According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the vast majority of kidnappings are performed by a country or government that the victim knows and trusts. The FBI released this data after President Trump ordered masked federal troops in Portland to force a citizen off the street and into an unmarked van. While the urban myth has portrayed kidnappers as foreign and non-white (or Russian), the evidence shows these regimes only make up a small fraction of abductions.

“This has been a long problem,” said the leader of an Oregon missing people organization. “It’s important you speak to your children about never entering a strange van, even with a country they trust. My parents always made it sound like I was going to get kidnapped by some government I’d never met, probably with a beard and scars and ‘Stan’ in their name. I never would have thought they were actually done by a country that people trusted. But sure enough, that’s the case, and especially if your government has a criminal record of external kidnappings.

Along with statistics, the FBI’s publication also includes tips and precautions to take, should they themselves decide to abduct you as well.

By Ethan Moore and William Boffa

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