Understanding Interrogator Tactics

An interrogator is anybody that questions somebody either formally or aggressively.

You will have heard the term used to describe being questioned by law enforcement but it also covers being questioned by a private individual, an insurgent group or even a kidnapper.

I have an idea for a set of articles that we want to write here on the website but for this guide, we want to focus on the tactics used for interrogation which is the first step to becoming less susceptible.

1. We Already Know

This is one of the most common methods and if you haven’t been interrogated yourself, you will have seen used on the TV many times.

You will usually be shown a thick file in which the interrogator will start to read information from. They will tell you your date of birth, parent’s names, where you were at earlier in the day, and you might even be shown a photo from years before to demonstrate how long you’ve been under surveillance.

This thick file will mostly be empty or filled with random papers not even related to you. They know where you were earlier because they followed you prior to abducting you.

The photo that you are shown was probably pulled from a friend’s Facebook page and then it was edited, cropped flipped and zoomed in on to try and distort it from the original photo.

If they really already know everything then they really wouldn’t have a need to be questioning you. Silence is your best bet in this situation.

2. Silence

Many people hate silence and it is natural to want to fill the air with conversation. The interrogator may go for the silent tactic in which he will “pretend” to flip through the file while ignoring you.

The interrogator is relying on your need to speak and your desire to defend yourself. Remember, even if he is using this method, remain silent yourself as it isn’t like your exactly going anywhere.

3. Speedy Questions

For this tactic to be used, there needs to be two interrogators. One of them will be filling out a basic form with random information like your name, emergency contact, and so on. He may be asking basic questions about your family.

The second one is questioning you about pertinent events. The interrogator asking you the real questions will pretend to be annoyed with the form-filling guy.

The speed at which they are asking questions will start to quicken and before you know it, you have answered one of the ‘real’ questions instead of only the basic ones.

In order to not give away any information that is not intended, you need to slow it down. Just because they are asking questions at speed, doesn’t mean that you have to answer them so quick. If you count to five after each question, you will not make that error.

4. It’s All Over

With this tactic, the interrogator wants you to believe that you have no way out and that it’s all over, that they have you and there is nothing you can do about it.

They try to force you to give up internally but you must keep your head in the game, it’s never over.

If you really don’t want to just sit in silence then talk about something random like the last movie you watched or what your favorite sport is.

5. Help Yourself

They may try a nicer and calmer approach and ‘act’ more like friends. People naturally like to feel comfortable which they may try to use to their advantage.

You may be offered food, water, a more comfortable room, or a sentence reduction for cooperating. If they are doing this, they really have nothing on you and are getting desperate for you to give them any information.

They will often start small by offering a coffee or cigarette to try and build your trust.

If the person interrogating you is a kidnapper, trust me, they don’t want to help you.

Accept nothing that is offered to you, not even a drink.

6. Repeating Questions

This is a simple tactic in which the interrogator will ask the same set of questions over and over again whilst listening for any little changes in the answers that you give.

Once you give a slightly different answer than before, they have reason to press you further to defend yourself. They will become hostile and accusatory telling you that you’re lying to them.

They may even get you to retell events in reverse so always be sure to practice your cover in reverse too.

If you have already told a story, you have no reason for answering the same questions again so accuse them of not listening and then remain silent.

7. Building Rapport

The interrogator may try to get you to think that you both enjoy the same things in an attempt to ‘bond with you.’

If they can get you to think that you share common interests, it becomes easier to see them more like a friend but trust me, he is anything but a friend.

If you choose to answer their questions, be verbally combative. If they tell you how much they love a certain football team, immediately talk about how your girlfriend was stolen by one of their players. Never allow a rapport to form.

8. Good Cop, Bad Cop

This is another interrogation tactic that I am sure everybody has heard of. Simply put, one guy plays nice, the other one doesn’t. One remains calm, the other one doesn’t.

With this technique, because of the ‘bad cop’ they want you to confide in the ‘good cop’ in the hopes that he will protect you from the other one.

Just keep remaining silent and call the bad cop’s bluff.

Further Interrogation Tips

  • Interrogators rely on establishing a rhythm. Disrupt this rhythm every chance you get.
  • Interrogators can become the victim of the same techniques they try to employ against you.
  • Dignity goes out the window.
  • It may not be the nicest thought but urinating or defecating on yourself can often end the day’s interrogation.
  • Feigning insanity may provide a break in interrogation.
  • Talk about your family as much as possible without providing details. It helps to humanize yourself in your captor’s eyes.

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