Kidnap for Ransom ‘KFR’ gangs in Baghdad target foreign workers
Reports from people know working Baghdad say the number of kidnappings is on the rise in Baghdad. In part they blame the overall insurgent problem and independent entrepreneurial gang that grab sell or ransom hostages to highest bidder.
A problem seen over decade ago here in the southern Philippines – in mid 1995 when groups like the ‘pentagon’ gang came into the crime scene and compartmentalized kidnapping into ransom groups, grab groups, holding groups, and selling groups.
The plight is often highlighted when foreign victims are grabbed. Like this incident reported below. These however are seen as the work of more organized terrorist groups or insurgents.
The Foreign Office was “urgently” looking into reports that four British security guards are among seven Westerners kidnapped in Iraq.
Four Germans Kidnapped in Baghdad Deutsche Welle
Gunmen Abduct 3 Germans in Baghdad New York Times
Often in places like Iraqi cities and also in places like Nigeria and still at time here in the deep south – local business people or political persons are targets – experts in security consulting say the Baghdad situation is similar with crime gangs grabbing and selling off hostages either to insurgent groups or back to the families they come from or companies they work for or whoever will pay.
If there are no bidders – they kill off the victims or force them to work as slaves caring for other victims at time there is cycle of unreported and ‘revolving door’ kidnap gangs that grab any target at times on speculation that the person has some value to someone – not even checking who the victims are.
In these cases, if they happen to be insurgents with a reward they sell the people to Police or military – if they are business people they sell them back to the companies that hire them – if they have political value they pass them onto insurgent or militia groups. Sadly KFR is growing worldwide on this cycle in many places where insurgency exists and poverty is high.
Most are just ‘thugs’ with guns that are payed a small fee by the more organized gangs who in turn – bid out – victims to the highest bidder.
The cycle also local business people shop owners or market vendors who are also victims of protection rackets as well that offer ‘kidnap’ insurance and offer to buy back people before they are sold further to a higher end kidnap gang or insurgent or terrorist groups. It is rapidly growing industry. Corruption is also a major worry in this area and where there are people like these the problem is compounded further with hybrid groups that are part criminal and part law enforcement.