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January Today in Terrorism

January 30, 2014: Hostage taking in Iraq

On this day in 2014 six Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bombers burst into an Iraqi ministry building, took hostages and killed at least 24 people

BAGHDAD, IRAQ – Hostage-taking is a tried and true tactic used by all kinds of criminals: sometimes these incidents end badly, very badly.

When bad actors need to obtain leverage for what they are trying to do they sometimes resort to taking hostages. The idea behind this is that law enforcement and security forces are less willing to use lethal means to engage these criminals if there is a chance that innocent civilians may get hurt.

In the best case scenario some kind of arrangement is arrived at and those being held are released. Even then, however, the experience can be longlasting with after effects enduring for the rest of one’s life.

In the worst case scenario the hostages die.

On this day in 2014

Six Islamic State (ISIS) suicide bombers burst into an Iraqi ministry building, took hostages and killed at least 24 people including themselves before security forces regained control. A further 50 people were wounded in the attack.

The level of security measures in the building was less than normal because it is a service building and not a sensitive site.

Senior Iraqi security official

We all know what ISIS became when its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, proclaimed the so-called Caliphate six months later. It went on to more and more lethal atrocities against Iraqis. Still, the cowardly murder of unarmed hostages was bad enough.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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