NetWar: Al-Battar, the al Qaeda Manual on Kidnapping

Contents Letter From Paris

Contents Letter From Paris

Saturday, September 04, 2004


Al-Battar, the al Qaeda Manual on Kidnapping

Issue no. 10 of Al-Battar, al-Qaeda’s training manual has a special coverage of kidnapping. Notice that the terrorists in the Osetian school followed more or less  the manual...

A. Reasons for detaining one or more individuals by an enemy:

i) Force the government or the enemy to succumb to some demands.
ii) Put the government in a difficult situation that will create a political embarrassment between the government and the countries of the detainees.
iii) Obtaining important information from the detainees.
iv) Obtaining ransoms. Such was the case with the brothers in the Philippines, Chechnya, and Algiers. Our brothers from Muhammad’s Army in Kashmir received a two million dollar ransom that provided good financial support to the organization.
v) Bringing a specific case to light. This happened at the beginning of the cases in Chechnya and Algeria, with the hijacking of the French plane, and the kidnapping operations performed by the brothers in Chechnya and the Philippines.

B. Requirements needed in forming a kidnapping group:

i) Capability to endure psychological pressure and difficult circumstances. In case of public kidnapping, the team will be under a lot of pressure.
ii) Intelligence and quick reflexes in order to deal with an emergency.
iii) Capability to take control over the adversary. The brother is required to possess fighting skills that will enable him to paralyze the adversary and seize control of him.
iv) Good physical fitness and fighting skills.
v) Awareness of the security requirements, prior to, during, and after the operation.
vi) Ability to use all types of light weapons for kidnapping.

C. Types of kidnapping:

  • Secret Kidnapping: The target is kidnapped and taken to a safe location that is unknown to the authorities. Secret kidnapping is the least dangerous. Such was the case of the Jewish reporter Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped from a public place, then transferred to another location. It is also the case of our brothers in Chechnya who kidnap the Jews in Moscow, and the kidnapping operations in Yemen.

  • Public kidnapping: This is when hostages are publicly detained in a known location. The government surrounds the location and conducts negotiations. The authorities often attempt to create diversions and attack the kidnappers. That was the case of the theater in Moscow, and the Russian officers’ detention by Shamil Basayev and the Mujahideen brothers. A counter terrorism officer once said: "There never was a successful kidnapping operation in the world". This saying was intended to discourage the so-called terrorists. History is full of facts proving the opposite. Many operations by the Mafia, or the Mujahideen were successful. There are examples of many successful operations, such as those of Muhammad’s Army, and Shamil in Moscow. Although not all the goals were met, some of them were. The leader Shamil Basayev’s operation was 100% successful, because it brought the case back to the attention of the international scene, therefore the Mujahideen got their reward, thanks to God.

Stages of Public Kidnapping:

• Determining the target: A target must be suitably chosen, to force the government to achieve your goals. Therefore, it is mandatory to make sure the kidnapped individuals are important and influential.
• Gathering enough information on the location (kidnapping stage), and the people inside it. For example:

If the people are inside a building: A thorough study of the fences around the building as well as the security and protection teams and systems. A plan of the building with information on its partitions should be reviewed. The kidnappers could use cars that enter the building without inspection to smuggle their equipment. They should also spot individuals who are exempt from inspection when entering the building. When the cars are parked outside the building, the driver could be kidnapped while parking, or the important people when entering with their cars. High places overlooking the building could be set for snipers, and to prevent the enemy from taking advantage of those strategic spots.
If the people are on a bus: It is essential to know the nationalities of the people on the bus, as nationalities determine the effect of the operation. All information concerning the bus routing, stops for fuel or rest, protection procedures, the program set for the tourists, and other information should be obtained in order to determine the weak spots, and allow easy control of the group.
If the target is on a plane: It is important to determine the destination of the plane. A connecting flight is a better option. Transit areas are more vulnerable where little inspection is provided. Our brothers in Nepal took advantage of such situation, put the weapons on the Indian plane, and hijacked it. Hijackers must be creative in bringing weapons or explosives on a plane. They must also be familiar with the inspection process at airports.
If the target is in a convoy: The same rules for assassination in a convoy apply for kidnapping.

