Tuesday, August 24, 2010

How to take out one ( or more? ) hostage taker...

Everywhere I surf I will read some criticism about the way the Filipino SWAT team handled the hostage crisis. Some blame them for being slow, others blamed them for being inefficient. But its always much easier to type on a keyboard than to run in front of gunfire.

If "T" marks the gunman, how will you take him out without hurting the passengers? Enter thru the backdoor and he will fire at you (and that's probably a death of a passenger there). Enter thru the front door and he will do the same. I saw a picture of a dead body on the bus steps earlier this morning.

1) No one knew if the driver was his accomplice (he may have escaped but maybe it was part of the plan?), probably why they didn't shoot him in daylight.

2) The glass windows and curtains hinders thermal and NVG

3) Gunman showed that he was willing to let hostages off during the day.

Call in the SWAT, SAS, Delta, SpecOps... who can ensure no deaths in this crisis? Gun ownership is a real problem in the Philippines but it will never cease. And I don't think the missing tourism dollars can do anything to change that in the near future.


Nomad said...

I am just curious what had changed the whole "amicable" hostage incident into a nitemarish one. I dont think the swat team or whatever can avoid the flak and torrents of critism. Watching the video, it was just obvious they were illprepared, from the way they entered the rear, the long hesitation of using the smoke or tear gas etc. If this is in states, without doubt, the negotiation will most prob be over, and he will be shot in the head by sniper the min he was clear for shot (which he was several times.)

I think no one wants anyone dead. Even if he is the villian, I dont want him dead because there is reasonable doubt and it wasnt a straightforward crime.

the fact that he let the old man and kids off the bus had shown that he wasnt a man without some level of compassion, or was that a bargaining tactic? As some said, he was in the squad for so long, normal negotiation tactics wont work for him. He prob know the inside workings better than some rookies at the scence, which might explain why he gave up hope.

We will never know who really killed all the victims. The police for sure will pin it on him, but I find it hard that the victims may not have fallen victims to cross fire between the shootout of the cop and villian...

I do agreee to a certin level, unless the gunman gave up, some death will be inevitable. He prob knew that too, which was why he was dressed in his unfirm as he was prob prepapred to die. He just wanted to be heard. I dont think he expected anything else since if he was truly innocent and was sacked, how will he get away with an actual crime now, and exposing possible wrong doing internally? He knew he will never have any peace after this incident. Death was his only way out I think.

hksarblog said...

Your schematic diagram is a helpful tool to visualize the hostage situation. We also don't know what happened on the other side of the tour bus, since all the media seemed to be shooting footage from one location.

It is probably too early to make judgments but from the live videofeeds broadcast around the world, it is perhaps safe to say that the Filipino SWAT team did not have a coordinated plan. For instance, they were about to pull off the front door when they suddenly stopped and then began working on the emergency exit door at the back. Would it have helped save lives if they performed those two tasks simultaneously? We won’t know until the results are revealed from the inquest.

WhiteDuskRed said...

From what I have read so far, it seems like the television on the bus was showing footage of his family members being detained by local police. All hell broke loose from then on. That is like hitting a cub while cornering the lioness. But with different new reports flying around... we will never know unless we dig open that gunman's head.

Sniping him during the day got 2 consequences:

1)Any of the passengers or the driver could be a sleeper, even if they are a Hong Konger. All terrorist takedown need to ensure the safety of the hostages as well as the attacking team. If you find yourself in a rescue operation, don't attack the guys in black when they point their gun at you, its part of the SOP.

2) He showed compassion by letting the young and old go, and that he was willing to negotiate. Shooting him in the head on international tv would have brought them cheers from HK but criticism globally... "Filippinos can't nego, they just shoot" and stuffs like that.

One thing I agree with many commentators is the fact that they were ill-equiped or poorly trained. An invading team with M16 instead of MP5. In a close combat situation an MP5 would have been a better choice. But hey~ who am I to say? I wasn't there~

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