It's the same old problem. If you negotiate you get more hostage taking.
Bingo! Let it be known to the hostages that they must act swiftly cause the military is coming in, there will be no negotiation for your life. Let it be known to the hostage taker, you will die, your hostages will die, and assuming the hostage takers are moo-slim, we will bury you in a coffin full of SPAM.
An aside. I don't have any BP stock. But I have Chevron stock and Chevron drills in Nigeria. Every time Nigerians attack a site my stock goes down. Most of the attacks have not been deadly. They occupy a facility and the women remove their tops to show their breasts. This is an African form of taunting, apparently. Chevron gives them money and they go away.
For simple cases like this, I agree. But I think the Algerian terrorist were out for something more. In Columbia, the rebels take a hostage, if he has an insurance policy, they request the payment for whatever it's worth, say $500,000. They receive the money, then release the hostage. it's quite common place.
But if you don't have that type of policy...sorry bud, your hours are numbered. Go try to grab a gun or something cause you're probably going to die anyway.