• Besides specifying the targets, and gathering information on them, leaders must put together a suitable plan made at the level of the weakest team member. It has been said: "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link".
• Execution of the abduction: The abductors’ roles vary, based on the location of the kidnapping operation. They are grouped in three categories:
A) Protection group whose role is to protect the abductors.
B) The guarding and control group whose role is to seize control of the hostages, and get rid of them in case the operation fails.
C) The negotiating group whose role is extremely important and sensitive. In general, the leader of this group is the negotiator. He conveys the Mujahideen’s demands, and must be intelligent, decisive, and determined.
• Negotiations: The enemy uses the best negotiator he has, who is normally very sly, and knowledgeable in human psychology. He is capable of planting fear in the abductors’ hearts, in addition to discouraging them. Kidnappers must remain calm at all times, as the enemy negotiator will resort to stalling, in order to give the security forces time to come up with a plan to storm the hostages location. The duration of the detention should be minimized to reduce the tension on the abducting team. The longer the detention is, the weaker the willpower of the team is, and the more difficult the control over the hostages is. One of the mistakes that the Red Army made in the Japanese Embassy in Lima, Peru - where they detained a large number of diplomats - was to allow the hostage situation to continue for over a month. In the meantime, the storm team excavated tunnels under the Embassy, and was able to liberate the hostages and end the kidnapping. In case of any stalling, starting to execute hostages is necessary. The authorities must realize the seriousness of the kidnappers, and their dedicated resolve and credibility in future operations.
• Hostage exchange process: This is a very delicate stage. If the enemy submits to the demands, and the purpose of the operation is to release our imprisoned brothers, it is essential to make sure that the brothers are in good and healthy condition. If the purpose of the kidnapping is to obtain money, you have to ensure that all the money is there, that it is not fake, nor traceable. You must be sure there are no listening or homing devices planting with the money. The brothers must be constantly on alert for possible ambushes. In Bosnia, the UN set up an ambush for the Brothers during the exchange; however, the brothers were prepared for it, and prepared a counter-ambush. When the enemy realized that the brother’s readiness and high sense of alert, they let the hostages go without interception. Our Jihadi operations have proven that security forces are not capable of completely seizing control inside the cities. Therefore, the brothers should find ways to transport their liberated brothers even under tight security measures.
• Hostage Release: The Brothers should be careful to not release any hostage until they have received their own people. It is essential for the brothers to abide by our religion and keep their word, as it is not allowed for them to kill any hostage after our demands and conditions have been met.
• Withdrawal Process: For the withdrawal, some hostages - preferably the most important - must be detained until the brothers have safely withdrawn.
Security measures for public kidnapping:

• Detention must not be prolonged.
In case of stalling, hostages must be gradually executed, so that the enemy knows we are serious.
• When releasing hostages such as women and children, be careful, as they may transfer information that might be helpful to the enemy.
• You must verify that the food transported to the hostages and kidnappers is safe. This is done by making the delivery person and the hostages taste the food before you. It is preferable that an elderly person or a child brings in the food, as food delivery could be done by a covert special forces’ person.
• Beware of the negotiator.
• Stalling by the enemy indicates their intention to storm the location.
• Beware of sudden attacks as they may be trying to create a diversion which could allow them to seize control of the situation.
• Combating teams will use two attacks: a secondary one just to attract attention, and a main attack elsewhere.
• In case your demands have been met, releasing the hostages should be made only in a place that is safe to the hostage takers.
• Watch out for the ventilation or other openings as they could be used to plant surveillance devices through which the number of kidnappers could be counted and gases could be used.
• Do not be emotionally affected by the distress of your captives.
• Abide by Muslim laws as your actions may become a Da’wa [call to join Islam].
• Avoid looking at women.

Stages of secret kidnapping:
They are very similar to the stages for public kidnapping.

• Specifying the target.
• Collecting enough information on the target
• Setting the plan and providing appropriate training.
• The execution team must be formed of 5 groups: The alarming group that reports the movements of the target; the protection group that protects the kidnappers from any external intervention; the kidnapping group which kidnaps the target and delivers him to a sheltering group; the sheltering group whose role is to keep an eye on the hostage until it is time for exchange or get rid of them; the pursuit deterring group which will ensure the shelter group is not followed or watched.
• Transporting the target to a safe place
• Getting rid of the target after the demands have been met by transporting him to a safe place out of which he can be freely released. The hostage should not be able to identify the place of his detention.

Security measures for secret kidnapping:

• The location where the hostage is transferred to must be safe.
• Beware of the Police patrol.
• While the hostage is being transported, you must beware of Police patrols by identifying their points of presence, to avoid sudden inspection.
• Look for listening or homing devices that VIPs often carry on their watches or with their money. VIPs could have an earpiece microphone that keeps him in touch with his protection detail.
• Everything you take from the enemy must be wrapped in a metal cover and should only be unwrapped in a remote place far from the sheltering group.
• Never make contact from the location where the hostage is detained and never mention him during phone calls.
• Use an appropriate cover to transport the hostage to and from the location. At some point in time the "Allat" party were drugging the hostage and transporting him in an ambulance.
• It is imperative to not allow the hostage to know where he is.
• In this case, it is preferable to give him an anesthetizing shot or knock him unconscious.

How to deal with hostages in both kidnapping types:

• You must check the hostages and take possession of any weapon or listening device.
• Separate the young people from the old, the women and the children. The young people have more strength, hence their ability to resist is high. The security forces must be killed instantly. This prevents others from showing resistance.
• Dealing with the hostages within the lawful control.
• Do not approach the hostages. In case you must, you need to have protection, and keep a minimum distance of one and a half meters from them.
• Speak in a language or dialect other than your own, in order to prevent revealing your identity.
• Cover the hostage’s eyes so that he cannot identify you or any other brothers.
• Wire the perimeter of the hostage location to deny access to the enemy. 

