MCRP 3-02E Terrorism
The Individual's Guide for Understanding and Surviving
1 inflict pain on another unless their victim becomes dehumanized. In some hostage situations, 2 victims are locked in another room, or they have been in the same room but have been hooded or 3 tied, gagged, and forced to face the wall or away from the captors. During the seizure of an office 4 or residence, hostages my be in familiar, comfortable surroundings where they have worked or 5 lived. Kidnap victims, on the other hand, have frequently been forced to live in makeshift 6 "peoples' prisons" in attics, basements, or remote hideouts. Usually, the cells, in these prisons are 7 quite small and in some cases prevent the hostage from easily standing or moving around. 8 Sleeping and toilet facilities may be poor, consisting of a cot or mattress and a bucket or tin can 9 for body waste. Even these toilet facilities may not be provided, thereby forcing the hostage to 10 soil his living space as well as himself. Such an experience may be further compounded to total 11 lack of privacy. Feeling utter helplessness and dependency upon the terrorists for every necessity 12 of life is what the terrorists want. Maintaining one's dignity and self-respect can be very difficult 13 but very important. Self-respect and dignity may be the keys to retaining status as a human being 14 in the eyes of the terrorists.
15 The fear of death is greatest during the first few hours of capture. As this fear subsides, a 16 hostage begins to hear he "owes his life" to the captor, who has "allowed him to live." The 17 captors hold the hostage's life on a thread of hope. Fear is the most important tool of the 18 terrorist. They use it to control, intimidate, and wear down the hostage and the negotiators as 19 well as a larger national or international audience sympathetic to the hostage's plight. They induce 20 fear by loading and unloading weapons in the hostage's presence, displaying excesses of temper, 21 resorting to physical abuse, and staffing mock executions. Fear of dying is real, and it can become 22 overwhelming, especially during the early phase of captivity. Even after the victims begin to have 23 hopes of rescue or release, terrorists may raise again the specter of death. Although death is a real 24 possibility, remember, 96 percent of all hostages walk out of the ordeal.
25 Experience has shown that the more time that passes, the better are the chances of being released 26 or rescued. While the passage of time without rescue or release can be depressing, this time lapse 27 is actually to your advantage. Time is a factor in the development of the Stockholm syndrome. 28 Time's passage can produce a positive or negative bond, depending on the interaction of the 29 hostage-takers and hostages. If the hostage-taker does not abuse his hostage, hours spent 30 together will most likely produce positive results. Time alone will not do so, but it may be a 31 catalyst in non-abusive situations. With the passage of time and the occurrence of positive 32 experience, you changes of survival increase.
33 To ward off boredom and stress, try to develop and maintain a daily physical fitness program. 34 Staying physically fit might be the deciding factor if an escape opportunity presents itself. You 35 may have to run or walk a considerable distance to reach safety. It may be hard to exercise 36 because of cramped space or physical restraints. Run in place. Do pushups and sit-ups. 37 However, avoid excess or injury. Isometric exercise may be substituted to overcome space or 38 physical restraints. Engage in creative mental activity. Read, write, daydream, or use your 39 imagination and ingenuity to construct your dream home, step-by-step You do not have to be 40 completely self-reliant. Ask for amenities such as reading material, a radio, or a phonograph. 41 Such requests have been granted. Other ways to keep active are to use deliberately slow methods