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Crisis Negotiation: A Counter-Intuitive Method to Disrupt Terrorism

NCJ Number
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism Volume: 27 Issue: 5 Dated: September-October 2004 Pages: 455-459
Christopher T. Voss
Bruce Hoffman
Date Published
September 2004
5 pages
This article examines the Crisis Negotiation Unit method of negotiation as a response to international kidnapping to disrupt criminal and terrorist operations.
This article discusses the use of crisis (hostage) negotiation, a highly specialized set of communication skills designed to reduce risks and increase options in a crisis situation. The skills are designed to reduce the risk of harm to innocent victims at the hands of their captors, to increase the chances of their safe release, and enhance the likelihood of a successful apprehension of the hostage takers by law enforcement. The U.S. Government’s negotiation response to kidnapping of American citizens abroad is a multi-agency response coordinated by the National Security Council and lead by the Crisis Negotiation Unit (CNU) of the Critical Incident Response Group, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). As practiced by the CNU, negotiation is a compilation of crisis intervention, sound aggressive business negotiation, academic negotiation research, and hard-earned experience. Negotiation by the CNU is not concession, but rather an aggressive effort to exploit the kidnapper’s greed. It disrupts criminal and terrorists operations alike by making it difficult for kidnappers to continue the business of kidnapping and meets the dual mandate of freeing the victims and bringing the kidnappers to eventual justice. Notes