Kidnap and Ransom – Soviet Style

Kidnap and Ransom – Soviet Style

The only way to fight terrorism is with terrorism… But, these days the West’s idea of dealing with terrorism, when they are not funding it, is being vocal on social media or at best drone attacks… The advantage of these tactics is that it can all be done from the comfort of an air-conditioned office and your pumpkin-spice latte won’t spill or get flies in it…. That’s about it…

Terrorism is going to be with us for a long time to come, with the defeat of ISIS/Daesh, Al Nusra and the other terrorists in Iraq and Syria it is inevitable that these groups will evolve into what can best be classed as organize crime gangs that will start to pray on those companies and NGO’s involved in the reconstruction efforts. The same will happen with the conflicts in Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Afghanistan, when the wars are over the fighters and warlords are not going to want to go back to being shop keepers.

Kidnapping is an easy and lucrative way for terrorists and criminals to make money and influence decision makers. Most people do not take their personal security seriously so are easy targets and if there is a crisis most have no plans on how to deal with the situation. At best they rely on a 3rd party insurance company, who’s main interest is running up billing hours, to deal with the situation. This means sending individuals to a 5 Star hotel, close enough to the incident location to sound cool, but far enough away so they won’t get kidnapped, from where they can give advice via the phone or Skype… Being very careful of course that none of the advice given could lead to any law suits against them from all involved in the future…

So, the reality is kidnapping from the bad guys perspective and that of the vast majority of good guys is it’s about making money. Here I will give you an example of a kidnapping situation that was resolved and where the negotiation teams sole aim was the release of the hostages.

Beirut, Lebanon, 1985

On September 30th 1980 in Beirut, Lebanon four Russian diplomats were kidnapped from outside of the Russian Embassy. The diplomats, were Valery Myrikov, Oleg Spirin, Nikolai Svirsky and Arkady Katkov who was shot in the leg during the initial kidnapping. How the Russians handle this incident is a classic example of “Know Your Enemy”.

The kidnapping was committed by a group affiliated with Hezbollah and calling themselves the “Islamic Liberation Organization” and “The Khaled Al-Walid Force”. Khalid ibn al-Walid was a famed Islamic fighter and general who won many victories for the first Caliphate between 632 to 638 AD. One of the terrorist groups in the current Syrian civil also took his name ‘Khalid ibn al-Walid Brigade”. The mastermind behind the kidnapping was a senior Hezbollah operative “Imad Mugniyeh”.

Two days after the initial kidnapping the body of the Russian diplomat Arkady Katkov was found on a Beirut rubbish dump, he had been executed… The kidnappers had sent a message that they meant business. The negotiations were headed by the KGB station chief “Colonel Yuri Perfilyev” who sought out a meeting with Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Fadlallah the spiritual leader of Lebanon’s Shiites.

Colonel Yuri Perfilyev said in a Russian TV interview in 2001 that he told the Ayatollah that “A great power cannot wait forever. From waiting and observing, it can proceed to serious action with unpredictable consequences… We aren’t only talking about people in Beirut. I’m talking about Tehran and Qom. (Qom is Shiite holy city), which is not that far from Russia’s borders. Yes, Qom is very close to us and a mistake in the launch of a missile could always happen. A technical error, some kind of breakdown. They write about it all the time. And God or Allah forbid if this happens with a live, armed (nuclear) missile.”

According to reports form the Ayatollah’s closest adviser and now the head of Hezbollah “Hassan Nasrallah”, the Ayatollah was visibly shaken and told Colonel Yuri Perfilyev that “I think everything will turn out well”. Nasrallah also told Perfilyev that no-one dared talk to the Ayatollah is such a fashion…

The Russians had planned a two-pronged approach to the negotiation, pressure was being put on the Hezbollah leadership with threats to not only their interests in the Lebanon but also Iran. How would the Iranians, Hezbollah backers, react if they were being targeted because of the actions of some hothead in Beirut?

The second prong of the negotiation went into effect when a team from KGB Alpha Grouparrived in Beirut. The Russian’s knew who was behind the kidnapping so, they quickly identified a close relative of  “Imad Mugniyeh”, the mastermind of the kidnapping. The Russians kidnapped Mugniyeh’s relative, castrated him, then executed him and sent his severed genitals to the Hezbollah’s Headquarters with a message that the genitals of others would be following…

One Russian diplomat stated, years after the event “The kidnappers made a mistake, they were not dealing with nice Americans who wanted to teach the world to sing.… They were dealing with the USSR. They were dealing with the KGB. And the KGB were even more violent motherfuckers than Hezbollah.”

Two-days after Alpha Group had delivered the severed genitals to Hezbollah the remaining three Russian diplomats were released and dropped off close to the Russian Embassy in Beirut. Even though kidnappings became epidemic in the Lebanon in the late 80’s no other Russians were every touched.

I am sure many reading this are thinking how ghastly and brutal the Russians are and how civilized people could do such things… OK, I am sorry your offended, so please, go to your safe space, build your walls and stay out of the real-world, as your opinions and views are screwing it up for everyone else!

What a lot of people do not understand is that some people due to their violent experiences and conditioning only react to actions; threats and words mean nothing, their own death means nothing. The Russians understood this and understood their threats would be dismissed as just hot air unless backed up by action. I think the West’s recent failures in the Middle East are due to the fact those running the shows at a base level do not understand the basics of war and violence, it’s not the same as playing “Grand Theft Auto” or “Call of Duty”!

The same applies to the world of Kidnap and Ransom; if you don’t understand your opponent then how you can beat them… But, if it’s all about running billing hours and making money off people being kidnapped, then why would you want to solve the problem quickly, if at all… Let alone prevent the problem from happening in the first place…

I hope this article puts a few things in perspective and makes you think!

Orlando Wilson

 

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