How Hostage Negotiation Works

"Although hostage situations can vary greatly based on the motivations of the hostage-taker and the exact circumstances surrounding the incident, there are some basic facts that apply to all hostage situations.

The hostage-taker wants to obtain something. This can be as simple as money, personal safety or safe passage to another country, or it can involve complicated political goals.

The target of the hostage-taker is not the hostage; it is some third party (a person, a company or a government) that can provide whatever it is the hostage-taker wants.

The hostages are bargaining chips. They may have symbolic value (as at the 1972 Munich Olympics, in which the target was the Israeli government and the hostages were Israeli athletes), but the hostages themselves could be anyone."

Read more in this article from Howstuffworks.


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