The terrorist group Hamas is thought to have taken some some 150 hostages when it attacked Israel over the weekend.
The group includes some Americans, U.S. President Joe Biden confirmed on Tuesday. John Kirby, spokesman for the National security Council, says the U.S. has offered to coordinate and share it expertise in hostage negotiations with Israel.
Scripps News spoke with Bryan Stern, the head of the hostage rescue team Project Dynamo, which is a veteran-led nonprofit organization that works to rescue Americans and allies from vulnerable situations around the world.
Stern said every situation involving hostages has its own complexities. The densely populated Gaza Strip will make locating and attempting any rescue of hostages a difficult task, no matter who attempts it.
"With these things, there is hope," Stern told Scripps News. "It's wrong to say that this is a foregone conclusion, but this is very difficult."
While Stern's group does not work with the U.S. government, he says they are working with some people who are connected to the hostage situation.
"We've been in contact with a number of family members of American hostages. We have not heard from the U.S. government, they have not asked for our help," Stern said. "The families often look to us as an alternative, or almost as a sounding board sometimes."
"We're actively engaged in a number of these cases. It is very new and this is very, very early days," Stern said. "We need to be cautious to not be quick. This may be a long haul for a lot of families."
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