Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis
Kidnapping and Abduction: Minimizing the Threat and Lessons in Survival / Edition 1

Kidnapping and Abduction: Minimizing the Threat and Lessons in Survival / Edition 1

by Brian John Heard


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Terrorist groups and organized crime cartels pose an increasing threat of kidnapping throughout many regions in the word. At the same time, international travel has become more commonplace for both business and leisure purposes. Kidnapping and Abduction: Minimizing the Threat and Lessons in Survival provides a practical guide on the precautions travelers can take to avoid being kidnapped or derail a kidnapping attempt in progress. In the event this cannot be avoided, the book supplies advice on how to ensure survival during captivity.

Readers will learn:

  • The basic elements of kidnapping and abduction
  • The motivations and mechanisms of kidnappers
  • The hotspots where kidnapping/hostage taking is prevalent
  • Vehicles best suited for avoidance of kidnap threat and proposals for up-armoring an existing vehicle
  • How to recognize immediate threats and precautions to be taken in assessing threat level
  • The types of weapons most favored by kidnappers and their threat level
  • Available bullet-resistant materials and their use in stab- and bullet-resistant vests
  • Resistance methodologies and weapons for self-defense
  • Legislation in various countries pertaining to the carrying of weapons
  • How to survive long-term abduction if kidnapped
  • How to best assist the authorities once released

Essential reading for anyone living, doing business, or traveling abroad or at sea, this practical handbook reveals tactics that best enable those vulnerable to protect against an attack—or in the worse-case scenario, increase their chances for survival.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781482228151
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 12/03/2014
Pages: 222
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Brian J. Heard is an internationally chartered chemist with a degree in analytical chemistry and a post-graduate diploma in forensic science from the British Forensic Science Society. He is a former deputy head of the New Scotland Yard Forensic Firearms Examination Laboratory where he was part of the armed response and hostage team and trained as a negotiator for hostage, suicide, and other armed and unarmed incidents. He spent 20 years as a Royal Hong Kong Police Force ballistics officer prior to serving as the Director of the Hong Kong Police Forensic Firearms Examination Bureau. Awarded numerous medals for his work in Hong Kong, he has also published seven books on ballistics, firearms, and other topics.

Table of Contents


Abduction or Kidnapping, the Legal Definition


The Money Factor

Varying Laws

Demographic Distribution of Kidnap Incidents

Latin America



The Middle East

The United States of America

Other Western Countries

Kidnapping by Terrorists

Attack Recognition and Personal Security Strategies

General Security Tips

Vehicle Selection

Tipper Truck

4 × 4


Pickup Truck


Armoring a Vehicle against Small Arms Fire


Mechanism of Bullet-Resistant Materials

Up-Armoring the Bodywork of a Vehicle

Bullet-Resistant Transparent Materials

Modern Developments in Transparent Bullet-Resistant Materials

Up-Armoring the Glass in a Vehicle

Fully Armored Vehicles

Defensive Driving


Additional Precautions

Tactical Driving

Three Basic Rules of Defensive Driving

Using the Vehicle as a Battering Ram

General Tips for Driving Awareness and Safety

Specialized Driving Techniques

Self-Defense Strategies

Self-Defense Concepts

Universal Flinch Theory

Strategies for Self-Protection

Abduction by Car


Be Observant

Escape and Recapture

Dealing with an Abductor’s Weapon

Kidnapping from Ships, Oil Rigs, and Industrial Plants

Kidnapping from Tankers, Ships, and Yachts

Nonlethal Countermeasures to Deter Pirates

Lethal Countermeasures

Ammunition Selection for Shotguns

Oil and Gas Rigs

Personal Protection: Body Armor

Bullet-Resistant Vests


Mechanism of Bullet-Resistant Materials

Standards for BRV Threat Levels

Considerations to Be Taken When Choosing a BRV

Personal Protection: Weapons

Personal (Rape) Alarm

Telescopic Steel Baton

Tear Gas

Tear Gas Sprays

Tear Gas Guns

Stun Guns


Weapon Type Selection

Selection of Caliber and Weapon

Weapons Likely to Be Used by Kidnappers and Terrorists

Small Arms

Other Weapons Likely to Be Utilized in a Kidnap Situation

Survival on Being Kidnapped

Observe Your Captors

Observe Your Surroundings

Observe Yourself

Know Your Captors


Rescue and Escape

Post-kidnapping Traumatic Shock Syndrome

Post-kidnapping Debriefing

Stage 1: Disorientation

Stage 2: Disbelief

Stage 3: Hyperawareness and Anxiety

Stage 4: Resistance and/or Compliance

Stage 5: Depression and Despair

Stage 6: Gradual Acceptance


Post-traumatic Stress

Aftermath Survival

Hostage Negotiation

Basic Negotiation Notes

Stages of a Kidnap Scenario

Aims of the Negotiator


Appendix 1: Terrorist Groups That May Be Involved in Kidnapping

Appendix 2: General Conversion Values

Appendix 3: British Home Office Standards for Bullet- and

Stab-Resistant Vests

Appendix 4: National Institute of Justice Standards for

Bullet-Resistant Vests

Appendix 5: National Institute of Justice Standard 0115.00 for

Stab-Resistant Body Armor

Appendix 6: Commercial and General Abbreviations for Bullet



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