Organized kidnapping by criminal groups and terrorists has proven very lucrative. Kidnapping efforts also spur fear, a commodity they enjoy and profit by. If you are a police officer, note that crime and terror groups view law enforcement and police family members as soft targets lacking military force protection.

Organized kidnappers work from a secure hideout, conduct rehearsals, dry-run operations, and use planned methods of extraction. The primary course of action is a close ambush on foot or in a vehicle to fix the target within arm’s reach. The adversary desires to grab and move those captured to a hideout to safely hold for ransom or torture and kill.

All kidnappings begin with intelligence gathering and hostile target surveillance, planned or hasty. So preventing capture hinges on security awareness, surveillance detection, attack recognition and trained quick reaction to immediate threats. These planned counter-measures create advantage and purchase invaluable seconds to prevent capture:

• Surveillance Detection Routes (SDR)
• Reaction to Hostile Surveillance (Breakoff-Breakout)
• Offensive Driving (using Vehicle as Weapon)
• Vehicle Evacuation (React to Ambush When Immobilized)
• React to Close Ambush (On Foot)
• Counter-Custody/Restraint Escape in Transport or Captivity

You must know where you are going and when to move for escape in a kidnapping attempt. Find your way using deception, surprise, speed, and violence of action. Create opportunity from the method of control and extraction selected by kidnappers.

Always have a plan to address capture. You may lack the organic assets provided in the team environment. Your government may have limits to rescue or negotiate a release. You may simply be alone.

Training the methods of restraint escape help facilitate early and quick returns home. Escaping earlier than later sidesteps the increased complication of detention and captivity in a terrorist hideout. Situations differ and you must always weigh options based on what you know and see.

If you are going into harm’s way, you may consider the Progressive Restraint Escape System™ developed by a former police officer for select units and individuals working in hostile environments. ITTA recommends this system and related courses for its decades of contained experience and knowledge to contend with capture shock and unlawful restraint.

Semper in Via

Author: Aaron Cunningham is the President of the International Tactical Training Association. This article is dedicated to the memory of those brave men and women of the Policia Nacional Civil who were killed in heinous acts of targeted assassination and kidnapping. There can be no comfort for the adversary.