Negotiating the Siege of the LAL MASJID
Adam Dolnik and Khuram Iqbal
In January 2007, the students of Lal Masjid (Red Mosque) took over the Childrens Library in Islamabad in protest against the Government of Pakistans decision to demolish mosques and seminaries built illegally on government land. After six months of escalating tensions, the crisis culminated in an eight-day siege and eventually ended by an armed assault resulting in over a hundred casualties and even more injured. This tragic outcome of the standoff had a devastating spillover effect as it turned into a rallying cry for Islamist militancy in the country. Based on extensive field research including interviews with key actors on all sides, this book provides an in-depth analytical account of the events that unfolded during the siege, with specific emphasis on the successes and failures of the negotiation process. It outlines important lessons and practical guidelines for crisis negotiators, incident commanders, and political decision-makers in order to provide them with the necessary tools to manage possible similar crises in the future more effectively.
This book should be read by everyone who want to understand how effective negotiations can achieve better outcomes, if fully understood and supported by government decision-makers.
Gary Noesner, Chief (retd)
FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit, USA
This book is an engrossing and fascinating read from all levels, and will be especially useful to practitioners for whom learning from these complicated and multi-layered life changing incidents is vitally important.
Neil Stapley, Detective Chief Inspector
Head of New Scotland Yards Hostage & Crisis Negotiation Unit, UK
Adam Dolnik, PhD, is an independent consultant specializing in counterterrorism, hostage negotiation, and kidnap response. In the past, Dolnik was Professor of Terrorism Studies at the University of Wollongong in Australia; Professor of Counterterrorism at the George C. Marshall Center for European Security Studies in Germany; Chief Trainer at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) in Singapore; and researcher at the Weapons of Mass Destruction Terrorism Research Project at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. Dolnik has delivered lectures and training courses in over 50 countries, and regularly conducts field research in challenging environments in North Caucasus, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan, Southern Philippines, DRC, Colombia, and others. Author of five books and numerous articles on the subject, Dolnik also serves on the editorial boards of Terrorism and Political Violence and Perspectives on Terrorism, leading academic journals in the field. He is also a trained hostage negotiator (New Scotland Yard, FBI, Police Scotland, Greater Manchester Police) with practical experience in overseas kidnap management.
Khuram Iqbal is co-author of Pakistan: Terrorism Ground Zero. After receiving a doctorate in Policing, Intelligence, and Counterterrorism, from Macquarie University (Australia), he joined the National Defence University of Pakistan as Assistant Professor of Counterterrorism. Previously, he served as Research Coordinator at the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, Islamabad, where he planned and executed a number of research projects on radicalization and terrorism in Pakistan. A graduate in Strategic Studies from the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Singapore, Khuram Iqbal has also worked as senior analyst at the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), Singapore. He is a member of the Council for Asian Transnational Threats Research (CATR), an international body of leading Asian experts on counterterrorism and transnational crimes.
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