[At the end of the issue, a section is devoted to to instructions on how to join the Jihad.]
CORRESPONDENCE: 1. To all the brothers who inquired on how to join the camp, following are brief instructions:

• Use the Al Battar training instructions and keep exercising.
• Try to obtain a firearm (i.e. Kalashnikov), and practice shooting and handling the weapon in the wilderness.
• In the name of God, try forming a cell or a group, through which you can work on fighting the blasphemers, until you get the chance to join the Mujahideen brothers in Al-Haramain country [Saudi Arabia].
2. To all the brothers who inquired on explosives and how to get them, we say: Manufacturing explosives is not as hard as the enemies of God are projecting it to be. They are doing so, in order to keep the young generation from using this effective and scary device against them. When the time is right, we shall provide training on how to make/assemble explosive materials, in the Al Battar magazine, under the "sword of victory" section. Should you be in a hurry to obtain this information, you may use the Jihad Encyclopedia as a reference.

Winds of Change

An example: this analysis of the March 11th attacks in Madrid, written 5 days later! Imposing.

Inspiring, passionate and decent

Iraq, the Model
A very goodview of what is going on in Iraq by Mohammad and Omar, two brothers... Check it out if you're fed up with the EuroPress

The Patriot Debates
Many provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act will expire at the end of 2005. This forum is devoted to civil and informed debate about these provisions and whether they should be renewed.

A serious visit to jihadist ideology

Michelle Malkin
Her column appears in nearly 200 US papers nationwide. Pretty conservative AND very articulate. I like her.

From Barcelona. I like it! And, by the way, it's getting better every day.

Across the Bay
Very good blog by Tony, an expert in in Ancient Near Eastern Studies with focus on Semitic Linguistics, Ancient Levantine history, religion....

Allah Pundit
It's quite consevative, but really funny!

Bjørn Stærk's blog
In the NetWar since 2001, this norwegian wonderkid is just worth reading.

Norman Geras's blog
I mean, READ HIM. He's bright, insightful and knows a lot about Marxism and la condition humaine... Yeeees! (thanks Stygius).

Dan Darling
Excellent Open Source analysis of al Qaeda!

Bilingual (FR&EN) and passionate!

The Politburo Diktat
Forthrightly, frankly, fully funny, comrades. Neo-Komintern Urgh.

Insults for use by the ideologically informed
Nice page of Real Socialist Nostalgia. Check it out, comrade!

Letters From New York City
Michele tells it from the place where the world changed three years ago.

Alphabet City by Robert Stevens
Very well informed "from the perimeter of Manhattan ;-)" Impresive collection of links.

Colt's Eurabia
If you want to know and follow politically incorrect debate, red it!
His motto is:"...the only secure basis for oligarchy is collectivism." George Orwell

Monitoring Media Coverage of the War On Terror

Political Correctness Watch
John Ray, a former university teacher gone blogger monitors political correctness around the globe. When you needthat cheering information that somewhere else it's even worse than in your home town...


Free Lance Corner
Emilio Alonso, madrileño sin pelos en la pluma, liberal y extremadamente sensato.

Guerra Eterna en Oriente Medio
Reportero español polí­ticamente correcto, buena gente y suavemente partisano

Español residente en Parí­s, liberal, vasco, polí­ticamente incorrecto, reflexiona sobre la situación en Euskadi (Paí­s Vasco)

Carmelo Jordá
Otro español, buen analista y políticamente incorrecto. Pertenece a la nueva ola de jovenes liberales (en el sentido europeo) que empiezan a poner en cuestión todo en Europa

Una Temporada en el Infierno
Interesante blog de Juan Pedro Quiñonero, escritor y periodista español que merece dos lecturas.

Location: Paris, France

I have been a journalist since I was 22. For a (long) while I worked as a reporter for the Swedish, Spanish (I was born in Spain) and American media, covering international affairs... After 1991 I recycled myself to the business press.

 A Must Read!
Note that on the above page you have BOTH a link to buy the book (US$ 20) AND
the links to all the 6 chapters in PDF for FREE.

Contents (PDF)
Chapter One: Introduction
Chapter Two: Conceptual Outlines
Chapter Three: A World in Flux - Ripe for Netwar Chapter Four: Varieties of Netwar
Chapter Five: Challenges for U.S Policy and Organization
Chapter Six: Implications for U.S. Doctrine and Strategy

And, by the way...
I love NYC French Hostages "Social Capital" "King Juan carlos" Barcelona Stockholm Iraq Bagdad Basora Volunteer shia Muqtada al-Sadr Islam Chirac Iraq Ossama Osama Bin laden Markawi Colin Powell London President Bush Paris Tony Blair Blog Allawi Geopolitics Iraqi police "Foreign Affairs" John Kerry campaign Policy Poll Bush Kerry Kofi China Madrid Japan warfare Sun-Tzu Unrestricted asymmetric strategy Survey Bush Kerry perception management Hispanic voters Sarkozy Chalabi oil for food Lebanon Donald Rumsfeld Beirut Pentagon marines Robert Kagan weapons neocon ideology neoconservative Alamut White House preventive Congress Washington Chicago New York Los Angeles Miami San Francisco Seattle California Illinois Massachussets Portland Aznar Zapatero Moratinos Saddam Syria