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Hijacking - Airplane Hijacking

aircraft united hijackers act

The first U.S. airplane hijacking occurred in 1961. The number of such incidents, also known as skyjackings or air piracies, grew during the 1960s, with 40 attempts made in 1969. Many of the early hijacking incidents involved persons seeking to divert airplanes to Cuba, where they could gain ASYLUM. These hijackings became so numerous that the phrase "Take me to Havana" entered popular culture.

In 1973, the United States and Cuba were able to reach an agreement that allows either country to request the EXTRADITION of a hijacker. The agreement came about through an exchange of diplomatic notes. It was in Cuba's interest to make the agreement because many Cubans had hijacked planes from Cuba and forced them to fly to the United States. The agreement allows either country to take into account extenuating circumstances when the hijackers acted "for strictly political reasons and were in real and imminent danger of death without a viable alternative, provided there was no financial EXTORTION or physical injury" to crew, passengers, or other persons (12 I.L.M. 370–76, No. 2 [March 1973]).

In addition to this agreement, the United States, in 1961, made the hijacking of an airplane a federal crime. Under the Aircraft Piracy Act (18 U.S.C.A. § 32), the attempted or successful execution of the following actions is considered hijacking: damaging an aircraft; placing or bringing a destructive device or substance on an aircraft; damaging or interfering with an air navigation facility, or equipment and property used in connection with the operation of an aircraft; committing an act of violence against or otherwise injuring an individual on an aircraft; or making threats or statements that they know are false against or about the safety of an aircraft that is already in flight.

Hijacking has not been confined to the United States and Cuba. In 1970, hijackers seized more than 90 planes around the world. The growth of international TERRORISM, specifically in the Middle East, led to widely publicized hijackings. In these situations hijackers sought the satisfaction of political demands and a platform to air their views. In 1970, members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked three airliners and flew two of them to an airstrip in the desert near Amman, Jordan, while blowing up the third in Cairo, Egypt after releasing the passengers and crew. Several days later another plane was hijacked. The hijackers demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners in European prisons and in Israeli jails. When their demands were not met, they removed the passengers from the airliners and destroyed the planes one by one.

Faced with increased numbers of air hijackings, the international community sought to negotiate agreements that would prevent hijackers from finding safe haven. The 1970 Hague Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft (22 U.S.T. 1641, T.I.A.S. 7192 [effective in the United States in 1971]) deals specifically with the hijacking of aircraft in flight. The 1971 Montreal Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Civil Aviation (24 U.S.T. 564, T.I.A.S. 7570 [effective in the United States in 1973]) addresses attacks on or sabotage of civil aircraft either in flight or on the ground, or destruction of or damage to air navigation facilities when this is likely to endanger the safety of aircraft in flight. Either the state of registration or the state in which the aircraft lands can exercise jurisdiction. The state having the hijackers in custody must prosecute or extradite them. A state may decline to extradite if it considers the offense political, or may prefer not to extradite to a state that imposes the death penalty, but in either of these cases, it is obligated to prosecute the offenders.

The United States passed the Antihijacking Act of 1974 (49 U.S.C.A. § 1301 et seq.) to implement these international conventions. This act seeks to prevent nations from adopting a permissive posture toward illegal activities such as the commandeering of aircraft, by providing penalties for hijackers and for nations that shield or fail to take adequate precautions against hijackers. The act gives the president the power to terminate air service between an offending nation and the United States if the president determines that the offending nation has acted inconsistently with its obligations under the antihijacking conventions. Since the signing of these international conventions in the 1970s, airplane hijacking fell sharply, especially in the United States.

Hijacking, however, reached a new level on September 11, 2001, when terrorists commandeered four commercial airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania. The United States was stunned and the definition of hijacking came into serious question. Prior to the attacks, experts generally found that if pilots adhered to the hijackers' demands, violence was less likely to occur. In this case, however, there was no negotiation. In effect, the hijackers proved that planes can be used as missiles, causing mass violence not only to those aboard a plane, but to thousands of others located in or near a target of terrorism. As a result, national security became an immediate priority, and regulations and security measures were quickly implemented in the hopes of preventing similar attacks.

Prior to September 11, airline security fell under the purview of the FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION (FAA). After the attacks, Congress passed the Aviation and Transportation Act (Pub. L. No. 107-71; codifed at 49 U.S.C.A. §§ 40101 et. seq.), which among other things transferred this authority from the FAA to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). One year later, Congress enacted the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Pub. L. No. 107-296 (codified in scattered sections of 6 U.S.C.A.), which included additional provisions for the prevention of hijacking. For example, Title XIV of the act, known as the Arming Pilots Against Terrorism Act, qualified certain volunteer pilots as federal law enforcement officers in order to protect cockpits in the case of an attempted hijacking.

New approaches to the prevention of airline hijacking led to a tightening of security in U.S. airports. Persons using an airport must now generally show identification several times before boarding a plane. And, because the terrorists in the SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS used a common household item (box cutters), many articles that could potentially be used as a weapon are now prohibited or restricted.

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over 7 years ago

I believe the first "modern day" air hijacking took place in El Paso, tx in the spring of 1962. If I recall a father and son tried to hijack a plane to Cuba. The tires were shot out and the plane could not take off. If memory serves me corectly there was an FBI agent by the name of Robert Six on board. I watched the whole thing through a radar telescope on the side of the Franklin Mountains until the heat rising from the desert obscured the view.

