Hijacking and Hostages: Government Responses to Terrorism

Hijacking and Hostages: Government Responses to Terrorism

Hijacking and Hostages: Government Responses to Terrorism

Hijacking and Hostages: Government Responses to Terrorism

Synopsis

Terrorism and its manifestations continue to evolve, becoming deadlier and more menacing. This study considers the evolution of terrorism since 1968 and how airlines and governments have attempted to deal with this form of violence through a series of nonforce strategies. Using historical examples, we see how governments, particularly the United States, attempted to counter politically motivated aerial hijacking with metal detectors, legal means, and, finally, in frustration, counterviolence operations to subdue terrorists. As nations witnessed aerial hijacking and sieges, the requirement for paramilitary and military counterterrorist forces became a necessity.

Excerpt

It is a real honor for me to write the foreword for this excellent book. During the last twenty years, a number of books about counterterrorism units and also about the Operations “Thunderbolt” (Entebbe) and “Magic Fire” (Mogadishu) were written and published. Most of them were just good stories.

By presenting this new book, my friend, Professor Dr. J. Paul de B. Taillon, has provided an insightful and outstanding report of the two operations, but with the necessary historical and military background. With well-researched detail, he tells the fascinating story of the fight against terrorism in the last thirty years and the evolution of some of the world’s best special operations forces. He describes the events of the Operations “Thunderbolt” and “Magic Fire” as if he was an insider and member of the commando forces.

I agree with his outlook on terrorism in the future: that terrorism has matured from random violence of the primitive type to that of a highly evolved military intelligence operation that poses a serious threat to peace and stability in the world and that terrorism, in another form than that of the 1970s, will remain a severe threat, especially to the Western countries. There is no doubt that in the wake of the dramatic attacks in New York City and Washington, there is a need for an international counterterrorist strategy and for tactical concepts and, of course, for special operations units.

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