The hijacking of aircraft and their passengers for profit, bravado or political advantage has been fife since the early 1960's.
The hijacking of aircraft and their passengers for profit, bravado or political advantage has been fife since the early 1960's. Almost any rebel with a cause - real or imagined - has tried it. Most have got away with it, since to call their bluff endangered the lives of hundreds of innocent people. But now, authorities across the world are playing a different and rougher game. The chances of getting away with a hijack are slimmer.
SYNOPSIS: Another civil, airline flight takes off....around the world, around the clock, it is happening several times every minute. Pick any one at random - and it could be a hijacker's easy target the hijacker could be almost any passenger on almost any aircraft, for it is still difficult to stop determined men and women form getting aboard, despite searches and checks on baggage.
And once the aircraft door shuts, the hijacker has the aircraft, its crew and the passengers at his mercy. And even the most inflexible security forces would be unwilling to risk the lives of so many.......
At least, while the aircraft is airborne.
But once landed, the hijack story these days often ends quite differently that it did in the heyday of the hijacker....such as the time an Israeli jumbo was held in London....or when three international airliners were blown up by palestinians on a remote airfield in Jordan. these and dozens of other similar acts of air piracy provided publicity for a multitude of differing groups, freedom for prisoners, ransom for gangsters.
But in the face of counting misery for the victims of hijacks, governments, airlines and international agencies began to adopt less and less pliable attitudes.
Israel was first to give a blank refusal to deal with those who made hostages of the innocent. Others followed the example. Today, despite the escalated risk, it is the first principle.
This Philippines Airlines jet was hijacked on a domestic flight form Manila. It landed in a provincial airfield while negotiations between hijackers and authorities dragged on. Then, assault troops struck.
Thirteen people died, including three of the six hijackers.
And these men and women are the latest hijackers to be captured by a swift and tough response. They are illustrative of a fact which is becoming more and more obvious....namely that the risks attached to hijacking are now tilted against the hijacker and away from his victim. International opinion, too, has lessened the chances of an intended hijacker finding refuge. Even the traditional bolt-holes of the Middle East are closing fast. But the greatest deterrent is the knowledge that there will be no deal.... that the only outcome is likely to be either rough justice or the process of law.