is why he requested his subjects to kidnap Sabine women to watch annual games organized to honor Consus. The said females were afterwards forced to marry the members of the local nobility. As a form of revenge, Sabine men declared war on Romans. It stopped after numerous requests of the hostages themselves. As a sign of peace between the nations, Romulus decided to share power with the king of Sabines, Titus Tacius. What is more, the ruler invited Titus’ subjects to Rome and allowed them to take part in religious rituals organized therein.
Child protection as part of close protection-Kidnapping, It may not be a typical form of attacking a person, but it involves a probable assault that should be considered. In such a case, the agenda of the attacker is not to kill the victim. The kidnapped individual is estimated to be more valuable alive than dead. Motifs of the said act may vary: - economic ones – the wrongdoers want the family or close ones of the subject to pay a ransom; - political - the release of the kidnapped person must be connected with setting free certain prisoners, who may be connected with the terrorist or his organization. Kidnapping is undoubtedly one of the most complex and demanding form of assault, as meticulous preparations are needed beforehand. The moment of taking someone as a hostage must be preceded by: - specification of the task of the attacking team, - identification of the roles of the intelligence team, - designation of goals to be achieved by the logistics team (mainly relating to keeping the subject alive), and – choice of the place where the victim is to be kept.
While acting by surprise, kidnappers have a huge advantage over security guards. The group of bodyguards may be quickly eliminated and that is frequently the case. One should bear in mind that personal protection experts are unable to grant 100 % safety of the cared about individuals. However, the knowledge of kidnapping motifs and their techniques may to a remarkable extent limit the risk of the attack. Three basic forms of the said activity can be enumerated:
Traditional kidnapping taking and keeping hostage a person, preferably a child, to make his or her close ones pay ransom or to satisfy the needs of terrorists. In such a case, the location of both the victim and the offenders is not known. According to gathered statistics, almost a half of taken individuals are kidnapped from their cars, and the remaining part – directly from their homes. Taking control over various means of communication (including buses, planes, vessels, etc.) with passengers and staff. The localization of the victims and their attackers is known. The aforementioned kidnapping form is undoubtedly the most sophisticated one, but it is at the same the most difficult to finish successfully. Numerous mistakes that may be made in the process facilitate attack prevention by security guards. The latter should do what it takes to minimize the damages that can be caused by the assault and, if possible, capture the offenders. One should bear in mind that being kept captive is likely to take its toll on the victim and his or her mental condition.
Attack stages in order to prevent the assault from happening, a bodyguard must familiarize himself with the mode of its preparation. The key point is to take full advantage of wrongdoer’s weak points. It goes without saying that any form of attack is a costly and risky undertaking. A potential terrorist has to properly evaluate the danger, as well as to raise the funds needed to bring the whole operation to finish. Therefore, the basic goal of a prevention undertaking should make the VIP kidnapping process too costly and challenging an action for it to be considered attractive for the offender. Professionally prepared attack can be divided into the following stages:
-choice of the target – made basing on the capabilities and motivations of the organized crime group planning on performing the attack.
-data collection and analysis – the said stage covers gathering valuable pieces of information concerning the victim. An offender would not decide to attack without satisfactory prior knowledge. At this point, it must be highlighted that any form of interview or data collection is highly expensive. The attackers are mostly willing to know whether or not the subject is protected and if so – how many skilled individuals are responsible for his or her full safety. Other precious pieces of information are types of weapons used, ways of reaching key places by the victim-to be, behavioral patterns of security guards, and habits or customs of all the parties involved. Offenders may also resort to collecting data on the family and close relatives of the person to be assaulted. Invigilation – mainly focused on the observation of people and objects. The discussed step is predominantly oriented towards identifying the specificity of the operation area (the house, buildings neighboring the workplace, nearby roads, etc.). Invigilation is crucial, as without it the next stage initiation would be virtually impossible. Attack planning – the said stage is based on planning and coordinating all the undertakings that are necessary for the attack to end up in a successful fashion. Execution – practical realization of the plan. Escape – leaving the attack area. Similarly to data collection, the latter may be exceptionally expensive. Specifying a proper escape route is of essence. The offender must also come to terms with the fact that the operation may end as a failure. Assault as a means of political oppression. In many cases, crime organizations openly admit to committing a given offense in order to warn important individuals ruling the country. Before the attack, the wrongdoers must assess the success chance of the undertaking.
