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Global Kidnap Bulletin | October 2019

In this edition of the Global Kidnap Bulletin, we evaluate the current dynamics of the global crime/terror nexus and look at kidnapping trends affecting Chinese nationals studying abroad. We also present a number of case studies highlighting the security risks associated with film and media projects, and contextualise the kidnapping threat in South Africa within the country’s broader crime crisis. Finally, following an announcement that former FARC commanders intend to remobilise, we analyse whether a return to kidnap for ransom as a tactic is likely for the group in Colombia.

Markus Korhonen 24 October 2019
24 October 2019    Markus Korhonen

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By Hook or by Crook: The Crime/Terror Nexus 

Terrorist organisations have long relied on illegal activities to sustain their campaigns. Drug and weapons trafficking, kidnapping, and extortion are just a handful of their favoured methods. Following the fall of the Islamic State, once the most prominent militant group to leverage the relationship between criminal and terror networks, we assess the latest dynamics of the crime/terror nexus.

Stun guns, crypto currency and suspicious phone calls: Kidnapping trends affecting Chinese students abroad 

Chinese students studying abroad have become increasingly attractive targets for both traditional kidnap for ransom and virtual kidnapping attacks. Such incidents have occurred in a number of jurisdictions, ranging from Australia, to Canada, the US and UK. In this article, we consider a number of recent examples that demonstrate this kidnapping trend.

Stealing the show: Security risks to film and media productions 

The film and media industry faces various security concerns, especially when keen public interest combines with the use of expensive equipment and a shoot on location in a high-threat environment. In this article, we present a number of global examples which highlight these risks, alongside some practical advice for mitigating them.

Held to ransom: Kidnapping as part of South Africa’s crime crisis

Latest official statistics paint a bleak picture of the current state of crime in South Africa While kidnapping trends highlight how perpetrators are increasingly targeting middle to upper-income businesspersons. This article assesses the current state of kidnappings in South Africa in the context of the country’s broader criminal environment.

Will they/won’t they: A call to remobilise fuels concerns of further FARC attacks in Colombia

Far-left militant groups in Colombia have long favoured kidnap for ransom as a funding and political pressure tactic. The late August announcement that prominent former FARC commanders intend to return to armed struggle has raised serious security concerns in the country. Since the FARC officially demobilised in 2016, several dissident factions have emerged, some with competing agendas. In this article, we analyse the implications of these developments to the kidnapping threat in the country.


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S-RM is a global risk consultancy providing intelligence, resilience and response solutions to clients worldwide. To discuss this article or other industry developments, please reach out to one of our experts.

Markus Korhonen
Markus korhonen Associate Email Markus

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