Kidnappings and Hostage Situations Timeline

Feb 24 2015

Nigeria: Gunmen Kidnap American Missionary

Gunmen abducted an American missionary in the Nigerian village of Emiworo on Feb. 24, a police source said, AFP reported.
Dec 15 2014

Australia: Hostage Situation In Sydney Possibly Linked To Raids

A number of recent raids and arrests across Australia may have prompted those planning terror attacks to move forward with their plans.
Dec 15 2014

Australia: Hostage Situation in Sydney Possibly Linked to Raids

A number of recent raids and arrests across Australia may have prompted those planning terror attacks to move forward with their plans.
Nov 26 2014

Cameroon: Military Frees 16 Hostages From FDPC Militants

Cameroon's military freed 16 hostages, among them a Polish priest, from Democratic Front of the Central African People (FDPC) militants, the government announced Nov. 26, News24 reported.
Nov 26 2014

Colombia: FARC To Release General, President Confirms

Rebels fighting for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) will release Brig. Gen. Ruben Dario Alzate on Nov. 29, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos confirmed, LA F.M. reported Nov. 26.
Nov 25 2014

Colombia: FARC Releases 2 Hostages, General Still Captive

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known by its acronym, FARC, released two Colombian soldiers it was holding hostage, according to a Nov. 25 update from Colombia Reports.
Oct 05 2014

Libya: British Hostage Released After Ransom Payment

An unidentified group released British teacher David Bolam after taking him captive in May, BBC reported Oct. 5.
Oct 05 2014

Mexico: Mass Grave Discovered

An anonymous tip resulted in the discovery of a mass grave near Iguala, Mexico, where some 15 bodies have already been recovered, BBC reported Oct. 5.
Sep 30 2014

Syria: Islamic State Releases Some 70 Kurdish Hostages

The Islamic State released some 70 Kurdish students it had been holding hostage since May 29, AFP reported Sept. 30.
Sep 25 2014

The Jihadist Kidnapping Threat Persists

Many militant organizations are using ransoms to fund their operations, but the threat to foreigners is not new.
Sep 24 2014

Turkey: Special Forces To Guard Foreign Offices

Turkish army special forces will take over responsibility for guarding Ankara’s foreign outposts in war zones, replacing Turkish police, The Daily Sabah reported Sept. 24.
Sep 22 2014

Algeria: Islamic State Affiliates Kidnap French Citizen

Militants who have pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State kidnapped a French citizen in Algeria on Sept. 21, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said Sept. 22, AP and Reuters reported.

Since the “Stockholm syndrome” hit the media in the early 1970s, following a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, kidnappings and hostage situations have become virtually an academic field of study. Situations vary, depending upon the captors and their goals. To avoid (or survive) such ordeals, it helps to know what they look like and how they might unfold.

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