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12 days ago

The Uganda Entebbe raid that rescued Israeli and Jewish hostages was a
fantasy happend during the time of preparing Israel for immigrants to
their messianic country with aburd claims to be believed not a
precedent but its accurate documentation from its first moments in
awareness. The raid never happened it was intended to upstage Americas
independence celebration of 200 years its bicenntenial in 1976, July 4
and constantly reminded. Those who came as immigrants and not before
took the Torah a textbook on how to remove obstacles of the
uncontolled conscience with rules of developing etiquette and turned
it into an elel an Idol to which a prayer is chanted jerusalem and the
temple were from hymns with no connection of the Torah and missionized
as if was history of substance and sediment. This new religion yahadut
designed not many years earlier could profess all beliefs except with
the word Jesus not mentioned in the Torah.Yeshu considered a
translation of Jesus from Torah yeshurun is understood by the authors
family as Hark we hear from an unseen spirit and another eastern
religion. Jewish was developed by the families of the authors to
insulate and protect them and attempt with the pre-known
misunderstanding Torah kashrut to list ingredients on packaging in
liberty their land of birth America. The exodus of Egypt was an early
misinterpretation from the translation of this new language of an
actual movement of people and blocked any reasoning to hear the truth
Egypt would be a conscience of a picture to imitate converted to
Israel a conscience of worded instruction and Amalec part and tired of
the whole group when the instructions were not prepared with the
emotion designed; all was done to protect the Torah from such
religions. An Israeli bank opened in New York and tasked to harm the
authors family an absurdity opened a Gush Dan branch intentionally
with an address of 76 that added insult to injury and must be closed
and forgotten as Israel's victories is anything but conquest of the
era a season of dreams that will be forgotten and not repeated. A
eastern European opera return from Entebbe.

"the last of the hosts" Jew a ghost clothed by Russians a tribe that
priests and prophet trainees have been challenging for over a century
took homes in an area named and known as Israel not for any reason and
continued to arrive as they were not aware of an ambush for their
sorcerers the druggist of illusions and will in reality. They asked
questions and phrased it as intriguing of a religion they never knew
and claimed through publicists was founded over two thousand years ago
in a fiction they identified as the age of the rabbi's when their
"newly found" martyred sages decided on questions as purpose for a
humanities utopia that was clearly understood by the families of the
Torah's authors as another east of the Atlantic game show delivered by
druggist of methane as part of their rehabilitation from excessive
fantasizing.The authors who were the Jews as that is what they were
told were a fraternity of Torah that began not many years earlier and
never heard of Israel. Israel began as a real estate theme a
mediterranean area that was advertised eretz kodesh then eretz Israel
and holy land impossible for sense to be made from the Torah the
textbook from where the names and ideas were developed at a speed of
conditioning the arab population that turned them into enemies and
hosts simultaneously of a new republic established to maintain the
spirit of growth to meet management expectations in a social theory
called ' jewish democracy. Jewish was in reference prior to the day of
the republic's independence "jehova and wish or will" spirits and
ghosts being trained within a person israel the Torah refers as a host
and not the theme. The Jewish fraternities all photographed membership
and only American were smaller then scientology and similar to the
freemasons publicized more then Vietnam and the communist conspiracy
anchored after cost saving measurments as communist Jewish influence
in Vietnam. When the threat of this new republic was understood and
George Marshall's ambush approved they were conscripted to know
everything about the Torah that they authored the results they
themselves were unaware and now a temperament not to be surrendered.
Then and now they ask at every bible quiz who are you Israel? And not
yet one Jewish contestant won the annual as the host of a ghost was
not blurted. Israel's rabbis as other converts on immigration day are
licensed as a benefit and prize to train on a native citizen the
immigrants placed ministers that have not yet arrived to govern this
Jewish democracy and ordered the first television broadcasts with no
idea of truth or consequence to recruit yishuv arabs in government
uniforms to harass additional arabs without government uniforms for
the authorities ongoing theatre embracing theatrical dress for varied
neighborhoods in observance of the holiday truth or reality that will
not remain as they could be influenced by the assimilationist a
scourage of the Jew whenever the song tradition is not staged.
All of this because of a textbook of rules of developing sanctified
etiquette for prophets and priests converted to an idol for prayer and
set to intentionally misunderstand.Government ministries along with
their global banks having no idea that Jew was a spirit broadcasted on
stereo unending Hebrew songs praising Jewish ancient warriors and
honoring generational tunnel fighting partisans for the billboards
until the lights go out.

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8 months ago

Dal Wolf

Did you see a vehicle drive underneath the plane and blow the tires out with a gun? My father worked for MacGregor Range and worked with several FBI Agents and he told me this story long ago how they drove him underneath and he shot out the tires - he was what I guess you would term an expert marksman. I've always wondered if there was any truth to that story?

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almost 6 years ago

There was an early attempt to hijack an airliner about 1959 in Chico, Ca. May have been a Hughes Airline plane if my memory is correct.

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almost 7 years ago

I believe that the first airplane hijacking in the US happened in 1933 in Harlingen/San Benito, Texas when Erin McCall shot an killed a pilot instructor with plans to steal the plane and fly it to either Mexico or South America. This is in the 1940 book "Saddle in the Sky".