Doing Business in Afghanistan….Bring a Bodyguard

As if security was not already a big enough concern in Afghanistan, a new document has surfaced that could make doing any kind of business in Afghanistan that much more dangerous and potentially lethal.

A report from TVNZ discusses the disturbing new information coming to light.

The document which was discovered in July, contains a directive issued by an Al Qaeda advisor; Mustafa Hamid. In the directive, Hamid calls on the Taliban to start kidnapping foreigners as well as foreign military personnel.

This new kidnapping blitz is believed to be a tactic to force foreign Governments, in particular the U.S., to release terrorists in a type of “prisoner exchange” program. This idea is no doubt fashioned after the type of prisoner exchange operating between Palestine and Israel.

The bottom line is; if you are fortunate enough to have landed a Govt. contract or are planning on visiting Afghanistan as part of a private initiative, think long and hard about your personal security.

Proactive measures are ALWAYS more effective than reactive ones. Effective in every way – from a P.R. point of view, to a financial one – it will be many, many times cheaper to pay a professional Personal Protection Specialist to protect you for a week or two whilst in a dangerous city or country than it will be to negotiate a ransom, which may start in the millions of dollars.

Kidnap Expert Becomes Kidnap Victim

In last Thursday’s New York Times, Marc Lacey wrote about an interesting incident which took place in Mexico recently.

Back on Dec. 10, an American, Mr. Felix Batista was abducted outside of El Meson restaurant in Saltilo, Mexico. What makes this particular kidnapping remarkable is the fact that the victim was himself, a security consultant specializing in resolving kidnappings.

There have been many kidnappings at popular restaurants in recent times. If a person frequents a restaurant regularly, it is only a matter of waiting until they return. Even the waiting/surveillance can be easily outsourced for a few dollars.

It is ironic that prior to being kidnapped, Mr. Batista had addressed a gathering of prominent entrepreneurs on steps to take to avoid being kidnapped. One wonders if this was a case of; “do as I say, not as I do”, or were other factors involved?

Mr. Batista was the third anti-kidnapping expert to have been abducted in Coahuila State. During his security seminar down there he informed the attendees that kidnappers generally avoided foreigners. Perhaps he became careless thinking he himself was safe as a foreigner.

Be careful about dropping your guard, especially in high-threat areas like Mexico. Do not become overly confident or complacent. Never think that it “couldn’t happen to me”, because you may just be the next victim.