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Posts Tagged ‘ Terror ’

All Guns Blazing – The Fickle Nature Of Lethal Force

Je_suis_Charlie,_Montreal,_7_January_2015

Recent cases of hostage stand-offs in Australia and France have been ended by force, bringing this tactic into the limelight once again. Unfortunately this means of ending a hostage siege is unavoidably dangerous even amongst the most highly trained of police or military units, and their use should be limited to cases where all other avenues have been exhausted. In particular, negotiated surrender risks falling by the wayside as a viable option. Because society tends to value the hero who dramatically takes lives rather than the hero who quietly saves them, we risk a selection-bias in examining the optimal means to end hostage scenarios.

As a credit to the police units involved, yesterday’s stand-offs in France seem to have been a ‘home-run’. The Kouachi brothers were both killed while the single hostage escaped unharmed, although it appears that they exited without him, determined to die fighting. While four hostages died in the kosher supermarket, earliest reports suggest that they were murdered before the police raid took place. This success is commendable but should not set a precedent to the exclusion of other alternatives. In contrast, the Sydney siege saw the death of two hostages during the rescue and the injury of three others in still unclear circumstances. These cases demonstrate the fickle nature of such raids. Continue reading

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Breivik Will Not Appeal But Apologizes For Not Killing More

Anders Breivik has said he will not appeal against his prison sentence for the massacre of 77 people in bomb and gun attacks in Norway last year.

At the end of his sentencing hearing on Friday, Breivik said appealing against the judgment would “legitimise” the court.

He also apologised to “militant nationalists” for not having killed more people in the attacks in July last year.

Breivik’s gruesome and defiant statement could mark the end of a legal process that has haunted Norway for 13 months.

Prosecutors said they had not decided whether to appeal the ruling by Oslo’s district court, which declared the right-wing extremist sane enough to be held criminally responsible for attacks “unparalleled in Norwegian history”.

“Since I don’t recognise the authority of the court I cannot legitimise the Oslo district court by accepting the verdict,” Breivik said. “At the same time I cannot appeal the verdict, because by appealing it I would legitimise the court.”

Then, Breivik said he wanted to issue an apology but it was not for the victims, most of them teenagers gunned down in one of the worst peacetime shooting massacres in modern history. “I wish to apologise to all militant nationalists that I wasn’t able to execute more,” Breivik said.

Earlier on Friday, the five-judge panel in the Oslo district court convicted Breivik, 33, of terrorism and premeditated murder and ordered him to be jailed for a period between 10 and 21 years, the maximum allowed under Norwegian law.

Breivik smiled with apparent satisfaction when Judge Wenche Elisabeth Arntzen read the ruling, declaring him sane enough to be held criminally responsible and sentencing him to “preventive detention”, which means it is unlikely he will ever be released.

The sentence brings a form of closure to Norway, which was shaken to its core by the attacks on July 22, 2011, because Breivik’s lawyers said before the verdict that he would not appeal against any ruling that did not declare him insane. But it also means Breivik got what he wanted – a ruling that paints him as a political terrorist instead of a psychotic mass murderer.

Press Association

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