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2014-05-25 | On the subtleties of establishing “proof of life” during a hostage negotiation for ransom
For example, you never want to be put into a situation where your paying ransom for someone who has already killed or murdered the victim. And this happens a lot within the industry more than you can imagine. I guess the true test of any negotiator is found in how they go about establishing proof of life or evidence of possession during the negotiations with hostage takers.

2014-05-22 | In Syria, Militants Revive Kidnapping for Ransom
A multitude of rebel brigades with disparate ideologies, religious interpretations, leaders and foreign patrons are fighting against the Syrian regime. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant is one such force, having grown more prominent since it announced its entrance onto the Syrian battlefield in 2013. Not only has the group distinguished itself militarily, it is also one of the only transnational groups fighting in Syria and it adheres to a strict Salafist-jihadist ideology that causes its tactics, terms of governance and proclaimed goals to differ greatly from those of most other rebel brigades. As we have discussed before, the tactics used by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant are much more austere than those of its counterparts, and focus more on the group's overarching aspirations to establish an Islamic emirate in the Levant and control vast swaths of territory rather than on merely defeating loyalist forces and overthrowing Syrian President Bashar al Assad.

2014-05-22 | DNA sampling not enough
The roundtable titled "No Grave to Grieve: The Search for Missing Garment Workers and the Challenges of DNA Technology in Bangladesh" was organised by a group of researchers under the banner of Activist Anthropologist at The Daily Star Centre in the capital. Around three-fourths of the Rana Plaza victims were handed over to families based on visual identification marks like shoes, clothes or mobile phones, said Prof Sharif. "It is very likely that family members of the victims took away the wrong bodies as they identified those based on visual identification marks only," he said, adding that the NFDPL had so far identified 206 Rana Plaza victims, while 105 bodies were still unidentified. In the case of tragedies like the abovementioned two, the authorities concerned should set up makeshift morgues at the site to collect DNA samples, he suggested.

2014-05-21 | Mexico Authorities Rescue 35 Kidnapping Victims
The kidnap victims were given medical and psychological attention because they showed signs of severe malnutrition and had injuries from being kept in inhumane conditions by their captors, the office said. The criminal group that kidnapped the 35 people has a presence in the towns of Apaxtla, Arcelia, Cocula and Teloloapan. Authorities didn't identify the gang. In the nearby city of Iguala, Guerrero state authorities found several graves containing nine bodies, officials said. State prosecutors said in a statement that investigators found the graves Wednesday in the neighborhood of Lomas del Zapatero after receiving an anonymous tip. Last month, police found the bodies of nine other people in San Miguelito, another Iguala neighborhood.

2014-05-11 | Nigeria: 3 Kidnapped Dutch Nationals Freed in Bayelsa
The three Dutch nationals who were kidnapped by gunmen at Letugbene in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State were released Saturday night.

2014-05-09 | Scientists Still Working to ID 9/11 Victims
The death toll stemming from the attacks at the World Trade Center stands at 2,753. Of those, 1,115 victims, or 41 percent, have not been identified through a DNA match to items provided by families — toothbrushes, combs, clothing or swabs from relatives. With ever-advancing technology yielding results that were impossible a dozen years ago, the unique genetic code gleaned from the bits of bone is the only hope for families waiting for anything tangible to officially confirm what they already know: their loved one is dead. In some cases, scientists have gone back to the same bone fragment 10 or 15 times, using new technology to attempt to extract DNA diminished by fire, sunlight, bacteria and even the jet fuel that poured through the towers.

2014-05-01 | Yemen says arrests cell planning to kidnap UAE diplomat
Yemen said on Wednesday it had arrested a militant cell that had been planning to kidnap the United Arab Emirates' charge d'affaires, after a string of abductions that have targeted Westerners and diplomats in the country. Interior Ministry spokesman Major-General Mohammed al-Qaidy said security forces arrested the six members of what it called a terrorist cell a month ago, and found weapons, fake passports and fake Yemeni currency in their possession.

2014-04-28 | Kidnap and ransom insurance a new reality
If your company or organization has executives and employees travelling to and working in potentially volatile locations around the world, managing the risk associated with making sure they don’t become a target for kidnapping may well fall under the responsibilities of the legal department. Few in-house counsel will admit their companies plan for the possibility of kidnappings and ransom demands for fear of becoming a target, but many have become familiar over the years with the availability of kidnap, ransom, and extortion insurance products.

2014-04-26 | Protecting NGO workers against kidnap and ransom
Kidnap and ransom victims across the world can be profiled and targeted for a number of reasons, including their income, employer, nationality or line of work. However, the goal behind nearly all kidnappings is cash – and expats living and working abroad with international organisations like NGOs are often targets. For NGO staff members currently operating in high-risk or volatile locations, ensuring that they are knowledgeable, prepared and protected for a potential kidnap and ransom situation is critical for their safety.

2014-04-25 | South Korea: We mismatched bodies from ferry disaster
There have been several reports in South Korean media this week of bodies going to the wrong families, with the error sometimes caught only after the remains were taken to a funeral home. An “action plan” released by the government-wide emergency task force acknowledged that “there have been cases where the victims were wrongly transferred.”

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