-attacked subject , the attacker or the group collect key pieces of information about the protected individual, his preferences, habits, health condition, routine activities. Furthermore, data on protective measures utilized, the number of guards, and their qualifications is gathered as well.
-tactical advantage, offenders’ advantage is mainly the ability to act by surprise. They are the ones to choose the time, place, and mode of assault. What is more, they select firearms or explosives to be used, attack scope, as well as decide on utilizing fake maneuvers to distracts the guards. Attack execution capability – the attackers must have enough men and equipment at their disposal to bring the assault to an end. Proper logistics-oriented background is also necessary. What must be also taken care of is the ability to reach the attack place earlier without arousing suspicion (min. 20 minutes before the assault initiation). Target identification – the said stage takes place right before the crime itself. It is executed by a person, who passes the beforehand accepted signal to the rest of the group. It may be transferred by means of verbal communication, via phone, or a remote device alike. Escape – the statement that the offenders are willing to die for what they believe in no longer holds true. They are much more likely to execute the operation and try to run away. An emergency escape plan is initiated if any of the five major points of the plan fails. Perfect areas meeting all the attack criteria are locations close to target’s house or workplace. Bodyguards should be at high alert there.
Attacker is the person responsible for bringing the assault to an end. The knowledge of VIP protection forces about such an individual is considered highly valuable. It helps to properly organize and manage defense-oriented actions. It must be also taken into consideration that the threat level depends entirely on the specificity of the wrongdoer. He may be a fanatic or any other extremely dangerous person. He is characterized by determination and devotion – no consequences can stop him. The said person is convinced about the righteousness of his actions and highly believes in the ideology he worships. He is capable of resorting to radical activities, like killing or threatening. Attacker is also characterized by an above-average stress resistance and ability to think in a logical, structured manner. He follows reason while making decisions. The individual in question is additionally equipped with team leading skills and the willingness to improve his qualifications. The aforementioned set of characteristics and abilities combined creates the image of a typical terrorist. It is understandable, however, that the said figure is to a notable extent idealized. Factual attacker would not possess all of the above. Each of his flaws and imperfections can be used to security guards’ advantage. While facing an attack, one should at first consider whether an amateur or an expert is responsible for it. Basing on the conclusions drawn, effective prevention measures may be adopted. An amateur terrorist attacks others out of emotional reasons. He is driven by emotions and in many cases – he will receive no payment for his services. The achievement of the set goal may be for him of higher importance than the life of people around him. Therefore, he is extremely dangerous, unpredictable even. His lack of competence and emotional approach may translate into the high possibility of making a mistake. The latter may be detrimental for both the wrongdoer and his surroundings. On the other hand, an amateur has no access to professional firearms and cannot shoot accurately. Weaknesses in his actions are also easy to spot – he cannot hold the gun properly, fails to act in a stealthy manner, and is easy to track. Operations performed by terrorists of the discussed kind can be classified as fanatic ones, as they are characterized by the lack of advanced knowledge and proper funds. What is more, a non-professional may be also chaotic, nervous, and unable to predict the consequences of his actions. Therefore, one may formulate a statement that he is an opportunist.
A professional attacker is likely to be properly trained, having practical experience, and desirable personality traits. It may also be a former amateur, who has been equipped with the necessary knowledge and provided extensive training. He is dangerous, but predictable as well. Such a person is not likely to make a mistake and pursue of perfection in his actions makes him a threat that is hard to overestimate. A skilled attacker realizes the operation point by point with the proper care being put on his safety. No emotions are involved in his actions, only cold calculation and logical thinking. The person in question works for money – in order to stay in business, his identity must be kept confidential. Furthermore, he is likely to attack from a distance to make the escape easier. The said wrongdoer has excellent firearms and notable sums of money at his disposal. They are all used to remain invisible and attack the target directly. In this case, anti-sniper measures are of immense importance and cannot be overlooked. A professional attacker, in contrast to an amateur, is totally devoted to the effective realization of the major goal – the assault. Regardless, if security guards deal with a skilled or an unskilled offender, if he is highly motivated, then it is almost impossible to prevent the attack. American presidents openly state that if someone wants to kill them, he is likely to succeed. All depends on the engagement, possessed funds, professionalism, and cleverness. Attacks are well thought-out actions and their performers are unlikely to be carried away by emotions. It is the reason why, since the attack in Dallas in 1963, American presidents have not been driving open limos and popes – since the assault in 1981, have been always transported inside bulletproof Papa Mobile.